SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers can expect to see an increase in troopers and police officers patrolling Utah roadways through the end of the year as local law enforcement agencies increase their DUI enforcement efforts.
Between December 16 and January 1, law enforcement officers from 21 Utah agencies will work an extra 154 shifts to stop impaired drivers.
"Every one of the [DUI-related deaths on Utah roads] are 100 percent preventable. This isn't, you know, you look at things that cause crashes, and driver error[s] cause crashes most of the time. These aren't errors. There aren't mistakes. These aren't accidents. These are choices that people make, and, far too frequently, they result in tragedy," said Col. Michael Rapich, Deputy Commissioner, Utah Highway Patrol.
According to UHP, 27 people died in alcohol-related crashes on Utah roads last year. In Utah's State Fiscal Year 2020, 10,532 people were arrested for driving under the influence - an average of 29 arrests per day.
"Overconfidence in sobriety is the number one reason Utahns risk driving drunk. If you plan to drink, make the right choice, and plan for a safe and sober ride to avoid the potential consequences of driving impaired," a fact sheet from UHP states. "Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent preventable if individuals act responsibly… Utahns can designate a sober driver, call a cab or a sober friend, or call rideshare. It’s never okay to drink and drive."
Some of potential the consequences for driving under the influence include going to jail, having your vehicle impounded, having your driver license suspended, fines and fees that add up to thousands of dollars, causing a crash that injures or claims the life of an innocent person and losing your job.