SALT LAKE CITY – Utah could soon have the strictest DUI threshold in the nation after state lawmakers on Wednesday night voted to lower the limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content to 0.05 percent, down from 0.08 percent.
The measure heads to Utah’s governor, who has said he supports the legislation.
If Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, it would take effect Dec. 30, 2018 — an unusual effective date for Utah laws that would ensure the harsher standard is in place before alcohol-laden celebrations on New Year’s Eve.
Supporters of the legislation said it would save lives by keeping people off the road if they’ve been drinking. A mix of lawmakers, including Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans, opposed the measure. Some cited concerns that it could hurt tourism as the heavily Mormon state grapples with its reputation as an unfriendly place for drinkers.