Effective December 30, 2018, Utah has lowered its blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to just 0.05 percent, earning Utah its new title as the state with the lowest BAC limit in the country.
Why Lower the Legal Limit?
Aimed at decreasing the number of traffic facilities, policymakers who passed Utah's new law hope to decrease the number of fatalities suffered in the state at the hands of drunk drivers. According to a study conducted by the University of Chicago, the 0.05 limit could be effective in saving 1,800 lives each year if adopted by the United States as a whole.
Although the threshold limit for driving after consuming alcohol is 0.08 in most states, Utah lawmakers approved the legislation in 2017 in an attempt to encourage those who have been drinking not to drive. Utah isn't the only state in the country with such a goal; four additional states--including Washington--have proposed legislation which would lower the legal limit to 0.05 but have thus far been unsuccessful.
What does a Lower BAC Limit Mean for Drivers?
While a lower DUI limit obviously means that a person cannot drink as much before being deemed legally intoxicated, just how many drinks can the average person consume while still being able to drive under the new law?
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the implementation of Utah's new law means that the average 150-pound man could find himself over the legal limit after consuming just two beers in one hour. For women, the level is even lower--a 120-pound woman would likely surpass the legal limit after just one alcoholic beverage.
Not everyone is in support of Utah's new legal limit--those in the restaurant and tourism industry believe that the newly decreased BAC limit will "scare off" potential visitors to the state who fear that they would be caught driving under the influence after just one or two drinks.
Charged with DUI in Washington? Steve Karimi Can Help
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Seattle or a surrounding area in Washington, it's important to seek the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Conviction of a DUI can strip you of your driving privileges or, in some cases, your freedom. You should never try to defend against a charge of driving under the influence by yourself, and Steve Karimi is dedicated to making sure that you never have to. With Steve Karimi on your team, you can rest assured that your case is in the hands of a competent attorney with years of experience defending against charges just like yours. Don't wait until it is too late to defend against your DUI charge--to speak with a member of the Karimi Law legal team about your charge, fill out an online contact form or call (206) 621-8777 today.