Utah law enforcement ramps up DUI enforcement for Labor Day weekend

Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 20:21:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Drive sober or get pulled over – That’s the message local law enforcement agencies are spreading.

This Labor Day weekend they’ll intensify their efforts to curb drunk driving.

Folks will pour into The Green Pig Pub Thursday evening to watch the Utes' season opener against North Dakota. They’re expecting big crowds throughout the Labor Day weekend.

“We’re coming to the end of summer, so it’s sort of the last hurrah of the summer,” said Bridget Gordon, owner of The Green Pig Pub.

Gordon has teamed up with the Utah Highway Patrol and Salt Lake City Police to remind customers to drink responsibly.

“Here at the Green Pig Pub we practice safety first," she said. "My staff is trained very well in recognizing someone who's had a little bit too much fun.”

Salt Lake City Police say DUI arrests this year have gone up 23 percent from 2016. They remind people that there’s a high price to pay when you drink and drive.

If you’re arrested and convicted, you could pay a $5,000-$10,000 fine.

“Tragically, if you hit and kill somebody or injure yourself, that's the ultimate consequence of drinking and driving,” said Chief Mike Brown of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

If you’ve had too much to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.

“We have Lyft, Uber, taxis, pedi cabs, other ways to get home,” Gordon said.

This weekend also marks the end of the 100 Deadliest Days of summer – the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when we see the majority of traffic-related deaths across Utah’s highways.

As of Monday, 78 people have lost their lives.

“Way too many. That's actually better than last year, we're down 10 from last year,” said Colonel Michael Rapich of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Troopers don’t want to see any more tragedies. This weekend, they’ll step up enforcement with 200 extra officers.

“If people make a very foolish decision to drink and drive, we're gonna have officers out there waiting for them,” Rapich said.