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16 DUI arrests overnight as UHP begins 4th of July blitz

A photo of a damaged vehicle in from the wrong way crash in Midvale posted to social media by Utah Highway Patrol.
Posted at 12:06 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 14:11:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Two drivers have been booked into Salt Lake County Jail after a wrong way crash in Midvale on Friday night. This out of a total of 16 arrests in Salt Lake Valley as Utah Highway Patrol begins its 4th of July DUI Blitz.

According to the post on the Utah Highway Patrol Facebook page from Saturday morning, Salt Lake County UHP troopers and the UHP DUI squad investigated a wrong way crash that occurred around 11:30 PM Friday night in the area of 8000 South State Street.

The driver was later found to have a blood alcohol level of .218, four times the state’s legal limit. The other driver in the crash was also found to have been intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level of .113, just over two-times the legal limit.

“If you think about the legal limit being .05,” said Sgt. Lawrence Hopper with Utah Highway Patrol. “Both of these drivers should not have been driving.”

With many people celebrating the 4th of July in person this year after having to forgo traditional celebrations during the pandemic, UHP plans to conduct extra patrols and traffic stops throughout the 4th of July weekend. As a result, they are already seeing a number of arrests.

“We’ve had 16 DUI arrests here in Salt Lake Valley alone,” says Sgt. Hopper. “That just tells you how busy we are when it comes to DUI enforcement.”

The consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol include hefty fines and legal fees, but do not end with just the drivers themselves.

“We see it all the time,” says Sgt. Hopper. “I’ve had the chance around my career to talk to many families whose innocent family members…. Their lives have been taken because of irresponsible drivers drink alcohol and get behind the wheel.”

If you plan on celebrating the 4th of July by consuming alcohol, UHP is urging the public to do so responsibly.

“The trick is to make a plan before you go out and drink,” says Sgt. Hopper. “Designate a designated driver. If you’re [going to] a bar or somewhere else, maybe get an Uber or a Lyft.”

UHP will be conducting their DUI blitz through Monday, July 5th.