Utah apparently will have the country’s toughest drunk driving law starting later this month – and the National Transportation Safety Board is applauding it, saying that if it is followed in other states it could save the lives of at least 1,500 people a year.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on the development Wednesday. The law, which takes effect Dec. 30, lowers the blood alcohol content that drivers are presumably legally intoxicated from 0.08 to 0.05.

Senate sponsor Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, told the Tribune in another article in March 2017, after the bill was passed, that it is not a drinking bill.

"It's a driving bill,” he said. “It's a public safety bill."

There are too many deaths that happen every year due to alcohol-impaired driving. To put a number on it, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were 10,497 fatalities related to drunk driving in 2016 in the U.S. – or about 29 people every day.

Supporters of the Utah law say if it is copied widely, the dividend will be in the hundreds of lives saved from impaired driving crashes every year.

Another number: The NTS Board said it could save between 1,500 and 1,800 lives a year.

Well worth being copied in other states, don’t you think?

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