If Utah goes to .05, defense lawyer says 'one drink' could lead to DUI


    If Utah goes to .05, defense lawyer says 'one drink' could lead to DUI (Photo: KUTV)

    (KUTV) Lawyer David Rosenbloom said he's handled more than a 1,000 DUI cases, and if the governor signs a bill lowering Utah's blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05, he could be in line for new crop of clients.

    But Rosenbloom said the bill, that passed the legislature just this week, is bad policy for the state.

    "If you have one drink, and drive within the hour, you're going to be over .05," he said. "You'd have to be crazy under this law to have anything to drink and drive."

    The attorney said the measure goes after "little fish," people who have a drink or two and get behind the wheel, but does little to curb actions of "big fish" -- reckless drivers who drink to excess, and may have a blood alcohol level three or four times the limit.

    Rosenbloom said Gov. Herbert should veto the bill, and the state should launch tougher restrictions against the "big fish," requiring interlock devices on cars of some of the worst DUI offenders for ten years.

    Others have also called for a veto -- the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association, which said it "abhors drunk driving" and Ski Utah.

    The governor, meantime is said to be leaning towards supporting the measure.

    In interviews, he said one out of four deaths on Utah highways is "related to alcohol."

    2News asked him, "What do you say to tourist to come to Utah and get nicked with a DUI for a .051?"

    "Well you're speculating that will happen," he replied. "I'm not sure that's going to follow."

    The governor also cast .05 as hardly a burden.

    "This allows for the typical male to have three drinks of wine with their supper and be okay, a female, maybe two glasses of wine," said Herbert.

    But Rosenbloom said uncorking the bottle would run the risk of a DUI.

    "A glass of wine with dinner would be too much of a chance," he said, "unless you have money to burn." He said a DUI in Utah can cost the accused close to $10,000.

    Federal regulators have recommended states adopt the .05 measure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 28 people in the country die every day in alcohol-related crashes.

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