Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over National Enforcement Mobilization – August 18th – September 6th
The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) is hosting the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and national enforcement mobilization to o deter, detect and remove impaired drivers from Utah’s roadways and encourage Utahns to choose a sober ride.
On Wednesday, August 25th, DPS held a media event to raise awareness about the tragic consequences of impaired driving and highlight the extra DUI enforcement that will be conducted as part of the campaign.
Law Enforcement will be working extra shifts for Labor Day, targeting DUI drivers.
The enforcement period will run from August 18th – September 6th, 2021.
Over 20 Law Enforcement Agencies will be working 181 additional DUI shifts during this period.
“We encourage Utahns to choose alternatives to driving impaired. This could mean designating a sober driver, calling a cab, a sober friend, or rideshare,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden. “Whatever it is, it’s a better choice than driving after using drugs or alcohol. Remember, no excuse, justification, or rationalization is worth your life or the lives of others – If you choose to drink, please don’t drive.”
Devin and Kira Shaw shared the story of how their 18-year-old daughter Kathrynn was killed in a crash with an impaired driver in 2017. Kira Shaw began her remarks by saying, “First of all, we want the Highway Patrol to know that we are behind you 110%. This is crucial because the reason they asked us here is because we’ve expereicened the fatal consequence of an impaired driver.”
Just three days before her graduation, Kathrynn joined some friends to go long boarding in Spanish Fork. The vehicle she was in was hit when a driver impaired by marijuana ran a stop sign.
Kira Shaw remembered Kathrynn as a strong, vibrant and adventurous girl who was ready to go into SUU’s nursing program on a scholarship.
“The things people just don’t realize the are consequences of simple actions,” she said. The risk and consequences of impaired driving “are far too great, to yourself and those around you.”
Devin Shaw told the officers and media gathered, “This is hard because it’s so personal, but if we can help just one person decide today, right now, to not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that includes prescription drugs, then this is worth it for us.”
“We love our daughter,” he continued. “It’s been 4 years, 3 months and 2 days since she’s left us and we think about her every day. She was so full of life. That life was taken because of bad choices. No parent should have to bury a son or daughter. And we have it within our ability to choose. I ask you choose today, make that decision right now, never to get behind the wheel if you’re impaired.”
Mapleton City Police Chief John Jackson shared his thoughts on the consequences of the crash that killed Kathrynn, and said that the effects of a beautiful life lost on our streets affected so many both inside and outside of the Mapleton community. He said that the Shaw family has a hole in their heart that can never be replaced. Additionally, the entire student body of Maple Mountain High School, the Class of 2017, the Maple Mountain Drill Team, Kathrynn’s friends, extended family, witnesses of the crash, the first responders on scene and even those who read the news report of Kathrynn’s death were all impacted by it. “The actions of that one impaired driver affected so many.”
Chief Jackson said that he gives “100% support to the law enforcement officers of this state that are going to be working overtime during this blitz to get impaired drivers off our streets. There are few things as important to public safety as removing impaired drivers from our roadways.”
Shortly after Kathrynn’s death, the Mapleton Police Department acquired a speed trailer through a grant from DPS’ Highway Safety Office. To honor Kathrynn’s memory, they had the trailer labeled with “In loving memory, Kathrynn Shaw, May 22, 2017.”
Chief Jackson explained the goal for the speed trailer, which he hopes will be a constant reminder that the Mapleton community is not exempt from the horrible effects of impaired driving.
“I hope each time one of our citizens drives by it they will be reminded of the dangers of impaired driving,” he said. “And I hope each time one of our officers drives by it, they’re reminded of the importance of enforcing impaired driving laws.”
If your plans include drinking, make sure they also include a safe and sober driver home.
FACT SHEET AND STATS
For more information about impaired driving in Utah, go to https://dpsnews.utah.gov/driver-sober-or-get-pulled-over-fact-sheet/