‘100 Deadliest Days of Summer’ begins this weekend

Posted at 12:04 PM, May 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-21 14:04:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer," as more people will be on Utah's roadways and drivers are more likely to be under the influence.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers will be working hundreds of overtime shifts throughout the state. They'll be focusing their efforts on stopping incidents of DUI, speeding, seat belt violations, drowsy driving and distracted driving. They said they will see an average of one death per day during the "100 Deadliest Days."

"If you die on the roadways, it's a preventable type of death. Everybody's affected by it. Believe me, I know. I've seen the pain in the families' eyes as we're doing the death notification," said UHP Col. Daniel Fuhr. "It's not fair to them. It's not fair to you."

FOX 13 News' Tamara Vaifanua was at a demonstration Thursday, where officials set up a visual display to illustrate how dangerous a drunk driver is compared to animals people often fear, like a rattlesnake or a bear. An average of 32 people in Utah are killed by drunk drivers each year.

Last year, law enforcement officers arrested more than 2,600 people for driving under the influence on Utah roadways. According to the group Zero Fatalities, 256 people died on Utah roads in 2014 and 79 people have died on Utah roads so far this year.