On December 30 , 2018, Utah became the strictest state in the country on blood alcohol content. The state legislature reduced the legal limit from 0.08 to 0.05. This is something that everyone should take notice of because Utah was also the first state to lower its limit from 0.10 to 0.08 in 1983. Kentucky followed suit 17 years later in 2000. Utah seems to be the leader in changes to DUI laws and the question becomes whether other states will follow suit.

The 0.03 reduction is not small in its effect in calculating how much alcohol is necessary to reach the 0.05 “per se” DUI level. According to the American Beverage Institute, a 180 lb. man reaches a 0.08 after 4 regular drinks and would be above a 0.05 at 2 and a half drinks. A 160 lb. woman is at a 0.08 around 2 and a half drinks and a 0.05 at around 1 and a half drinks.

Kentucky drivers should keep themselves aware of any proposed legislation which changes the “per se” legal limit. DUI laws have been changing dramatically recently and new bills continue to be drafted. Criminal lawyers are tasked with keeping up to date with an ever-changing landscape. All of us should be aware of the prosed legal limits and decide where we believe the appropriate line should be drawn for blood alcohol level. It may not be long before Kentucky follows Utah’s lead. If you are charged with driving under the influence, you should contact an attorney to review your case and protect your freedom and driving privileges.