We know Utah has a pioneering background, and they are living up this reputation by being the first state in the nation to lower the DUI BAC level to 0.05%. This is 0.03% below the national legal limit. Critics have argued that passing such a law will not actually improve impaired driving or roadway safety and that the tourism and hospitality industries will be negatively affected. Even so, in 2019, the law went into effect, and we see the lower BAC limit regularly enforced in the communities of Park City, Salt Lake City, Provo, and Heber City, Utah.
This means that if citizens complete a blood alcohol test, whether that’s a chemical test or a breath test, they can be charged for DUI if they’re at a relatively low blood alcohol concentration of .05%. Depending on the drinker’s body weight, sex, and other various factors, this could mean their intoxication level could be over the legal limit in Utah after consuming 1 to 3 standard alcoholic drinks. A standard drink is considered to have 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. Depending on what you’re drinking, the blood alcohol level of each drink will determine a person’s BAC, which means a standard drink could be a 12oz beer at 5% alcohol or a 1.5oz shot at 40% alcohol. You can use a BAC calculator to see how many drinks put you at increased risk of alcohol intoxication. There is a general BAC range with associated effects at each increasing level of alcohol absorption. Utah may have fought for this lower range because you can begin feeling minor impairment after drinking alcohol that only causes your BAC level to rise to 0.04%. Nationally, a level of 0.08% is considered drunk driving, and even operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.07% is considered extremely dangerous. Any alcohol consumption that raises your blood alcohol level above .20% is considered extremely dangerous to your health, and alcohol poisoning can occur when the blood alcohol concentration in your body reaches .25% or higher. Binge drinking is when a person consistently drinks enough to raise their blood alcohol concentration level to 0.08% or higher.
The penalties for having a breath alcohol or blood alcohol content of 0.05% are the same for levels of .10%, .15%, or even .20% and above! These penalties could include two days of jail or possible community work service, an assessment and treatment program, probation, and loss of license from 120 days to 3 years, depending on your prior criminal history. That is why it is crucial to contact a DUI law defense attorney immediately after being charged with DUI, even if your breath or blood alcohol content was as low as .05 (most people will not feel “drunk” at this level).
Contact Bangerter Law Firm immediately after being arrested for DUI for a free consultation: (385) 202-5332