DUI Law01

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

SALT LAKE CITY — Out of the hundreds of DUI arrests since the .05 blood alcohol law took effect in January, only a handful had alcohol levels under .079, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

The department said in a press release Monday that there have been 844 DUI arrests in Utah since January, and only 38 of those charged had blood alcohol levels between .05 and .079.

Out of that number, 24 of the arrests involved alcohol-restricted drivers, meaning the individuals involved have had prior alcohol-related citations or arrests, or the state has placed restrictions on the individual’s driver’s license to stipulate the driver cannot have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.

The release also said that seven of the arrests were for drivers under the age of 21.

Two people arrested under the new DUI law also had “a combination of illegal and/or impairing prescription drugs in their systems in addition to alcohol,” the release said.

One person refused to participate in testing by a police officer. The release did not say what type of testing they were referring to, whether that was field sobriety testing, Breathalyzer testing, or blood testing.

A total of four arrests for those allegedly with BAC levels between .05 and .08 were made in January, the release says.

The new Utah law, which lowered the blood alcohol limit for DUI citations from .08 to .05, went into effect on Dec. 30, 2018.

Utah is the only state to have a BAC limit of .05 for drivers, which is the strictest drunk driving law in the country.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

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