To drive after drinking or not to drive after drinking; it’s not a trick question, and there is only one answer. There is no safe amount of alcohol you can drink before you drive. The problem is that not many people actually believe that, and that might be why one Utah lawmaker is trying to fight against drunk driving by pushing for a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the state.
Representative Norm Thurston is bringing a new bill to the 2017 Utah General Session, and it will ask the state to lower the legal BAC to .05. Right now all states follow a .08 BAC as the legal limit at which you can be charged with drunk driving.
Utah isn’t the first to bring up the idea of lowering the legal limit. For four years the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all states lower the legal BAC to .05 or even lower, but Utah is the first state to come on board with this idea.
When it comes to driving, what’s the difference between .05 and .08? According to data cited by the NTSB when making their case, someone with a BAC between .05 and .08 are three times more likely to crash than someone with no alcohol in their blood at all. They believe that if the BAC is lower, people will be less likely to weigh the pros and cons of drinking and driving. They will just know not to drive, and if they don’t drive, they’re not going to crash.
Whether the bill lives or dies in the Utah General Session is anyone’s guess, but the fact that the representative is bringing it forward could be a sign of things to come in the United States. It’s high time to think beyond the current laws and implement change that works, and with a lower BAC, ignition interlocks, and a stiff penalties for drunk drivers, this could be the end the of the road for drunk driving.