DUI Enforcers!

The good and the bad.....05 in Utah and Washington's skyrocketing crash and fatality numbers

Wednesday, June 08, 2022 12:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On March 23, 2017, the Governor of Utah signed into law House Bill 155, modifying Utah Code §41-6a-502 to prohibit people 21 and over from operating a noncommercial vehicle with a BAC of .05 g/dL or greater, rather than .08 g/dL. The law established this as a per se offense and carried an effective date of December 30, 2018. With the passing of this legislation, Utah became the first State to adopt an impaired driving per se BAC limit lower than .08. 

NHTSA has studied the impacts of the new law and found that overall the findings indicate that passage of the .05 per se law had demonstrably positive impacts on highway safety in Utah. The crash analyses highlighted reliable reductions in crash rates and alcohol involvement in crashes associated with the new law that were consistent with, or greater than, those observed or predicted by prior research. While the concerns about the impact of the law change on the State’s economy were certainly understandable, the data reviewed for this study indicate none of the potential negative effects of concern came to fruition. In fact, alcohol sales and per capita consumption appeared to continue their increasing trends under the new law as did tourism and tax revenues. Similarly, DUI arrests for alcohol did not climb sharply after the law went into effect as some had feared.

The change in the law had a demonstrable impact on how people view drinking and driving.  The "norms" around drinking and driving are changing. We need that change in Washington.  Too many people think it is perfectly fine to have a few drinks and drive; or that no real consequence will occur if they get a DUI; or that law enforcement officers are too overburdened to pull me over.  A change in the mentality around DUI needs to change. We all wear our seatbelts--why, because it's the law, but also because it is safe.  Safe driving should be the norm.  DUI driving should NOT be the norm. Click for more information on the NHTSA study.  

Washington road deaths reached a 20-year high in 2021, with 663 fatalities. Preliminary data for 2022 indicate the trend in fatalities continues to increase, with more traffic deaths in the first quarter compared with the same timeframe last year. To reverse the trend, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) issued a call to action for residents to work together to reinforce safe behavior for all road users. To get the message out, the WTSC is launching one of its largest public education campaigns in its history this summer.  For more information, please read here. 


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