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Sunday September 25, 2022 Salt Lake City, UT

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Protecting Utah

Don’t Press Your Luck on St. Patrick’s Day – Drive Sober

Wednesday March 16, 2022

Law enforcement agencies statewide will conduct increased DUI enforcement on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America date back to the country’s founding. It is often is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, and this, unfortunately, means more drunk drivers on the roads. However you celebrate, make sure you and your friends stay safe this St. Paddy’s Day by remembering one important piece of advice: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. This means that if you plan to drink, it’s essential that you plan ahead for a sober ride home

Increased DUI Enforcement Statewide & UHP Blitz

Officers from 15 agencies throughout the state will be working over 50 additional DUI shifts on St. Patrick’s Day and through the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The Utah Highway Patrol will be holding a DUI blitz on the night of St. Patrick’s Day, starting with a formal briefing at the Section 4 Office in Murray at 9 p.m. Media is invited to attend the briefing located at 5681 South 320 West, Murray, UT.

St. Patrick’s Day Facts and Info

If you plan to drink, plan a sober ride home. Review these facts and share the word about the dangers of drunk driving so you can continue merry-making for all the St. Paddy’s Days to come.

  • St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times on our nation’s roads. During the 2015-2019 St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes. In 2019, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. Do your part this St. Patrick’s Day: If you drink, plan a sober ride.
  • In 2019 alone, 57 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18).
  • Between the hours of midnight and 5:59 a.m. over the St. Patrick’s Day period in 2019, more than half (63%) of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
  • Walking home after a night out drinking alcohol? In 2019, 32 percent of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above .08. Arrange for a sober ride or for a sober friend to walk you home.
  • Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. It is illegal and deadly to drink and drive. For some, even one drink may be one drink too many.
  • Despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2019, one person was killed every 52 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.

The Cost of Drunk Driving

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.
  • If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment.
  • Drinking and driving can cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could keep you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Plan a Sober Ride

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, plan a sober ride to get you home and live to be Irish another day. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver who does not plan to drink any alcohol, or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Hillary Koellner
Director of Public Affairs
Department of Public Safety
hmkoellner@utah.gov

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