Posted by David Welch | Mar 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Well, here we go! This last week the legislature in Utah sent Governor Gary Hebert a bill intended to lower Utah's legal limit for drunk driving to .05% down from .08%. The Governor has stated he supports the bill and is expected to sign it, which will make Utah's limit the lowest in the United States.

This legislation was opposed by groups who point out that 77% of the state's alcohol related traffic fatalities occur in cases where the driver's levels were .15% or more. They point out, arguably correctly, that the new law will now criminalize responsible drinking and do nothing to target the cause of most alcohol related traffic deaths.

Restaurants and other businesses expect the new law to have a negative impact on business in that a reduction in drinking will result in a reduction in the sale of food. They also fear that patrons of any establishment serving alcohol will be targets of law enforcement as they leaves. They also fear a drop in tourism in a state viewed by some as already challenged.

“So what's the problem in making our roads safer” some may claim? Not mentioned by proponents of the new law are the inherent inaccuracies in alcohol testing methods, both breath and blood. Even the manufacturers of breath testing devices will admit their machines have a margin of error. Alcohol also affects individuals differently, and clearly not all people will be impaired at a .05% level despite what lawmakers may assert. As a result it is likely that law abiding, responsible citizens will be caught in this dragnet, arrested, charged and convicted with potentially life changing consequences.

Could this .05% trend be enacted nationwide? If we look at the history of DUI laws it is clearly possible. The limit in the past nationwide was .15%. Due to the lobbying of anti-alcohol groups in the 1970's, the limit was eventually lowered to .10%. In recent years it has been lowered further to .08%. It seems clear as citizens that our best response to this government action is to become extremely wary of any situation involving consuming alcohol and driving.


About the Author

David Welch

First and foremost, Attorney David Welch is an experienced litigator. With over two decades of experience handling hundreds of cases, he prides himself on his zealous representation of his clients. While most cases do not proceed to trial, his record of success enables him fearlessly advocate through negotiations or, if necessary, jury trial. Attorney Welch received his Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University and his Juris Doctor from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law located in San Diego, California. Since 1995, he has developed an extensive background in criminal law as well as in civil litigation. He has handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from DUI and juvenile matters to domestic violence, white collar crimes, sex crimes and violent crimes. His clients have included professionals such as nurses, doctors, teachers, military personnel in all branches of the US Military. David A. Welch is licensed to practice law in the State of California as well as the United States District Court. He has established a strong presence throughout Southern California Courts. Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice: California State Bar, 1995 American Bar Association, 1995 California Courts (Includes California Superior, Appeals and Supreme Courts), 1995 U.S. District Court, 1996 Professional & Bar Association Memberships State Bar of California DUI Defense Lawyers Association National College of DUI Defense Member Since: 2008 Litigation Percentage 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation Civil Litigation Personal Injury Corporate Law Criminal Defense


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