In the vast majority of states, a person can be convicted of DUI if they drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. In Utah, however, the threshold is much lower. Reportedly, the recent reduction in the legal limit did not result in increased DUI charges but instead led to a reduction of DUI crimes fewer car accidents and fatalities, and reportedly did not impact tourism or the rate of people moving to the state. While it remains unclear if Illinois or any other state will follow suit, it seems unlikely, but it is important for all motorists to understand the DUI laws where they live. If you are charged with a DUI crime in Illinois, it is practical to confer with an Illinois DUI defense attorney to assess your potential defenses.
Results of Utah’s DUI Law Changes
Reportedly, the Utah legislature voted to reduce the blood alcohol concentration threshold for per se DUI offenses from 0.08% to 0.05% in 2017. Parties in favor of the change argued that it would reduce DUI crimes and DUI-related collisions, while those opposed to it argued that it would discourage tourists or new residents from coming to Utah. So far, it appears to have had only positive impacts.
Allegedly, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that while the amount of miles Utah drivers traveled increased, the number of DUI offenses and crashes went down. Some attribute the willingness to accept the change to the fact that the majority of people living in Utah are of Mormon faith and do not drink alcohol, and alcohol is strictly regulated. Not everyone is convinced that the reduced threshold is the cause of the reduction in accidents, noting that many other states experienced similar outcomes without changing their DUI laws. Continue reading →