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Utah Implements Strictest DUI Law in the Country

For Utah residents looking to spend their New Years Eve getting white girl wasted, a hangover just officially became the least of their concerns.

Because Sunday morning, a new law went into effect that drops the state’s blood alcohol content limit from 0.08 to 0.05—the strictest DUI standard in the entire country.

Happy New Year!

According to CNN, the new law also states that “thou shalt call an Uber” and anyone who “operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another” and has a “blood alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater” will have committed a criminal homicide, a felony.

There was minimal resistance in getting the change approved in 2017 by the Legislature, which primarily consists of Mormons and Republicans, and was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, who just so happens to be Republican and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Chicago Tribune reports. That religion is noted for teaching its members to abstain from drinking alcohol.

So why the crackdown exactly 24 hours before the biggest party of the year? Because Utah is sick and tired of DUIs—they’ve averaged 29.8 DUI arrests every day for the past five years—and expects other states to follow suit.

“We’ve recommended a 0.05 (blood alcohol content) to states since 2013, and we are happy that Utah is the first to actually complete this recommendation,” National Transportation Safety Board member Bella Dinh-Zarr said. “We think it will be a great incentive for other states and an encouragement to follow suit.”

Utah’s Department of Public Safety also added, “Despite decades of public campaigns and other efforts to discourage driving after drinking, survey and observational data show many people continue to do so.”

For the rest of the country, a 0.08 threshold for noncommercial drivers over the age of 21 remains standard. And this new law isn’t without its fair share of detractors.

The American Beverage Institute notes that a woman could reach the 0.05 limit after a single drink, while a 160-pound man could reach the limit after two. And is it fair to face criminal charges for only consuming one or two drinks?

“Hopefully, it deters people from thinking, ‘Maybe I’m OK. I’ve only had a few beers. I’m fine to drive,’” Matt Miller told KUTV, even though he doesn’t drive after drinking. “If it deters people from drinking and driving, I think it’s a good thing, honestly.”

Meanwhile, David Rosenbloom, a local lawyer who’s handled more than a 1,000 DUI cases, believes the change equates to bad policy for the state.

“If you have one drink, and drive within the hour,” he told KUTV, “you’re going to be over .05,” he said. “You’d have to be crazy under this law to have anything to drink and drive.”

Also of note is the fact that this new law comes at a time where drunken-driving fatalities in the U.S. have been on the decline. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they’ve decreased by a third over the past 30 years even though almost 29 people still die each day from alcohol-related crashes—which comprise roughly 28% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

So all that to say, if you’re looking to party in Utah for New Years Eve, that Lyft surcharge is a small price to pay for your safety and peace of mind.


Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

David Gross, H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek: The road is not wide. And at short distances a chicken is free to do whatever it wants.

DUI News

Man, Charged With DUI, Tells Cops He Peed His Pants to Lower BAC

Man, Charged With DUI in Riverside, Tells Cops He Peed His Pants to Lower BAC

A man charged with drunk driving allegedly tried — and failed — to pass a breathalyzer test by urinating on himself Saturday morning in west suburban Riverside.

About 7:35 a.m., someone called 911 after seeing a man asleep behind the wheel somewhere on Harlem Avenue, according to Riverside police. An officer soon found a vehicle traveling west on Ogden Avenue near Plainfield Road that matched the caller’s description.

The driver, 35-year-old Lisle resident Esau Lopez-Villafuerte, was weaving in and out of lanes and going the wrong way, leaving other vehicles scrambling to exit the roadway, police said. He was pulled over at First Avenue and Ogden Avenue.

The officer found Lopez-Villafuerte reeked of liquor and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, police said. He told the officer he did not have any alcohol to drink.

When asked to hand over his driver’s license, Lopez-Villafuerte showed the officer a Chase debit card instead, police said. Then he failed a field sobriety test and was arrested.

At the station, the officer realized Lopez-Villafuerte’s pants were soiled and asked if he urinated, police said. He responded that he did, clarifying that he believed it would lower his blood alcohol concentration level.

The alleged scheme did not work, however, as Lopez-Villafuerte still blew a BAC level of .157, police said. The legal limit is .08.

Police said he also does not have a real Illinois driver’s license and later admitted to drinking alcohol at a bar on 26th Street until 3 a.m. that morning

Lopez-Villafuerte faces charges of aggravated felony drunk driving, misdemeanor drunk driving, drunk driving with a BAC over the legal limit, driving without a license, driving without insurance and improper lane usage, police said

His court information was not immediately available.

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I really don’t know clouds at all.
DUI News

Police officer killed during traffic stop by impaired driver on Christmas Eve

Police officer killed during traffic stop by impaired driver on Christmas Eve

Police officer killed during traffic stop by impaired driver on Christmas Eve originally appeared on

A police officer in Kentucky was killed by a driver allegedly under the influence while she was conducting a traffic stop on Christmas Eve.

Detective Deidre Mengedoht, 32, pulled over a pickup truck in Louisville and was subsequently hit by a different semi-truck.

“The semi pushed the police car into the truck she had stopped,” Louisville police chief Steve Conrad said in a news conference Monday.

