Pressure increases on Governor Herbert to veto .05 DUI bill

SALT LAKE CITY — Pressure is increasing on Governor Gary Herbert to veto the bill that lowers the DUI level to .05.

In a pair of newspaper ads today, the American Beverage Institute mocked the state for the legislature’s passage of the bill, including one ad that “thanked” Utah from neighboring Colorado.

Read the ads here:

“We all want to save lives on our roadways, but lowering the legal limit in Utah won’t reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” said ABI’s Sarah Longwell in a prepared statement. “Instead the move will damage the state’s hospitality and tourism industry, while also targeting responsible social drinkers. If we want to save lives we have to focus on the real problem and not be distracted by feel-good legislation that criminalizes perfectly responsible behavior.”

A number of groups are lobbying Governor Gary Herbert to veto the bill, which would make Utah’s DUI blood alcohol concentration level the lowest in the United States (it currently is .08 now). The Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association, which backed another bill that tore down “Zion Curtains” (but added a buffer zone, among other things), has a noon rally on Friday at the Utah State Capitol. Representatives of Utah’s multi-billion dollar ski industry are also said to be pushing the governor to veto the .05 bill.

While House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, told FOX 13 he does not support the .05 bill (that ultimately passed the legislature), Governor Gary Herbert suggested in an interview last week he was leaning toward signing it into law.

The governor has 20 days from the Utah State Legislature’s adjournment to review bills and then sign them into law, veto them or allow them to pass into law without his signature.