Utah adopts country’s toughest drunken driving standard

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Alcohol handcuffs and car keys.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday signed into law a new standard for drunken driving that is the strictest in the nation.

The new law sets the blood alcohol level at 0.05 percent as the standard for impairment, report the Washington Post and the Salt Lake Tribune. The standard is 0.08 percent in all other states.

To stay under the legal limit, a 160-pound man can consume no more than two drinks in an hour on an empty stomach, the Washington Post explains.

Herbert said at a news conference that he was signing the bill with “some caveats” and he believed some improvements are needed before the bill takes effect at the end of 2018. One idea, he said, is to impose lesser penalties for blood alcohol levels between 0.05 and 0.08, according to the Salt Lake Tribune report.

Herbert said more than 100 countries have a blood alcohol standard of 0.05. Those countries haven’t suffered a drop in tourism as a result of their standard, and neither will Utah, he said.

“Where would you want to come and visit?” he asked. “You want to come to a place that’s very safe and hospitable. That’s what Utah is.”




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