Health Care

Should Utah Crack Down on Drunk Driving?

Should Utah Crack Down on Drunk Driving?

Other states now have a.08 BAC threshold for most motorists, though commercial drivers and others are subject to more stringent DUI rules.

Gary Herbert said today that he will sign a controversial bill to make Utah's laws on drunken driving the toughest in the nation.

Melva Sine, president of the Utah Restaurant Association, said her organization and other groups see the law as likely to hurt the hospitality industry in the state.

Supporters of the legislation argue that impairment begins with the first drink and anyone consuming alcohol should not get behind the wheel. Starting at the end of next year, the state of Utah will consider any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or higher legally impaired.

He said: 'I signed (the bill) into law to help strengthen Utah's impaired driving laws and to reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths on our roads'. Though the religion, which prohibits drinking, dominates the state, Herbert says religion has nothing to do with it.

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"There's not many Mormons in Rome and they're doing it there", Herbert quipped Thursday.

Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr is the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Some critics have urged Utah to delay rolling out the standard until other states act.

Lawmakers in Washington and Hawaii had considered lowering their blood-alcohol limits to 0.05 this year but both measures appear dead.

Although his office has been "inundated" with calls and the state targeted as punitive in a national advertising campaign by the American Beverage Institute, Herbert said his first charge as governor is to keep residents and visitors safe. Those countries haven't suffered a drop in tourism as a result of their standard, and neither will Utah, he said.

J.T. Griffin, a government affairs officer for the group, said in a statement that MADD is focusing on "countermeasures that work, such as ignition interlock laws for all drunk driving offenders and sobriety checkpoints".