SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 8, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah legislators have approved a bill lowering the blood-alcohol content level for DUI from 0.08 to 0.05, the strictest in the nation.
The Senate approved House Bill 155, sponsored Rep. Norman Thurston, a Republican representing Provo, Wednesday evening.
Having previously passed the House, the proposal now moves to Gov. Gary Herbert.
If the bill becomes law, Utah will be the first state to lower the legal limit to 0.05.
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that all 50 states adopt a blood-alcohol content (BAC) cutoff of 0.05 compared to the 0.08 standard used by law enforcement and the courts to prosecute drunk driving.
Lowering the rate to 0.05 would save about 500 to 800 lives annually, the safety board said.
Under current law, a 180-pound male typically will hit the 0.08 threshold after four drinks in an hour, according to an online blood alcohol calculator published by the University of Oklahoma.
That same person could reach the 0.05 threshold after two to three drinks over the same period, according to the calculator.