0.05% BAC -- It's The Law!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bulletproof, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof All-Jazzfanz First Team! Contributor 2018 Award Winner

    4,741
    2,915
    253
    Feb 17, 2017
    So, first a little PSA for all of us in Utah and those who might visit Utah.

    OUR DUI LIMIT IS 0.05% BAC

    What it takes to get to that limit has been overblown by a bit. If you go out to eat and are the weight of an average man you could safely have two 5%abv beers, or two glasses of wine, or two regular strength ****tails over the course of a meal (more than 1hr) and almost certainly be under that limit. So, have that beer or glass of wine with dinner. If you're gonna have more than one, and if that was the plan going in, then you ought to have had a plan for transportation anyway. That's a good standard to have and I have no problem with Utah making clear that drinking multiple drinks and driving is unacceptable.

    We have ample UBER, LYFT and taxi service to get you where you need to go safely. Our public transportation is not completely adequate. In limited circumstances, like if you're staying in the downtown area and are out during the day, and you specifically plan your destination based on public transport then it might work for you. Otherwise, have a designated (non-drinking) driver or use one of the above mentioned services.

    My only real complaint is that our DUI punishments are not tiered. I think 0.05% to 0.08%BAC should be a lesser charge, especially on a first offense, than your standard DUI. But it's not. Our DUI punishments have not changed at all, just the BAC limit. I also think 0.14%BAC punishments should be higher than they are. If you are above 0.14%BAC you were drinking with purpose. Having a drink or two per hour will not get you there. So there is no way you thought maybe you were under the limit, you just decided to drive even though you are unquestionably intoxicated and a significant danger to others.

    Our legislators said in response to being the first state to go to 0.05% BAC that first, the new limit was a ways off (it's here now) so we can work out the finer details before it goes into effect. They also said, in response to the criticism that Utah was once again singling ourselves out as having weird alcohol laws, that while we were the first there would surely be other states to enact that standard before our law went into effect. None have. We're out here on our own, being the state with the weird alcohol laws. That's just who we are.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    colton and fishonjazz like this.

  2. colton

    colton All Around Nice Guy Staff Member

    11,533
    1,709
    233
    May 25, 2010
    Typo--you meant "tiered". And thanks for the perspective. As a non-drinker I really have little idea what the difference is between those different levels.
     
  3. Alfalfa

    Alfalfa Well-Known Member

    1,645
    1,158
    203
    Oct 10, 2018
    Goodness. I'm pretty sure if I drank 4 beers in one hour I'd smash into the nearest light post. I'm very lightweight (beer wise, not fat wise).
     
  4. gandalfe

    gandalfe Well-Known Member

    2,057
    529
    163
    May 29, 2010
    The problem with graphic chart is that is too simplistic to be useful. It's only valid for men of average weight, which I suspect they are figuring is about 160 lbs.

    This is much more useful, although it doesn't have pretty bottles:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Bulletproof, colton and Alfalfa like this.
  5. Alfalfa

    Alfalfa Well-Known Member

    1,645
    1,158
    203
    Oct 10, 2018
    There's also the question of tolerance. An occasional drinker will typically get a lot more intoxicated than a seasoned one, given the same number of drinks.
     
    idestroyedthetoilet likes this.
  6. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof All-Jazzfanz First Team! Contributor 2018 Award Winner

    4,741
    2,915
    253
    Feb 17, 2017
    Thanks, fixed.
     
    colton likes this.
  7. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof All-Jazzfanz First Team! Contributor 2018 Award Winner

    4,741
    2,915
    253
    Feb 17, 2017
    I'd say up to around 0.08% most people can function with very little impairment. Talking to them you might not even realize they've been drinking. I believe reaction time suffers a little, but reaction time varies significantly more from one person to the next than it does for a person who hasn't had a drink compared to the same person at 0.08%BAC. We certainly don't arrest people just because they naturally have poor reaction time. And a U of U study found a similar degree of impairment between a person talking on a cell phone and a person with a 0.14% BAC. And that's talking, not reading texts of fiddling around with menus and the like. Having a conversation with another passenger in a car also reduces a person's reaction time.

    So obviously we need to have laws about drinking and driving. People who are very intoxicated pose a very serious risk. And to tolerate up to 0.1%BAC might very likely make a person at 0.18%BAC think they are okay to drive. Setting the limit low makes it clear that if you are drinking you shouldn't be driving. That's a fine standard to set.

    I think we now need to tackle phone use while driving. DUIs and DUI related accidents are down. Hopefully they will continue to fall. I think we need penalties just as severe for using your phone while driving as we have for drinking and driving. All the people who feel like the penalties for drinking and driving are not serious enough might think again if they have to spend a night in jail, pay well over $1000 in fines, get their license suspended, do community service, go to a victim thing where a person who lost a loved one to texting and driving explains the devastation they've suffered, carry SR22 car insurance for years and years, and go to phone addiction group sessions that will likely only be scheduled during regular working hours.
     
  8. bigb

    bigb Free at last!!! Contributor

    8,635
    872
    203
    May 26, 2010
    The fact that it’s legal to hold a phone to your head while driving is mind boggling. With the advancements and prices of Bluetooth technology, there is zero reason for this.
     
    idestroyedthetoilet likes this.
  9. Rubashov

    Rubashov Well-Known Member

    4,996
    1,977
    178
    Dec 24, 2016
    Its been .05 here for over 20 years maybe 30, you'd be surprised how much you can drink and still be under.
     
  10. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof All-Jazzfanz First Team! Contributor 2018 Award Winner

    4,741
    2,915
    253
    Feb 17, 2017
    Is the legal consequence the same for 0.05% BAC and 0.25% BAC?

