OUR VIEW: Think before you drink

Published on Monday, 31 December 2018 18:55
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Just in time for the New Year and all the celebrating that will usher in 2019; one state is leading the nation when it comes to cracking down on drunken driving.

According to the Associated Press, Utah lowered its DUI threshold from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

The DUI rate in most states. including Connecticut, is 0.08.

The change was easily approved in 2017 by the Utah Legislature, which is mostly Mormon and mostly Republican, and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, also a Republican and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The religion teaches its members to abstain from drinking alcohol, the AP reported.

Those opposed to the measure cite the possible negative impact on tourism and the food and beverage industry. The time of the new law - the day before New Year’s Eve - also didn’t sit well with opponents.

The new 0.05 alcohol level means that an average size man could be over the legal limit after consuming two beers in one hour; while an average size woman could be deemed drunk after having only one drink, the AP noted.

According to the CDC, 1,039 people died in drunken driving accidents in Connecticut between 2003 and 2012. About one in three fatal accidents in the U.S. each year are alcohol related.

We believe any measure that will prevent intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel is a good thing.

Not only do drunken drivers endanger themselves, they are a danger to others on the road as well.

And a stricter drunken driving law doesn’t mean that those who enjoy celebrating over the holidays by having a beer or a couple of cocktails have to abstain.

Those who want to party can make plans in advance to sleep it off at the party-host’s house, or by getting a room or by taking public transportation. A designated, sober driver is a good plan as is calling a taxi or getting a ride home with Uber or Lyft.

While no one welcomes the idea of living in a “nanny state,” sometimes, enacting tougher laws are beneficial.

It will be interesting to see if other states like Connecticut follow Utah’s lead.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Monday, 31 December 2018 18:55. Updated: Monday, 31 December 2018 18:57.