Drug-Related Fatal Car Crashes In Utah Continue Upward Trend

November 24, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – According to a new state report, the number of accidents that happened due to drugged driving in 2016 were higher than the past year, but the number of deaths due to drunk driving were less as compared to the previous year in Utah.

The “15th Annual DUI Report to the Utah Legislature” showed that the number of individuals who died due to drunk driving was 108. The data for the report was gathered by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

A 7% increase was seen in the number of accidents that occurred due to intoxicated driving, whether the intoxicant was taken due to addiction or over-the-counter drugs. In 2015, the number of accidents was recorded at 67, which increased to 72 in 2016. Utah had the highest number of drugged driving linked accidents in the past 10 years.

According to the director of the Utah Substance Abuse Advisory Council, Mary Lou Emerson, the commonly consumed drugs included marijuana, methamphetamine, depressants and narcotics. It is not necessary for the driver to have consumed the drug prior to getting behind the wheel because the drugs remain in the human system for many hours.

The report also showed that the number of deaths that occurred due to individuals driving with a BAC level above the legal limit decreased from 37 to 36. Alcohol was the reason of almost 13% of all the deadly crashes.

A bill introduced to lower the BAC level from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent was signed this year. The implementation of the bill on 30th of December 2018 will make Utah the state with the lowest BAC level.

There are people who are not in favor of the bill, like the American Beverage Institute and the local hospitality industry, who are trying to overturn the law. Other than some minor changes in the bill, the BAC level limit will not be changed and it will be kept lowest as it is.

Some findings of the DUI report include:

  • 13% increase in drugged driving accidents as the number rose from 701 in 2015 to 792 in 2016.
  • 12% individuals, who were taken into custody for DUI were under the legal age allowed for driving with BAC level 0.08%.
  • The highest BAC level with which an impaired driver was taken into custody was 0.42%.
  • 81% of motorists taken into custody for DUI had a BAC level limit of 0.08% or more.
  • The number of individuals taken into custody for DUI was 10,762, which was 7 more individuals from the previous year.

News Source: www.KSL.com

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Court Koehler

About the Author

Court practices all types of criminal and bankruptcy law, however, he has focused his practice on DUI defense, drug possession, record expungement, and Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy claims.
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