Raleigh DWI Attorney Questions New Utah Law that Sets State BAC Limit to Only .05%
Utah is not backing down
from a tougher stance on drunk-driving, standing by a law it passed earlier in
2017 that brought the state’s maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to
0.05%. The law, scheduled to take effect in 2018, will fine offenders over
$1,300 and confiscate their licenses for at least 90 days.
The law has elicited
polarizing reactions both in and out of the state. Advocates of road safety,
like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB), supported the measure, and still hope for further
deterrents against impaired driving.
On the other hand, groups
like the American Beverage Institute questioned the law’s expected impact on
curbing vehicular accidents. They noted that drivers with 0.05% BAC are less
impaired than drivers using cellphones behind the wheel.
Health experts also
pointed out that different people reach a state of impairment in different
ways, depending on factors like weight, body type, and rate of
Raleigh DWI lawyer’s perspective
While drunk driving must
be effectively curbed in an effort to promote safety, at Kurtz & Blum we
strongly feel that reducing the BAC limit to only .05% is very low. The
nationwide standard for considering a person legally impaired has remained at .08%
for many years as the number of alcohol-related deaths has dramatically tumbled.
This is the benchmark North Carolina follows, even as it enacts more stringent
laws on drunk driving, especially among people under 21 years old.
Utah's new law will set a
precedent for other states to follow. However, pursuing a lower maximum BAC
limit should be made based on scientific studies about how effective a lower
limit might be.
There is still hope that
Utah will explore a “tiered punishment system”, with lighter penalties for
individuals with lower BAC (e.g. below .08%) and heavier ones for those with
higher BAC (e.g. above 0.08%). If this gains traction, there should also be
more solid research on how to fairly penalize people with BACs between .05% to .08%
— if they should be punished at all.
in DWI cases
Kurtz & Blum certainly
does not condone drunk driving. Yet we know that fines associated with it could
significantly impact a person’s income, and that penalties could impair one’s
ability to earn a living.
If you or someone you know
has been charged with DWI an experienced DWI lawyer can help
assess the events leading to the arrest, minimize the potential fines and
penalties, and help get you back on the road swiftly, safely – and more
State council recommends
no changes to Utah’s new DUI law, USNews.com
Utah cuts DUI alcohol
limit to lowest level in U.S.; law also affects gun owners, NPR.org
DUI & DWI in North Carolina, DMV.org