Monday, January 21, 2019

Utah is Now .05 DUI is New York Next?

Utah is now .05 is New York far behind?

At the end of 2018 Utah lowered it's DUI BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to .05. They now have the lowest DUI alcohol law in the country. This is the second time Utah was first in lowering it's limit for DUI. In 1983 Utah went from .10 BAC to .08 BAC, leading the nation and perhaps heralding the new prohibition on alcohol use.

Is .05 BAC DUI too low to prove impairment?
Is having a .05 BAC mean you are now guilty of DUI regardless of how you walk, talk, and act?
Is .05 BAC going to change the way people drink when not at home?

Utah is a Mormon state and that's why they are so conservative

I've been to beautiful Salt Lake City and was surprised by a great many things. It's clean, it's neat, but they also have a a completely dry Sunday. They have a new slogan in Utah:
"Come for vacation, leave on Probation."
I went looking for some booze on that Sunday, and was sorely disappointed. Utah is one of 18 alcohol control states. The state government controls the sale of wine, stronger beers, and liquor. Yes, no alcohol is sold in the state run liquor stores on Sundays. Utah law makes it an automatic sign of guilt with a BAC level of .05. Maybe it's because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints advises it's members to abstain from alcohol use. Hell, they have what's called Zion curtains in restaurants so the bartenders preparing drinks are shielded from view by the more religious patrons.

Can You Be .05 BAC DUI with Only Two Drinks?

Utah is on trend with lowering the BAC for a DUI as the country looks for ways to further regulate impaired driving. That also means it takes far less booze to be a certified "per se" DUI. The average man or woman will only need 2 drinks to reach a .04 BAC level. In some people, factors such as being smaller, or weighing less, or having a slow metabolism, or not eating, or having a genetic predisposition can bring their BAC way above .05 even with only two drinks.

Each drink is approximately .015 to .020 BAC for the average person. That's two shots, two beers, or even a few glasses of wine to get your blood alcohol beyond the legal limit.

If New York State Moves to a .05 BAC DWI Everything Has to Change

Currently a .08 BAC means you are "per se" DWI in New York. This means just having a .08 BAC level at or close to the time of driving is enough to be found guilty. The level alone without showing signs of impairment is all the proof they need to find you guilty of DWI.

Currently, .06 BAC is presumption of a DWAI (driving while ability impaired) in New York. Making a .05 DWI would mean that DWAI alcohol would need adjustment to .04 BAC or .03 BAC. That means less than two drinks would qualify and prove impaired driving.

The sheer number of people who regularly drive with that BAC level is staggering. Making many New Yorkers guilty of impaired driving after every dinner or lunch date. After all how many people regularly have a few drinks with their meals.

Newman and Cyr is a boutique law firm focusing on Traffic, Criminal, and DWI and DWAI drug defense in Upstate New York. If you would like a free consultation concerning your charges either call, email, or fill out the form on our website.


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