USA, Utah: DUI Crashes Down After BAC Limit Reduction
Utah introduced 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC) limit when driving, and in the first quarter of 2019, Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) statistics show alcohol related road traffic accidents have decreased.
0.05% is the strictest BAC limit implemented within the United States currently.
From January 1 through March 31, 2019 UHP troopers arrested 2,713 people for suspicion of DUI. Of those, 135 had a blood alcohol content measuring between .05% to .079%.
But of that group, 59 were under the age of 21, and 27 were alcohol-restricted drivers, meaning they would have also been arrested under the old .08% limit, leaving 49 people who were arrested under the state’s new blood alcohol limit.
The majority of people being arrested for investigation of DUI were measuring well over .08%.
Road traffic accidents reduced since new BAC limits
Also during the first quarter of the year, there were 236 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in three fatalities, according to the UHP. That’s compared to 416 crashes and 10 deaths during the same time period in 2018.
So far during the so-called 100 deadliest days of summer, which runs from the Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, there have been 11 people killed in 11 crashes from May 24 through July 1. Last year, between May 25 and July 2, there were 30 crashes resulting in 34 deaths, according to the UHP.
While UHP can not be certain whether the decrease is due to the new BAC limit, the positive changes are observable and significant. UHP also states people are thinking twice before driving under the influence of alcohol and making arrangements to not drive if they plan to use alcohol.