Utah Governor Suggests New DUI Law Could Be Tweaked


Earlier this year, Utah signed a controversial DUI law that would lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunk driving to .05, from .08. This gave Utah the lowest DUI limit in the nation (see previous coverage here). Perhaps in response to blowback concerning this change--even MADD came out against it--Gov. Gary Herbert is signaling that the law could be reformed, according to The Salt Lake Tribune:

"While he’s backed off plans to call a special legislative session this year to alter Utah’s new toughest-in-the-nation drunken driving law, Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday outlined some major changes he would like to see next year.

Those include imposing lighter penalties for those who barely exceed the new 0.05 percent blood alcohol limit for impairment, while continuing existing tougher punishment for those who violate the current 0.08 standard.

Another option, Herbert said, may be to delay the effective date of the law — now set to kick in on Dec. 30, 2018 — until after perhaps two or three other states pass similar legislation..."

Read more here.



How North Carolina Passed Its Brunch Bill

As previously covered on, North Carolina's legislature passed the so-called Brunch Bill, which, among other reforms, allows restaurants in the state to sell alcohol starting at 10am on Sundays rather than noon. (Or, more precisely, allows counties in the state the leeway to let restaurants sell Sunday morning booze). N.C. Gov. Rory Cooper signed the bill a few weeks ago, and the Free to Brew podcast has an excellent interview with Eric Rowel about this reform victory:

Buying beer and mimosas at 10AM on Sunday! When did North Carolina become so edgy?

Eric Rowel, local Mecklenburg County activist, the figure behind #sundayequality, and concerned citizen joins the show not just for a victory lap but an explanation of how a bill over Sunday alcohol sales was passed in North Carolina. While other states have eradicated blue laws, getting 2 hours extra on Sunday was a huge achievement for this Old North State.

We discuss the victory, how future alcohol reform can succeed, and why this policy gained such traction and support...

Check out the interview here.


Bill proposes allowing beer and wine sales before noon on Sunday in Texas

A bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature that would eliminate the state's version of a modified "blue law," allowing beer to be sold before noon on Sundays. Troy Kless has more for KBMT-TV:

"It's fine for anyone 21 or older to buy beer or wine after noon on Sunday. But a Texas lawmaker wants to take away the time restraint.

Emily Elliott, a Lamar Institute of Technology student has worked at a convenience store in Kountze. She's rejected a customer for getting beer too early on Sunday morning.

"They get kind of upset in person when you tell them like, 'Oh you have to wait until 12:00,'” Elliott said.

"They'll always say ‘that's so stupid, I don't understand,’ but that's just a rule they have," Elliott said.

In this year’s state legislative session, House Bill 327 seeks to allow holders of beer and wine off-premise retailers to sell as early as 7:00 a.m..."

Read more:

Wine Legislation Roundup: A Consumer's Guide to 2017 State Politics

Wine Spectator recently published a state-by-state guide to wine-related legislation for the coming year:

"With all the recent drama in Washington, D.C., it can be easy to forget that hundreds of lawmakers in state capitols are busy drafting and debating bills that could impact their constituents—that's you. The 2017 legislative season is currently underway in most states. And because the 21st Amendment to the Constitution delegates much of the power to regulate alcohol to the states, there are plenty of proposals that could change the way you buy and consume wine and other alcoholic beverages.

From the endless direct shipping wars to changes in blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for driving to excise tax increases and exemptions to diapers and wine ice cream, here's a guide to the proposed laws now under debate...."

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