One of the biggest pieces of news of the new year is the new drunk driving law in Utah. The blood alcohol content limit is now 0.05 percent in the Beehive State, down from the national limit of 0.08 percent. This is the strictest law regarding driving under the influence in the United States.
Some people are cheering on this move, while others claim it is going too far. But one of the most important questions is whether South Dakota will fall in line with this strict BAC limit.
Utah leads the way
Utah is no stranger to being ahead of the rest when it comes to drunk driving laws. It was the first state to make the limit 0.08 percent, down from 0.10 percent in 1983. Now every state adheres to this level and it is seen as the standard. So who knows if Utah is acting as a pioneer again? Time will tell if the rest of the nation decides to tackle DUI incidents even more.
The difference between 0.08 percent and 0.05 percent
It is important to realize what it takes to reach the legal drinking limit. For example, it takes roughly four average alcoholic beverages for a 180-pound man to reach a 0.08 percent BAC. But for the same man to reach 0.05 percent, it takes about two drinks.
Impairment vs. percentage
While the law may be different in Utah now, it is vital to realize not all DUI arrests occur when a driver reaches the BAC limit. A lot of DUI arrests occur because of behavior that indicates impairment, rather than simply a breath test result. Police officers across the country pull over and arrest drivers because of a variety of actions, including veering out of lanes, driving at strange speeds and braking difficulties.
No matter what the legal BAC limit currently is or will be in the future, it is crucial to resist the temptation to drive under the influence of alcohol.