A recent Utah amendment drops the DUI BAC level from .08 to .05. On March 23, 2017, the Utah Legislature approved the above-mentioned amendment to Section 41-6a-502 of the Utah Code. What does that mean? Effective December 30, 2018, the DUI blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level will drop from .08 to .05 grams. Provisions (a) and (c) of section 41-6a-502 of the Utah Code will now read, “A person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state if the person: (a) has sufficient alcohol in the person’s body that a subsequent chemical test shows that the person has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater at the time of the test . . . or (c) has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater at the time of operation or actual physical control.”
At first glance, a BAC level of .05 seems low. In fact, it is the lowest in the country.[i] But what if we look at the international scale? Interestingly enough, this level is fairly common amongst other countries. According to the European Transport Safety Council, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland are only a handful of the European countries that use the .05 standard; Sweden has an even lower standard of .02![ii] Regardless of your policy perspective, you need to be aware that this Utah amendment drops the DUI BAC level from .08 to .05.
Be conscious of the fact that starting December 30, 2018, the .05 BAC level will become the legal standard. As always, remember the attorneys at Hepworth & Associates can help you navigate the legal consequences of a DUI charge. The information contained in the article is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is intended to constitute legal advice, and by no means should be construed as such. [i] https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/24/521356512/utah-cuts-dui-alcohol-limit-to-lowest-level-in-u-s-law-also-affects-gun-owners [ii] https://etsc.eu/blood-alcohol-content-bac-drink-driving-limits-across-europe/