Ski Utah CEO Lobbying To Tweak Strict New DUI Law (Lowered BAC .08% to .05%)

Ski Utah CEO Lobbying To Tweak Strict New DUI Law (Lowered BAC .08% to .05%)


Ski Utah CEO Lobbying To Tweak Strict New DUI Law (Lowered BAC .08% to .05%)


“Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.”

Utah ski officials are concerned the state’s strict new DUI law that goes into effect in 2018 will keep potential skiers and snowboarders away from resorts by “Adding to the long-held stigma that visitors can’t have fun in Utah.”

The Washington Post reports Utah state lawmakers voted to lower Utah’s blood alcohol limit for most drivers to .05% from .08% in a move they think will save lives. The predominantly Mormon state will have the strictest drunken driving threshold in the country which has triggered backlash from tourism groups. The law will take effect on Dec. 30, 2018.

CEO of Ski Utah, Nathan Rafferty, said the ski industry wants to make Utah’s roads safe but penalizing someone for driving after having one or two glasses of wine misses the mark. Rafferty will lobby state legislators this year to tweak the law so that that it doesn’t penalize lower-level DUIs the same as higher levels:

“It just underscores that element that we’re working hard to dispense with, which is that Utah is a tough place to have fun. It’s one step forward and two steps back.”

The American Beverage Institute ran full-page ads in Salt Lake City’s two daily newspapers and USA Today, featuring a fake mug shot under a large headline reading, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.” 

The DC based organization claims that drivers 65 and older are more impaired than a driver with a blood-alcohol content of .05 percent. Here is an ad they ran: 

We will update this story as the December 30th enactment date approaches.

***Drunk driving is a real problem in sleepy mountain towns (remoteness doesn’t equal justification) and while you may think .05% is an excessively low BAC threshold, driving at any level of impairment is horribly selfish, irresponsible, and dangerous to innocent people.  No one gives a shit if you get hammered at the bar but you turn into the biggest douche in the county if you decide to drive home.  Please exercise common sense and leave the damn car at the bar.  Don’t be a douche. 

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