A proposed bill would incentivize bar owners to put breathalyzers in their establishments

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – One drink, two drink, three drink, four…how many drinks is too many before you hit the door? Well, one Utah lawmaker is proposing a bill to make it easier on patrons of local drinking establishments to know if they’re safe to drive.


Representative Greg Hughes is sponsoring the bill. He told ABC 4 Utah, “We have a speedometer in our case so we know we’re driving the speed limit or not, and this would be similar to that in philosophy.”


Rep. Hughes is drafting the legislation that would incentivize Utah bar owners to put breathalyzers in their establishments. It would be voluntary, not mandatory for both the bar owners and patrons alike.


“Information,” said Rep. Hughes. “Patrons that could be better informed about what they’re going to do in terms of getting in a car, yes or nor. These kiosks or breathalyzers could help make a better decision.”


Devil’s Daughter bar owner Jimmy Dublino says it sounds like a good idea, but it’s not without its faults.


“Positive would be the incentives obviously,” said Dublino. “I’m not going to lie. As a bar owner, any kind of incentive from the state is a bonus since they’re so hard on us here.”


Dublino worries about the accuracy of the machines.


“It will kind of control people on how much they’ve consumed and getting in a car and leaving,” explained Dublino. “That’s if the machines are stable enough, because I’ve had some in the past in my establishment and I’ve yet to see one blow a correct number.”


Even if they’re calibrated on a regular basis, like the law would require, some say the machines in some cases actually encourage overdrinking.


Bar patron Zach Larsen tells ABC 4 Utah some people use the machines as a game to see who can get the highest blood alcohol level.


Rep. Hughes says he’s still working out the kinks of the bill, but he expects it to hit the floor this legislative session.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center