The following letter to the editor was originally published by the Deseret News on January 4, 2021:
We couldn’t agree more with the December 29th editorial, “Utah’s 0.05% DUI law turns 2, and it’s time other states follow suit.” The shameful scare tactics of certain members of the alcohol and hospitality industry about the gloom and doom this law would foist upon tourism unsurprisingly have rung hollow. At a time when our Nation is grappling with the effects of a pandemic, lawmakers should swiftly enact proven solutions to make our roads safer, such as .05% BAC laws, and keep people out of emergency rooms. Despite decades of advocacy, enforcement efforts and education, approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. still involve drunk drivers. If all states lowered the BAC limit while driving to .05% or less, the U.S. could see an over 11% decline in fatal alcohol-involved crashes, saving 1,790 lives annually. This change is critical to reverse a trend seen in recent years, where the number of deaths and injuries caused by drinking and driving has remained fairly static. It’s time for the industry to get behind this and other verified and vital ways to reduce impaired driving. Saving lives really is the most “hospitable” action they could take.
Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Falls Church, VA
Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, Co-Founder, 05 Saves Lives Coalition and former National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman