Lobbying group criticizes Utah bill on drunken gun use

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal to allow Utah residents who are legally intoxicated to use a weapon as self-defense while in their home is being called hypocritical by the American Beverage Institute.

The national lobbying group has opposed a law approved last year that lowered the state’s blood alcohol content limit for drunken driving from 0.08 to 0.05.

The group published a full-page advertisement — with the headline “Too Drunk to Drive, But Sober Enough to Carry a .45?” — in Tuesday’s issue of the Salt Lake Tribune.

The group says people shouldn’t be able to carry a gun if they can’t legally drive.

Republican state Rep. Norm Thurston of Provo, the bill’s sponsor, says he started the legislation at the request of Utah defense attorneys.

Thurston says the group is twisting the intent of his bill.

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