According to The Washington Post, Utah Ski Resorts are concerned that Utah’s strict new DUI law will hurt their business. Starting in 2018, Utah’s legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content will be lowered from .08 to .05, making it the lowest in the nation. The state voted to move in this direction earlier this year in an attempt to save lives on the road.
Ski Utah CEO, Nathan Rafferty, said the ski industry wants to make the roads safe but said penalizing someone for driving after having one or two glasses of wine misses the mark. In an effort to benefit the industry, Nathan said that he is going to lobby state legislators this year to tweak the law so that the punishment for .05 isn’t as severe as the .08 level.
Recently, The American Beverage Institute ran full-page ads in Salt Lake City newspapers and USA Today. The ads consisted of a fake mugshot and read: “Utah: Come For Vacation, Leave On Probation.” As far as the ski industry goes, they are coming off two consecutive seasons of record visits, so they are looking to continue that trend. Along with that, Salt Lake City is a contender for the 2026 & 2030 Winter Olympic Games, which would benefit the ski industry exponentially. They are worried that the low legal limit would push visitors away. As this story unfolds and the lobbying approaches, we will update this story.