Saturday, October 19, 2013

Group in Utah pushing to lower legal limit in DUI cases

In case you don't know I'm originally from Salt Lake City, Utah.  I have lived Washington State for the past 10 years, but I still follow the news and events in my hometown.  Especially when it comes to DUI news.  I recently saw an article discussing a recent proposal by a group in Utah when it comes to changing their DUI laws.

Utah, like Washington State, and the rest of the Country for that matter all employ a legal limit of 0.08% in DUI cases.  However a recent push has started to gain traction in Utah when it comes to that level.  A conservative think tank and advocate group for harsher liquor laws in Utah is pushing to lower the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level.  

The Salt Lake City-based group named Sutherland Institute wants to lower the limit in Utah to 0.05%. Now this idea is nothing new.  In fact I previously blogged about this idea earlier this summer when the National Transportation Safety Board issued a similar recommendation for all the 50 states. What is interesting though is if there is any State in the Country that would seriously consider this idea and support legislation it would be Utah.

You see Utah is one of the most conservative States in the Country when it comes to liquor laws.  It's ironic for me personally moving from a complete conservative State like Utah to one of the most liberal in Washington State.  But I firmly believe this may gain some serious traction.  Most of the State Legislators belong to the predominant faith in Utah which is the LDS church.  In other words there are a lot of powerful people in that State Government that do no believe in the consumption of alcohol and make it their life's mission to some in cases force that belief on those that do.  

As a DUI Lawyer in Seattle I find this idea quite perplexing.  First I don't believe lowering the legal limit would do anything to decrease DUIs.  In fact it would probably increase them.  Think how many drinks a person has to have in order to get to a 0.05.  Not very many.  Probably 1 to 2 drinks.  How many people have wine at dinner or a single beer at a football game.  Now those people would be subject to a DUI arrest.  Secondly lowering the legal limit would effectively put the death grip on the restaurant and bar industry not to mention tourism.  It would be non-existent and that is a big part of where Government receives their funding.  

Should be interesting to see how serious this becomes in the future.

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a Bellevue DUI Lawyer.  His practice focuses on representing those charged with DUI and other serious traffic offenses throughout Western Washington.  He has been named a Top Seattle DUI Lawyer by as well as a Rising Star by Seattle Met Magazine in the area of DUI defense, an honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.