Utah's new .05 BAC threshold — an S-E reader conversation

SATURDAY , MARCH 25, 2017 - 5:00 AM

GREG HALLING, Standard-Examiner Staff

In this March 17, 2017, photo, Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, speaks to protesters during a rally at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert later signed legislation giving the state the strictest DUI threshold in the country. Restaurant groups and representatives of the ski and snowboard industry had urged him to veto the bill, arguing it would hurt Utah's image. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Gov. Gary Herbert signed legislation Thursday lowering the state’s blood alcohol limit to .05, giving Utah the toughest DUI threshold in the country.

Utah’s outdoor and hospitality industries urged him to veto the bill, arguing the measure would cripple tourism and penalize responsible drinkers. Herbert’s office reported a flood of calls from Utahns who opposed the legislation.

Here’s how readers responded to the story when we shared it on Facebook. All quotes are verbatim:

Adam Green: Rather than "saving" lives by signing this stupid bill Herbert is going to RUIN a ton of lives for absolutely no reason. Almost all fatal accidents involving intoxicated drives are a result of BACs WELL over .08, much less .05. But let's give criminal records to perfectly responsible people!

Natalie Noelle: But...you're not responsible if you drink and drive...no matter what the limit is, drinking and driving is still drinking and driving.

Alice East-Gallardo: And you, my dear, are totally incorrect. Look at the actual statistics. One glass of wine at dinner does not make one impaired.

Adam Green: Exactly. Having a drink does not equal impairment. Not to mention impairment happens differently for every person. It depends on gender, weight, even age.

Levi Oleson: Before you know it, it will be illegal to be a non-Mormon in Utah.

Natalie Noelle: Oh brother...quit over reacting.

Alice East-Gallardo: Not over reacting. Outside of Utah Mormons show at least a tiny bit of common sense. Can't wait until they are a minority in Utah.

Jamie Trujillo: Our State is run by a religion I want no part of that doesn't pay taxes... If they paid taxes I'd have less of an issue to with them influencing our laws, but I want nothing to do with the religion but as usual, the Mormons are forcing their beliefs on me. I rarely drink as it is, but the next time I do and have a glass of wine with some friends I get a DUI and may lose my job. Got to get out of here. My hell.

Lori Schroeder: I honestly had in my mind that he would side with the people this time.

Jason Jones: Lol Lori Schroeder his track record of siding with the people is non existing.

Beverly Duffield: Individual alcohol levels are affected by many things and this is just one more irritating bit of Utah BS. Why not go to zero tolerance and be done with it? Parts of Europe have it, but then they have public transportation infrastructure and things are lots closer together. Disgusted by this bit of attention seeking sanctimonious action.

Andrea Riches: I feel bad for the business that serve alcohol. It's difficult and expensive to get a liquor license... with this less people will have a drink or two! Yes, drinking and driving is stupid, but so it's texting and talking on the phone! SMH.

Colette Heninger-Smith: The state government doesn't care about lost tourist revenue- just a hunch, but they probably think they will just make more on DUI's. They don't care about the lively hood of the actual citizens of Utah.

Ed Eldredge: Until people can no longer afford to go out and have a drink, then their precious DUI revenue will dry up, but that seems like it is what they want, a stranglehold on people who enjoy the nightlife.

Paul R Perkins Sr: I don't care mainly because I don't drink and I don't know if it adds to the UT weirdness factor but like has been mentioned, accidents are usually a result of BACs way over .08. Poor use of legislative time.

Georgene Doxstader Brinkerhoff: Completely support this. You should always have a DD whether the limit is .01 or .09. Drinking is drinking. I am a family meme we affected by drunk driver fatality and have seen what affect even a little bit of alcohol has in one's reflexes.

Brittany Briseno: How impaired are you really with a blood alcohol of 0.1? You could have a blood alcohol of 0.1 and not even be aware or even drinking.

Ed Eldredge: You are an irrationally traumatized individual and it's that mentality that threatens tourism and entertainment, which is a huge part of this state's revenue.

Georgene Doxstader Brinkerhoff: Thank you, I will take these comments as compliments as I am someone who believes science and research which includes statistics over opinions. Read some facts. If alcohol is that important to you I believe you need your comment more than me. Bless you my friends!

Natasha Colburn: So stop spreading your nonsense. Because the actual science and research paints a different picture. Nobody wants drunk drivers on the road, but this does nothing. If you can't see that, it's because you don't care.

Kadee Watkins: I think alot of people are missing the point... It's not just drinking actual alcoholic beverages and driving. So your "Don't drink and drive" argument is invalid... Alot of foods, and medicines contain alcohol! You could eat a pack of hunny buns, or other baked goods that contain vanilla extract, and it will raise your blood alcohol level.

Jenn Kilstrom: This is so heavy handed. I'm not even a drinker. Please stop making such nit-picky rules.

Lynn Hull: So all the people against this are saying it's ok to drink and drive?

Elizabeth Babilis Musgrave: Yes, It is okay to have a beer or two with dinner and not be worried you're going to get a dui.

Wes Ikner: Or rinse with Listerine and drive.

Matthew Williams: Don't drink and drive..... Crybabies.

Brittany Briseno: Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you may be in Utah.