In 2015, Colorado passed a law making some drunk driving convictions felonies. The new law was met with quite a bit of resistance. How would the state deal with a drop in the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) needed to be charged with a DUI?
While Colorado hasn’t dropped the legal limit for BAC just yet, its neighboring state of Utah recently saw its governor sign a law that dropped the legal limit from .08 BAC to .05 BAC. The law isn’t expected to go into effect until 2019. This is because the governor believes a special session to address the law’s unintended consequences is needed.
Some of the legislators believe that Utah should wait until other states begin to lower their legal limits for drunk driving before implementing such a change. Much of the opposition to the law comes from the tourism and restaurant industries. They believe the lower level will cause a drop in tourists in the state and that those who do live in the state will choose to stay home rather than go out for a night on the town. This downturn in sales would also affect the amount of taxes the state would bring in.
While it is not known how many states are considering dropping the legal limit for a DUI, decreases such as this one will have an effect on the number of people who will need to present a DUI defense after being arrested. There will likely be citizens of Colorado arrested in Utah who were charged with a BAC under .08.
Source: fox13now.com, “Governor Herbert signs controversial bill making Utah’s DUI level the lowest in the nation,” Ben Winslow, March 24, 2017