“There were four people in the pickup truck. None of them were seriously injured. Unfortunately the detective’s car caught fire. The damage to her vehicle was catastrophic,” Conrad said.

Conrad said that Mengedoht, who has a young son, had been on the police force for more than seven years.

(MORE: 24-year-old officer killed, K9 injured in shooting after traffic stop turns into chase: Police)

“Deidre — DeeDee, as she was known to her friends and colleagues — gave her life serving the community which is something she loved to do. Those who knew DeeDee would tell you that in her 32 years of life, and her seven and a half years with the police department, she always went above and beyond of what was asked of her or required of her,” Conrad said on Monday.

PHOTO: Detective Deidre Mengedoht is seen in this undated police portrait. (LMPD)
PHOTO: Detective Deidre Mengedoht is seen in this undated police portrait. (LMPD)

“This is a tragic, tragic day, for everyone: for DeeDee’s family, for the men and women of the Louisville Metro police department, and quite frankly for everyone she touched in this community. I can’t imagine what her family is going though today, today of all days,” he added

(MORE: 4 US law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2-day span)

The man who crashed into Mengedoht’s vehicle was apprehended and arrested Monday.

Conrad said that the suspect, who he identified as 60-year-old Roger Burdette, faces charges of murder and operating under the influence.

(MORE: Michigan state trooper shot, injured at traffic stop: Police)

Burdette is an employee of the local Metropolitan Sewer Department and was driving one of their semi trucks at the time of the accident, The Courier Journal reported.

PHOTO: Roger Burdette, 60, was allegedly under the influence when he crashed into the patrol car of Detective Deidre Mengedoht, killing the officer in the crash. (Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)
PHOTO: Roger Burdette, 60, was allegedly under the influence when he crashed into the patrol car of Detective Deidre Mengedoht, killing the officer in the crash. (Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)

An MSD spokesperson called it a “tragic accident” and extended their condolences to the detective’s family and the community, according to a statement obtained by ABC affiliate WHAS.

(MORE: North Carolina state trooper shot and killed during traffic stop: Police)

Burdette allegedly admitted to responding officers that he was “taking multiple prescription drugs,” according to his arrest citation obtained by WHAS.

The arrest citation states that Burdette was unable to maintain balance and had difficulty following the officer’s instructions, according to WHAS.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted about the “heartbreaking news” and urging motorists to stay safe on the roads over the holidays.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted his condolences and praised the work of law enforcement officers like Mengedoht.

(MORE: State trooper shot dead at traffic stop was still ‘gasping for air’ when citizen arrived and called 911)

“My heart is breaking today as we mourn the tragic death of @LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht. When Deidre joined LMPD, she committed herself to service on behalf of our city, and her death is a painful reminder of the sacrifices that our public safety professionals make every day,” he wrote in the tweet.–abc-news-topstories.html

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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Galileo Galilei: The chicken crossed the road because it put one foot in front of the other and took a sufficient number of steps to traverse a distance greater than or equal to the road’s width. Note that the reason is not because the earth is the center of the universe. Oh, great… another jail term.

DUI News

Empty Car, With Airbag Deployed, Found In Lake

Police said the driver was found sitting near a tree by boat launch. 

Empty Car, With Airbag Deployed, Found In Avon Lake

AVON LAKE, OH — Police were contacted after a car with a deployed air bag was found empty near Lake and Miller roads in the early morning hours. The driver wasn’t in the car when officers got to the scene. 

The crashed car was actually discovered by Sheffield Lake Police, who contacted their counterparts in Avon Lake at about 1:30 a.m. last Thursday. After Avon Lake officers arrived, and investigated, they called for a tow truck. 

The driver of the car, a 47-year-old woman from Sheffield Lake, was found sitting beside a tree near the Miller Road Park Boat Launch, police said. She told police she was the only person in the car at the time of the accident. Officers determined she was intoxicated and arrested her. 

The woman was taken to the Avon Lake Police Station for booking. She refused to take a breath test, police said. 

The woman was charged with operating a vehicle impaired. She appeared in court on Tuesday, November 13 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for mid-December, according to court records.

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Conditioned Response?
DUI News

Drunken Driver Arrested For Parking On Aurora Road

Solon Police said the man was too disoriented to talk. He claimed he’d run out of gas but wouldn’t let police push his car from the road.

Drunken Driver Arrested For Parking On Aurora Road

SOLON, OH — The blinking hazard lights of a car parked in the west lane of Aurora Road caught the attention of police on Black Friday. The driver was too disoriented to talk to officers and was arrested, police said. It was 3:30 p.m. 

Police said they spotted the stationary car, in the middle of the road, not far from Liberty Ford on Aurora Road. When officers tried to talk to the driver, a 48-year-old man from Wickliffe, they found him disoriented. 

The man said he had run out of gas. An officer offered to help push his car out of the road, but the driver did not understand, police said. Officers suspected the man was having “cognitive difficulties.” 

These were signs the man was impaired, so officers ran him through a series of field sobriety tests. He was then arrested and taken to Solon Jail. 

At the jail, the man took a breath test and blew a .004. He was also asked to submit a urine sample, which is being analyzed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol lab. Subscribe

As of right now, police said the man is charged with operating a vehicle impaired. Additional charges may be added when the lab results are returned, police said.