SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor announced Thursday that he will sign legislation giving the predominantly Mormon state the strictest DUI threshold in the country, a change that restaurant groups and representatives of the ski and snowboard industry say will hurt tourism.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said he plans to approve the measure lowering the blood alcohol limit for most drivers to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent and that it will save lives.

Opponents had urged him to veto the bill , saying it would punish responsible drinkers and burnish Utah’s reputation as a state that’s unfriendly for those who drink alcohol.

“People are going to try to say this is a religious issue. And that is just absolutely false. This is a public safety issue,” Herbert, who is Mormon, said.

Proponents say it will send a resounding message that people should not drink and drive – no matter how little somebody has had to drink.

Restaurant groups said they don’t support drunken driving, but a 0.05 limit won’t catch drivers who are actually impaired.

The American Beverage Institute, a national restaurant group, took out full-page advertisements Thursday in Salt Lake City’s two daily newspapers and USA Today, featuring a fake mugshot under a large headline reading, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.” The group said that Herbert’s decision to sign it “will not only harm the people of Utah, but cripple their restaurant and tourism industries.”

Utah’s Tourism Office said it’s not concerned about the measure discouraging visitors, noting that a number of foreign countries such as France, Australia and Italy have similar laws and don’t have a problem attracting tourists.

“There’s not many Mormons in Rome and they’re doing it there,” Herbert quipped.