UHP says drink if you want this Fourth of July, just don’t get behind the wheel

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 20:17:46-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- All aboard the DUI trolley, a ride that can land you in jail if you're not careful.

Trooper Lawrence Hopper with the Utah Highway Patrol was the conductor on Friday’s trolley ride, which was part of a unique campaign designed to prevent DUI.

"Unfortunately a lot of it starts with the parties, with the barbecues, and then people making poor decisions after the barbecue" Hopper said.

The first stop on the DUI trolley is the field sobriety test. The consequences are not only legal in nature. There are also unintended costs.

"People don't think about that," Hopper said. "They don't think about all the money that's going to be spent taking that vehicle out of impound, all the money it’s going to cost for court fines."

UHP says from start to finish, it can cost you $10,000 for one DUI.

"Don't do what you just saw, because he's going to be in a heap of trouble," Hopper said.

Back on the trolley for a ride to our next stop, the BAT-mobile, an acronym for breath alcohol testing.

"It's a command center when it comes to DUI," Hopper said. "We can do three different chemical tests at the BAT-mobile. We do the breath test, we can do a blood test, and we can do a urine test."

These are just some of the tools that officers will be using this holiday weekend.

"From Logan down to St. George, from Wendover to the Uinta Basin, we're going to have officers working overtime shifts the entire weekend," Hopper said.

The hope is to deliver a simple message: drink if you want, but don't drive.

"The message has never been don't drink," Hopper said. "If that's part of your plans then enjoy it, but the message has always been don't drink and get behind the wheel."