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Letter: Pointless restrictions

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Deseret News

According to statistics reported by the Department of Public Safety in 2015, only 1.7 percent of all automobile deaths were a result of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05-.07 percent. This results in about four people in one year. Of course it is always unfortunate when a person is killed in a drunk driving case, but the question is why is Utah changing the legal limit from .08 to .05 when there is no significant data demonstrating that this law will save lives?

The answer is that our government is not showing proper judgment when it comes to how it could truly save lives. Why was the Legislature so persistent in passing this and focusing on the 1.7 percent of deaths and not focusing on the real problem, the auto deaths that had nothing to do with alcohol. This furthers the argument that the Legislature does not create all laws based on facts and logic, but perhaps on personal morals that restrict the freedom of others.

Proponents of the law say that over 100 countries already have this law in place and that we are leading the way and being the example for the rest of the nation. What these individuals fail to mention is that these countries don't restrict supermarkets or corner stores to have wine and liquor for sale, bars are within walking distance, and public transportation is very easy and convenient to use. In Utah, no store is allowed to carry drinks with an alcohol percentage higher than 3.2. All liquor sales must go through the state of Utah, causing a state-run monopoly. Local breweries and distilleries can't even sell directly to restaurants. The .05 DUI law is just one more ridiculous law that is piled on top of others.

The economic impacts will be harsh unless we stop the abuse of power. All of those that are in the tourism, food and hospitality industry will be affected negatively because of this and other restrictive alcohol laws. Tourism and business is growing in Utah, and these laws are damaging not just to our economy, but to Utah's image. Real conservatism means that the government would stay out of the personal decisions of citizens and businesses, but the .05 alcohol law and other alcohol laws are the opposite of that freedom. We have the responsibility to hold our local representatives accountable when they are wasting taxes on pointless restrictions.

Alexander Castagno