    Because it is here.
     
  11. Rubashov

    Rubashov Well-Known Member

    4,996
    1,977
    178
    Dec 24, 2016
    i think it 9 to 12 months suspension between .05 and .08, then it varies after that. Higher the reading longer the suspension.
     
  12. JazzGal

    JazzGal Well-Known Member Contributor

    2,476
    814
    168
    May 26, 2010
    If we were really trying to punish those who cause the most fatalities and injuries on the roads, the punishment for speeding should be much higher than DUI. But that would put most of us at risk for large fines, so it would never happen in the name of self-interest.

    The .05 is a feel-good law for non-drinkers. It makes them feel safer, but even the police say it won't likely increase arrests because impairment is the criteria, not blood alcohol level. Those causing problems on the roads are not the ones with a .05 to .07 level. You note that the news never says so-and-so who caused this crash had a .08 level. It is always much higher.


    Sent from my moto z3 using JazzFanz mobile app
     
  13. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof All-Jazzfanz First Team! Contributor 2018 Award Winner

    4,741
    2,915
    253
    Feb 17, 2017
    Now don't you try to infringe on my right to speed. There's nothing I love more than driving "quickly."

    I just can't drive 55.
     
  14. gandalfe

    gandalfe Well-Known Member

    2,057
    529
    163
    May 29, 2010
     
  15. idestroyedthetoilet

    idestroyedthetoilet Well-Known Member

    1,372
    599
    133
    Apr 20, 2018
    Definitely. I've told the story before about how I slept it off for 8 hours, took an hour to check out of a hotel, drove over 100 miles, got gas and still blew .167 into my buddy's breathalyzer.

    My friend: WTF? How the hell? Blow again (similar reslult). How much did you drink today?

    Me: None.

    Friend: I thought you were driving just fine, better than on the way down (I was having withdrawals then).

    Nobody would have been the wiser and I didnt feel the slightest bit impaired. I doubt an officer would have given me field sobriety if i got pulled over. Like GF's suggestion that tiered blood content should come into consideration, I think a trained police officer's testimony on level of impairment should matter. The hardliners disagree as this could easily be a slippery slope. "Well, I'm a tiny bit buzzed but since .07 is a slap on the wrist and .13 isn't getting me manslaughter then I can chance it".
     
  16. idestroyedthetoilet

    idestroyedthetoilet Well-Known Member

    1,372
    599
    133
    Apr 20, 2018
    It should also be pointed out that law enforcement has recently made it clear that they are still going on impairment. So, you have to fail field sobriety testing before .05 even matters. And, if you fail FS and blow below .05 then you are still going to jail.
     
    Bulletproof likes this.
  17. idestroyedthetoilet

    idestroyedthetoilet Well-Known Member

    1,372
    599
    133
    Apr 20, 2018
    Our driving regulations and punishments are a joke. Take a class few take seriously given by the HS PE coach, drive on range for 1/2 half an hour, and about 15 minutes on road with coach sitting next to you and you've proven competent and responsible enough to wield a deadly weapon. I realize it is harder today, but so what if you have to drive 40 hours or whatever with your guardian? If they are ****** drivers then you will likely learn ****** habits.

    I think punishment for driving stupid should be harsh. If you cant show the wherewithal to perform simple tasks then how can you be trusted in more dangerous situations? Block an intersection or approach? 3 days in jail. Two left turn lanes, you are in the right hand side and can't negotiate the corner without going into the inside turning lane's space? 3 days. Play fast lane police? A week on second offense and a month on your third. Can't make a right turn without the stoplight turning green and God sending you an invitation? Take the night to think about it. Have Idaho plates? Get the equivalent of a CDL endorsement or stay out of Utah.

    I'm dead serious. I'm amazed at just how stupid and oblivious people wielding deadly weapons are. If you can't perform the small tasks necessary for safe and efficient driving then you shouldn't be allowed to drive.
     
    Ostertag>Duncan likes this.
  18. infection

    infection Well-Known Member Staff Member 2018 Award Winner

    9,388
    5,999
    378
    May 27, 2010
    I think that's yet to be determined. People obviously don't know their BAL, so that part is irrelevant. The question is, is if people knowing their are more stringent laws will shift the outliers and heavy hitters to lower levels (on average) as deterring more people from driving after drinking. I don't know if it will or not, but I don't think looking at the data of people from 0.05-0.08 to determine conclusions is really the target, if that's what we're looking at.
     
  19. mellow

    mellow Well-Known Member

    11,305
    2,061
    263
    May 27, 2010
    Non-drinker here, but many in my extended family drink. I am all for getting impaired drivers off the roads and for serious consequences for people who harm others.

    My first reaction is to say no to a tiered system. I think the tiered system could have the unintended consequence of increasing the number of impaired drivers. If a guy runs the risk analysis and decides he is only a little buzzed so the combined risk of him getting pulled over and blowing more than an 0.08 weighed against a possible 6-month suspension might seem an acceptable alternative to walking or paying $50 for an uber.

    I have heard the argument that 0.05 does not cause enough impairment for Police to identify. If that is true I am concerned about the new threshold because of potential intrusions into civil liberties and personal freedoms. I have a strong suspicion and dislike of random checkpoints, but this law could be used to argue for the expansion of the practice. Afterall, if they catch more drunk drivers they can appeal to public to endure more random check points to look for more 'bad guys'.
     
  20. colton

    colton All Around Nice Guy Staff Member

    11,533
    1,709
    233
    May 25, 2010
    Maryland, where I got my license, had a two tiered system. Seemed to work pretty well; I would vote for something like that for Utah.
     
    fishonjazz likes this.

Share This Page