38 people were arrested in January under Utah’s new .05 DUI law

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Car and bus taillights and headlights draw long red and white lights during evening traffic along State Street on Jan. 10.

The Utah Department of Public Safety says it has arrested 38 people under Utah’s .05 DUI law, FOX 13 reports.

In January, the first month the new law was implemented, 844 were arrested statewide; of those, 38 were arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.079.

  • 7 were under 21 years old, on par with previous data.

  • 24 were restricted alcohol drivers, meaning they previously have been arrested for driving under the influence.

  • 2 had prescription or illegal drugs in their system, in addition to the alcohol.

  • 1 refused a field sobriety test or chemical draw, and officers had to issue a warrant that came back positive.

Sgt. Nicholas Street of the Utah Highway Patrol told FOX 13 that the numbers showed troopers made arrests based on impairment, which is the legal standard for pulling someone over.

“We’re happy to see troopers still making arrests based on impairment,” he said.

Utah has the toughest anti-drunken driving law in the nation — most other states put the limit at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content, compared to Utah’s 0.05.

“It was never about the arrests. I’m far more interested in the reduction in crashes, injuries and deaths,” said Rep. Norm Thurston, who sponsored the 0.05 DUI law.

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