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Monday September 16, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT

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Highway Safety

Media Alert

Press Release

Protecting Utah

Labor Day Impaired Driving Crackdown

Thursday August 22, 2019

Increased DUI enforcement statewide as DPS encourages drivers to “Know Your Limits”

Text reads "I'm Fine" and the i in fine is a class of beer. Smaller text is framed by DPS logo and Drive sober or get pulled over logo and reads "Overconfidence - the leading cause of impaired driving."

SALT LAKE CITY (August 22, 2019) – Law enforcement agencies throughout Utah have been participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on impaired drivers. As a result, Utahns can expect to see an increase in DUI enforcement now through September 2. During this time over 210 extra DUI shifts are being worked by 26 different Utah law enforcement agencies. Media interested in scheduling a ride along please contact the Utah Highway Patrol Public Information Office at 801-554-5659.

Research performed by the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) discovered the number one reason why Utahns risk driving impaired is due to overconfidence in sobriety. To help correct this misconception, DPS is hosting a “Know Your Limits” campaign. This educational campaign reminds Utahns to avoid overconfidence by planning a safe and sober ride.

“Most people never go out expecting to drive home drunk. So what’s happening? Too many people think ‘I’m fine’ when they really aren’t. Too many crashes happen because someone thought ‘I’m good’ but they weren’t,”said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Colonel Mark Zesiger. “Even one drink can be one too many. Always find a safe and sober ride.”

Text reads "I'm Good" and the letters o in good are two pills. Smaller text is framed by DPS logo and Drive sober or get pulled over logo and reads "Overconfidence - the leading cause of impaired driving."

The increased enforcement and educational campaign are strategically planned to coincide with the national Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown, BYU vs. Utah game, Labor Day and the end of summer. The “Know Your Limits” campaign allows DPS to remind Utahns to always choose a safe ride.

*Download the digital campaign assets here

“Choices made behind the wheel impact everyone on the road,” said Zesiger. “So please don’t risk driving impaired. Protect your life and the lives of those around you by planning for a safe and sober ride.”  

Every incidence of drunk driving is 100 percent preventable if individuals act responsibly. The responsible choice is to plan for a safe and sober ride home. Utahns can designate a sober driver, call a cab or a sober friend, or use rideshare. It’s never okay to drink and drive. 

Text reads "I'm Good" and the letters o in Good are overhead shots of beer steins. Smaller text is framed by DPS logo and Drive sober or get pulled over logo and reads "Overconfidence - the leading cause of impaired driving."

In 2018, there were 10,035 arrests for DUI in Utah, that’s an average of 27 arrests per day. Drivers ages 21-39 have the highest number of drunk drivers in fatal crashes and 72 percent of the impaired driving arrestees are male. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that the average drunk driver will risk driving impaired more than 80 times before his/her first arrest. On average in Utah, 33 people die each year due to an individual’s choice to drive impaired. 

Chart shows levels of BAC from .02 to .15 and text reads: Driving can be affected at BAC levels as low as .02. Important Information * Alcohol can affect each person in a different way. The way your body reacts to alcohol depends on your gender, how much you weigh, how quickly you drink and whether or not you have eaten. * Females reach a higher BAC level faster than males. *Utah has set .05% BAC as the legal limit for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction. Commercial drivers can be convicted of a DUI nationwide with a BAC level of .04%. You may be convicted of DUI at any BAC if there is supporting evidence of driving impairment.

The Utah Department of Public Safety recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride-sharing service to get home safely. 
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Utah Highway Patrol 

801.554-5659

###

MEDIA CONTACT

Marissa Cote
Public Relations Director
Department of Public Safety
MVILLASENOR@UTAH.GOV

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