SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor signed legislation Thursday giving the predominantly Mormon state the strictest drunken driving threshold in the country, a change that restaurant groups and representatives of the ski and snowboard industry say will hurt tourism.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said lowering the blood alcohol limit for most drivers to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent will save lives.
The change means a 150-pound man would be over the 0.05 limit after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, though that can be affected by a number of factors, including how much food a person has eaten, according to the American Beverage Institute, a national restaurant group.
Opponents, including the group, had urged Herbert to veto the bill, saying it would punish responsible drinkers and burnish Utah’s reputation as a Mormon-centric place unfriendly to those who drink alcohol.