UTAH SET TO HAVE THE STRICTEST DUI LAW ANYWHERE IN AMERICA
Utah is set to change things up in just three days. On December 30th, a new law goes into effect in the state. It’s just in time to have an impact on New Year’s revelers. So if you plan on having a lot of fun Monday night for New Year’s Eve, be sure to have a designated driver or a comfy corner to sleep it off in. Because if police pull you over and declare you legally drink, it’s not going to be a good time. At all. And it will be easy to qualify. This will be the strictest DUI law in the entire country.
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LOWEST BLOOD-ALCOHOL LIMIT, SEVERE FELONY PENALTIES
So how drunk do you have to be for a Utah DUI? Well, as of December 30th, the blood-alcohol content limit will go down to 0.05. So that’s the number that makes it the strictest in the country. But the law is even harder than that. It also says that if you or anyone else “operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another” and has a “blood alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater,” there will be serious repercussions. But what kind, you ask? You will have committed a criminal homicide. That’s a felony crime. But that’s craaaazy different than negligent homicide or criminal negligence.
UTAH FAILED AT SOCIAL PROGRAMS, NOW AIMS AT HARD DETERRENCE
So what made Utah tighten the screws on its local DUI law? Failure, that’s what. The state has tried campaigns and many other efforts to discourage people from driving drunk. But the numbers don’t lie. Police in Utah have averaged 29 DUI arrests a day over the last half-decade. That daily average represents 54,400 arrests. So Utah has decided to take a much stronger hand with deterrence. The national numbers are even scarier. 29 people die every day from alcohol-related accidents. DUI deaths have increased by more than 30% over the last 30 years. Utah wants to break that trend, at least within state lines.