Utah currently has an alcohol limit of .08%. A Provo lawmaker wants to make Utah the first state in the country to lower its legal limit for driving under the influence to a 0.05 % blood-alcohol content — a level the average male drinker could reach at three drinks and at which a female could be considered drunk after two.
The State Rep. from Provo, Norman Thurston who proposed the change was quoted as saying “Impairment starts with the first drink, and we want to establish this state as one where you just simply do not drink and drive. This is all about safety.”
At a BAC of 0.05 percent, a driver may have trouble steering and have a harder time coordinating, tracking moving objects and responding to emergencies, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Though state numbers show alcohol-related driving deaths and DUI arrests are down in Utah, Rep. Norman Thurston said there’s more to be done. The Provo Republican plans to introduce legislation lowering the BAC limit from 0.08 to 0.05 when Utah’s lawmakers return for their annual session later this month.
That comes from consuming two to three beers in an hour for a 160-pound man, though a number of factors, including gender, weight and how much food in someone’s stomach all affect how much a drink will raise someone’s BAC.
For now the law still stays at .08%, but things may change.
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