DUI Law03

The Intoxilyzer breath alcohol tester at the Weber County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

Police made a smattering of DUI arrests over the first weekend of enforcing Utah’s tougher new drunken driving law, including one within the lower .05 percent blood alcohol limit.

Statewide, the Utah Highway Patrol reported Wednesday it arrested 29 people for DUI from Dec. 30 — the day the new standard took force — through Jan. 1. That compared to 46 DUI arrests over the same period the year before.

On its Twitter feed, the UHP report said one arrestee was found to have blood alcohol content of .059. The rest were above the old limit, .08.

Utah DUI arrests have been declining for years, according to a report by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. In 2008, police made 15,297 DUI arrests, compared with 10,762 in 2017.

And the rate — the number of arrests per 10,000 people — fell from 58 in 2009 to 35 in 2017.

“We would love to see this trend continue as the state moves forward with the new .05 limit,” the UHP’s Twitter message said.

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DUI Law04

A Vehicle Impound Report frequently used when there is a DUI incident at the Weber County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

According to jail booking records, eight DUI arrests were made in Weber County over the New Year’s weekend. Four of those arrests were by UHP troopers, the others by local police departments.

Davis County Jail records showed five DUI bookings.

When Utah’s new limit took effect Sunday, it became the strictest blood alcohol standard in the nation. Advocates have said they hope Utah’s change will be a trend-setter leading to tighter restrictions in many other states.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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