Increased DUI Enforcement Statewide for the Holiday Season
Utahns are seeing an increase in statewide DUI enforcement which started December 15, 2021 and continues until January 1, 2022.
During this time, over 145 extra DUI shifts are being worked by 22 different Utah law enforcement agencies statewide. Officers will be on high alert, looking to get impaired drivers off the roads. UHP will also be hosting a DUI blitz on New Year’s Eve.
This enforcement focuses on the dangers and moral and legal consequences of choosing to drive impaired this holiday season.
DPS’ Highway Safety Office held a press event to kick off the enforcement and raise awareness about planning for a safe and sober ride home – not just this holiday season but always.
Utah Highway Patrol Colonel Michael Rapich spoke during the virtual press event and shared statistics about DUIs in Utah this year. Law enforcement agencies in Utah have made over 10,600 DUI arrests this year, which represents an average of 29 a day. Watch Colonel Rapich’s message on Facebook below.
“These aren’t just statistics — these are bad decisions that result in violent and horrible and tragic results,” he saidUHP Colonel Rapich
Dr. Wing Province, Medical Director at Intermountain Park City Hospital, also spoke at the virtual press event. He shared information about the devastating consequences of impaired driving which affect the victims, the impaired drivers, and the medical personnel that treat individuals involved in impaired driving crashes.
After relating a story about a drunk driving crash in which Dr. Province treated both the drunk driver and the victims of the crash, Dr. Province said, “That’s one impact I want to share with people is if you survive an accident where you were drinking and driving, it will haunt you for the rest of your life, and that kind of guilt is not something you want to carry with you the rest of your life.”
Dr. Province also discussed how individuals who have been drinking are frequently over confident in their ability to still safely drive. “I’ve seen it in the emergency department where people come in and they tell us they’re not drunk and they’re not impaired and we let them try to walk on their own and we have our nurses standing by ready to catch them. And you realize people who have been drinking, their ability to recognize impairment decreases as their drinking increases.” (See chart below that shows how impairment can begin with blood alcohol content levels as low as .02.)
Watch Colonel Rapich’s message about impaired driving this holiday season.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911. Some of the signs of drunk driving are:
- Drifting during a turn or curve
- Inattentiveness to surroundings
- Swerving or weaving across lanes
- Stopping too far, too short, too jerky, and having a slow response at traffic signals
- Driving without headlights on at night
- Varying speed or driving too slow (approximately 10+ mph under the speed limit)
(Source: NHTSA DWI Detection Guide)