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Utah lawmakers, thankfully, have responded favorably in recent years to legislative efforts to crack down on drunken driving. Measurable progress has been made. Yet, there is more to do and this year, they have opportunity to take another step forward in the ongoing battle. It comes in the form of Senate Bill 42.
Specifically, the measure targets repeat offenders. A person who is convicted of an initial DUI would be registered as an “alcohol-restricted driver” with the state driver’s license division. For two years, that person would not be allowed to drive with any “measurable or detectable” amount of alcohol in their system. The .08 standard allowed others would not apply to them. If they do drink and drive, and they’re caught, they would be subject to being charged with a class B misdemeanor and given a ten-year alcohol restrictive license. A third offense would mean a lifetime ban on having any detectable alcohol in their system while driving.
KSL supports this zero-tolerance approach for repeat offenders, since statistics suggest they are more likely to cause death or injury crashes than those committing a first offense. In our view, Senate Bill 42 provides a significant law enforcement tool, while sending a clear-cut message to those who make the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol.