Utah’s controversial .05 DUI law has been the subject of significant debate among both lawmakers and the state’s law enforcement community. Although it is not scheduled to take into effect until the end of next year, many are already expressing needed changes to the law–including Governor Gary Herbert. During a recent press conference, Governor Herbert proposed a “tiered” system of penalties for those arrested for DUI in Utah. The proposed changes would simulate Colorado’s DUI, which also utilizes a .05 blood alcohol limit.
In Colorado, drivers convicted of having a .05 do not face stiffer DUI punishment up to .08. However, if a person is convicted of scoring higher than a .08, the DUI penalties become much more severe. Governor Herbert also expressed some support to reduce Utah’s DUI penalty for .05 to .08. When Herbert originally signed the bill earlier this year, he announced he was willing to consider any changes that would alleviate any “unintended consequences”.
Impact On Utah’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Many people in Utah’s tourism and restaurant industry fear the new law will reduce business throughout the state. The belief is many tourists will avoid coming to Utah or visit bars and restaurants out of fear of scoring higher than a .05. State hospitality groups have already started running newspaper ad campaigns in surrounding states, urging reader to avoid visiting Utah.
Will It Save Lives?
Proponents of the .05 bill maintain the new law will save lives. Representative Norm Thurston, Republican from Provo, acknowledged the bill may need to be tweaked. Thurston, who is a proponent of the DUI law said some of the problems include addressing dram shop liability issues for restaurants along with the issues of concealed weapons holder who are arrested for DUI. Many also question whether scoring a .05 truly indicates a person is impaired. Senator Jim Dabakis posted a harsh rebuttal to Thurston on Facebook. In his post, Dabakis listed several different scenarios that would exemplify impaired driving more than scoring .05 including:
- Driving with less sleep than normal
- Driving at night
- Driving and engaging in conversation
- Driving while in an emotional state
- Driving over the age of 74
- Driving while under the age of 20
- Driving with an insect in the car
While some of these example may seem a bit silly, they do bring into question the validity of using .05 as a proper gauge of sobriety.
The Consequences of DUI in Murray
A DUI arrest can happen to even the most responsible person. Under the new .05 law, a husband and wife enjoying a meal and a couple of drinks at a restaurant could be considered legally drunk. Just one DUI arrest can be extremely damaging to a person’s reputation and ruin their future. It can not only result in the loss of your driver’s license, it can also cost a person their job and even result in significant time behind bars. It is important to fight these charges and quickly and aggressively as possible.
Contact The Murray DUI Attorneys at White & Matern, PLLC for Free Initial Consultation
Over the years, the legal team at White & Matern, PLLC have successfully represented many men and women resolve their DUI charges. They utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help place each client in the best position to succeed. When your freedom is at stake, do not take chances with your choice of legal representation. Contact the Murray DUI Attorney at White & Matern for a free initial consultation.