SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill lowering Utah's DUI level from .08 to .05, making it the lowest in the nation.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, told FOX 13 he was thrilled by the governor's decision.
"We’re first in a lot of things and one thing we can be first in is prioritizing highway safety," he said.
Governor Herbert says, "You want to come to a place that is very safe and hospitable and that's what Utah is and what it'll continue to be."
Restaurant and hospitality groups including the Utah Restaurant Association and the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association don't agree. They met with the governor to urge him to veto the bill because they fear tourism will be hurt.
"Any downturn in our sales from people who decide to go to a different state, don’t want to come to Utah or don’t want to go out to eat negatively impacts our sales which affects taxes in Utah, which affects the ski industry, the tourism industry, the hospitality industry and the restaurant industry," said Doug Hofeling, the Chief Operating Officer of Wasatch Beers.
The American Beverage Institute took out full-page ads in USA Today and Salt Lake City's daily newspapers opposing the bill and indicating Utah would lose tourism to Colorado.
The bill would not take effect until 2019 so there's more than a year and a half to examine the bill's ramifications and how to best implement the law.
Governor Herbert is calling for more review and plans for a special session in the legislature to debate any needed changes.