New Alcohol Limit in Utah

Mandy Jenkins, Staff Writer/Photographer

Our government has passed some laws that are now going into effect. These changes could affect our daily lives, although some laws may affect students a little less than others. People across Utah are speaking their minds about the new laws, especially the new DUI threshold law that went into effect on New Year’s Eve.

On New Year’s Eve, the alcohol limit for DUIs went down from 0.08 to 0.05. Many people fought against this because it encourages the image that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints are unfriendly to people who drink alcohol. Some have also argued that this new DUI threshold punishes responsible drinkers. According to KMVT.11, this change was easily approved in 2017 by the Legislature, which is mostly Mormon and mostly Republican, and signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, also a Republican and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. This law might not really affect high school students, but soon they will be out of high school and able to drink.

Nineteen percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2017 were due to alcohol use in Utah, out of the 29 percent of total motor vehicle crashes nationwide that were due to alcohol use.  Jackson Shedelbower, a spokesman for the American Beverage Institute, said in a statement to U.S. News, “I have no doubt proponents of .05 are well – intentioned, but good intentions don’t necessary yield good policy.” There are many sides to this new law and how it affects our lives. The numbers say it’s a good thing but many people say that it actually is discriminating. The new law is definitely going to change our lives.