Utah Lowers Its BAC to 0.05—Should Mississippi Follow?

JACKSON, Mississippi. On December 30, a Utah law will go into effect that will officially lower the state’s legal drunk driving threshold from 0.08 to 0.05. Utah was the first state to lower its BAC from 0.10 to 0.08 in 1983, and the move has many wondering whether other states will soon follow suit in lowering their thresholds to 0.05. After Utah lowered its threshold for drunk driving in 1983, other states followed suit. Now, all states have set their legal limit to 0.08. Will other states like Mississippi soon lower their BACs?

The change comes recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the journal, Addiction, most drivers show signs of impairment when their BAC reaches 0.05. However, by lowering the legal limit, Utah is significantly lowering how much individuals can drink. According to NPR, a man weighing 180 pounds would only need to drink about 2 beverages to reach the legal limit. QZ reports that a 100-pound woman would reach the legal limit after just one drink. Utah’s change to the legal limit means that after even casually drinking, individuals can put themselves at risk of being charged with drunk driving should they choose to get behind the wheel.

While Mississippi will continue to observe 0.08 as the legal threshold for drunk driving, there are good reasons to use Utah’s guidelines when drinking. Any drinking can impact your judgement behind the wheel. Even one drink can impact your reaction time and your ability to drive safely. Drinking can be considered a factor when determining negligence after a car accident. Even if you don’t exceed the legal threshold, you could still be found responsible for a crash in civil court if you were drinking before driving. Being found negligent for a crash can result in your having to pay for victims’ medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage after a crash. Victims may be entitled to seek damages from an individual whose drunk driving resulted in a crash.

Utah’s new drunk driving law comes just in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations. It offers a reminder to all to plan before you head out to ring in the new year. Don’t drink and drive. If you plan to go out, have a way to get home already in place. Book a rideshare, call a cab, or have a designated driver.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident and suspect that the other driver might have been drinking, it is important to call the police and make a report. The police can administer tests and evaluate the scene of a crash. Finally, if you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving accident, consider speaking to Malouf & Malouf, a car accident attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. Our firm can review the details of your case, investigate the causes of your accident, and fight to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. Visit us at https://malouflaw.com/ to learn more, today.

Malouf & Malouf, PLLC 501 E Capitol St. Jackson, MS 39201 Phone Number: (601) 522-2222

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Categories: Distracted Driving