This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With the recent passage of a controversial law making Utah the first state in the nation to have a legal blood alcohol level as low as 0.05 percent, it seems we've been here before.
My colleague Robert Kirby, while researching his weekly column about weird stories of the past, came across a Deseret News editorial from 1967 that addressed this very topic.
That editorial made an argument not for lowering the limit to 0.08 percent, which it has been in Utah and other states for years, nor even for 0.05 percent.
The proper level, the editorial argued, should be 0.04 percent.
And guess what it was at the time. It was 0.15 percent.
"As the Legislature ponders these difficult questions in deciding whether the blood alcohol level for presumed drunkenness should be reduced to .10% or .05% from the present .15%, the following facts ought to be weighed carefully," the editorial said.
"Blood alcohol levels over .04%, according to a study made by the Department of Police Administration of Indiana University, are definitely associated with increased accident involvement. When the alcohol level reaches .06%, the same study found, the probability of causing an accident is twice that of the no-alcohol level. At .10%, the probability is six times greater, and at .15% it is 25 times greater.
"Other studies, including one here in Utah, have found about the same thing."
The editorial noted that a professional jockey is barred from racing a horse if he has a 0.05 percent blood alcohol level.
"If a man with that much alcohol in his bloodstream isn't competent to handle one horse, why should he be let loose on the highways with the power of a couple hundred horses in his hands?" the editorial concluded.
That opinion piece ran in the LDS Church-owned paper about the time signatures were being gathered for a ballot initiative to legalize liquor by the drink in the Beehive State.
The proposition got onto the ballot in 1968.
The Salt Lake Tribune editorialized in favor of such a change, arguing it would be good for tourism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly opposed it.
Guess who won.
Win some, lose some • Utah Republican Party attorney Marcus Mumford, who unsuccessfully tried to sue the state for its new laws governing the way political parties choose their candidates, faces a new challenge.
If U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman has his way, Mumford will be barred for life from practicing in any federal court in Oregon.
According to a story posted Wednesday on the Oregonian website, Mosman gave Mumford until May 4 to argue in writing why the ban should not be imposed.
Mumford won acquittal in the Portland court last fall for his client Ammon Bundy, who was charged with conspiracy for his role in an armed takeover of the federal Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
After the verdict was announced, Mumford was tackled and shot with a stun gun by federal marshals when he continued to argue with the judge for keeping Bundy in custody to face charges in a Nevada case.
Mumford was charged with failure to comply with court rules, but those charges were dismissed last month.
Mumford told The Oregonian in an email that his initial reaction to the judge's banishment order was: " 'the Empire strikes back.' " He added: "I know of no court order that I violated, and no reason to impose some kind of lifetime ban to practice law in Oregon."
Wishful thinking? • After Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams complained on his Facebook page about Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's proposal to install a chain-link fence between the Road Home homeless shelter and The Gateway, he received some pushback in posts from Biskupski's public relations staff.
Matthew Rojas, the mayor's communications director, was particularly poignant.
"As Pamela Anderson said in a Trib article a few days ago, there are uncomfortable truths to the area," Rojas wrote.
Actually, he must have the "Baywatch" actress and Playboy model confused with community activist and homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson.
Your representative in action • After some tough town hall meetings for Utah Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart, and with Utah Republican Chairman James Evans advising GOP representatives to avoid such meetings, Rep. Mia Love has heeded the party leader's advice.
Instead of facing angry constituents asking sticky questions, she went to Disney World.
With her special friends.
Love had a fundraising event at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando, Fla., from April 6 to Sunday.
Those who wanted access to Utah's 4th District representative were told they could make checks payable to "Friends of Mia Love."