On December 30, 2018, Utah will become the state with the strictest drunk driving laws after successfully passing legislation that reduced the drinking level from .08% BAC to .05% BAC. H.B. 155 was passed despite some resistance and has seen some delays. For the past 18 months, the State has been gearing up to start enforcement of the new law. Studies show that reducing the drinking limit to .05% could significantly lower the number of fatal alcohol crashes. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, lowering the blood alcohol level could see as much as an 11% decrease in the number of fatal alcohol-related crashes.
Other states have considered reducing the legal alcohol limit as well including Hawaii and Texas. The concept is not a novel one as many other industrialized nations have a lower blood alcohol limit including Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and South Africa. Some countries have even adopted a zero-tolerance policy including Armenia, Jordan, Morocco and Romania. The World Health Organization keeps an updated record of Legal BAC Limits by country. As the new law is implemented in Utah, it will be interesting to see if any other states jump on board and submit legislation for reducing their drinking level as well.