Utah Lowers Legal BAC to .05 - Reyes Browne Reilley Law Blog

While drunk driving accidents have been on the decline over the past three decades, many states across the country are starting to strengthening their regulations in the hopes of preventing the reported 11,000 people killed in such accidents nationwide.

Last December, Utah lowered their legal driving blood alcohol content limit to 0.05% in hopes of decreasing the amount of D.U.I arrests. At an average of 30 D.U.I arrests/day, Utah already holds the record for the lowest number of daily D.U.I. arrests across the country. Already recognized as the most heavily restricted state for alcohol distribution/consumption, this new legislation has angered many, including those from the American Beverage Institute, a trade group that is working with bars and restaurants against the new law. “Someone with a 0.05% blood alcohol level is not meaningfully impaired,” says the managing director, Sarah Longwall.

In contrast to Utah, Texas’ statistics are much more distressing — every 20 minutes a Texan is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related crash.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the allowed BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) is 0.08% for civilian and 0.04% for commercial drivers. Texas is a Zero Tolerance state, which means that it is illegal for any driver under the age of 21 to have any alcohol in their system whatsoever.

If you are charged with a D.U.I. in Texas, the punishments include:

  • A fine up to $2,000
  • Three days to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of license for up to a year
  • Annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 to retain driver’s license

These ramifications only apply for the first D.U.I. offense, and increase in severity with each additional drunk-driving conviction.

When the injured party is partially responsible for the accident because they were also driving negligently, this is known as comparative negligence. If you are more than 50% liable, you lose your right to compensation. Bars and restaurants can also be found liable for such accidents because of the Dram Shop Act, which encourages bar owners to serve their customers responsibly and to cut off those who are clearly intoxicated.

Regardless of which state laws you are following, you should still stay safe by doing the following:

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings while on the road
  • Before you drink, arrange for a designated sober driver to take you home
  • Download the Uber or Lyft app into your phone, or save the number of a local taxi service for safe transportation

If you are injured as the result of a negligent and intoxicated driver, reach out to The Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm. After more than 30 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced team of professional DFW car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our form online, or call 214-526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.

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