New Utah Law Will Put More People into Alcohol Educational Classes

by: Mike Miller

It just so happens I just wrote about how I hate seeing guilty people escape through loopholes. That blog entry was about an Oklahoma court that was about to throw out numerous driving under the influence convictions based on the level of calibration of a Breathalyzer.

It appears there is a law enforcement official and state legislator in Utah who would agree with me. As reported in

Rep. Lee Perry, a Utah Highway Patrol lieutenant, doesn’t like it when drunken drivers use legal loopholes to escape conviction.

The Republican introduced a bill that would reword the state’s driving under the influence (DUI) law. Currently the law bans driving "under the influence" of alcohol or drugs "to a degree that renders a person incapable of safely operating a vehicle."

The trouble is that attorneys argue that if a person was pulled over for something besides erratic driving — such as a broken tail light — police don’t really know if the driver was intoxicated to a degree that made them "incapable of safely operating a vehicle."

His bill would reword the law so that it bans driving while "impaired to the slightest degree" by alcohol or drugs. How do you feel about that? A dose of cough syrup could trigger a positive alcohol result on a Breathalyzer.

I am in favor of stricter DUI laws, but I also encourage stronger efforts at education. More alcohol awareness classes and online DUI classes could seriously help prevent DUI behavior.