Utah New Year’s DUI Arrests Double Year-Over-Year

Jan 2, 2020, 7:34 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2020, 7:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The final numbers for DUI arrests over the New Year’s holiday have been released by Utah Highway Patrol, who said arrests doubled over last year’s figures.

According to UHP, troopers made 39 DUI arrests from New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day. Last year, they had 20 arrests, and 34 the year before. 

UHP officials said the increase doesn’t necessarily mean more people were drinking over the holiday this year, but it’s a statistic they’re still not happy with.

“There is a lot of data that goes into that,” said Corporal Andrew Battenfield. “I know we have more troopers on the road this year than we had last year, and we may have found more DUIs than last year.

Officers said the holiday arrests came around the same time two deadly crashes occurred involving drinking and driving.

One person was killed Wednesday afternoon in a DUI crash near 2700 South and 300 West in South Salt Lake.

Police said one of the drivers, Wilonja Lusungu, smelled of alcohol and had heavy bloodshot eyes.

The driver of the other car, 31-year-old Mavil Labra, was killed in the crash.

Another person was killed Monday and another passenger was critically injured in a Taylorsville crash. Police said they were also hit by a drunk driver. 

Both drivers accused of driving drunk were booked into jail, and faced some very serious charges.

“Numbers are stats to some people, but when we have a facility to a DUI, that we take personal as a highway patrol because we know that those people are out there driving,” Cpl. Battenfield said.

Officials said DUI arrests don’t have to come from drinking alcohol. Drivers also risk an arrest or harm to other people on the road when under the influence of other drugs and prescriptions.

“We try to get them stopped before they cause any damage (to) life. We treat those like lives destroyed and families destroyed, because of those deaths and injuries,” he said.

Others often don’t know they’re sharing the road with impaired drivers. Officials said, those drivers are out there.

“The typical DUI drives many times before they’re actually caught,” said Cpl. Battenfield 

Troopers try their best to find drunk drivers. Law enforcement can’t be everywhere, but they were out in force on New Year’s. Extra staff were on duty when they arrested those 39 people for DUI in one night.

“It’s sad to us because we don’t treat these like statistics,” said Cpl. Battenfield. “We treat these like lives destroyed.”

Perhaps no one knows what a destroyed life feels like the way Ashlee Loscher does.

“For me, it was my 4-year old son who didn’t make it home,” said Loscher.

Two months ago, 4-year old Holden Curtis was killed in Salt Lake City. 

He was on his bicycle crossing the road with his mom when he was hit by a man police say was driving drunk and ran a red light.

“You don’t really realize how much you’re impacting other people,” said Loscher. “It’s not fair.”

Loscher was also hit on that day and is still recovering from her injuries.

She said she can recover from the physical injuries, but the loss of her son will last forever. 

“My physical pain is getting better,” said Loscher. “But, still, there’s emotional drama that will never, ever, go away.”

GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Loscher’s medical costs from the crash.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The Utah Senate on March 1, 2024....

Lindsay Aerts

Final day of 2024 legislative session saw billions in funding and a move to ban pride flags

The final day of Utah’s 2024 legislature saw over 100 bills passed, involving funding for downtown, social media restrictions for minors, and a $29.4 billion budget.

2 hours ago

Cache County Clerk David Benson addresses a crowd regarding election law violations. (Mike Anderson...

Mike Anderson

Cache County Clerk addresses office election law violations

Cache County Clerk David Benson answered questions from the media and local voters about findings of numerous election law violations in his office.

4 hours ago

Pair of handcuffs on a black bacthroom...

Alexander Campbell

Washington County man calls police on self, gets arrested for stolen firearms

A teenager is off the streets after calling in to St. George Police and giving them his approximate location Friday, leading to a guns-drawn arrest.

4 hours ago

Two victims in a Hit-and-run in Sugarhouse speak to KSL News on Friday. (Emma Benson, KSL News)...

Emma Benson

Sugarhouse hit and run victims speak out

Two Sugarhouse women are speaking out after they were involved in a hit-and-run.

6 hours ago

Toyota passenger car that was involved in a fatal crash on Friday. (Utah Highway Patrol)...

Alexander Campbell

South Jordan crash results in one fatality, closes I-15 on ramp

Interstate 15 is closed at 11400 South while Utah Highway Patrol investigates a fatal crash on Friday.

6 hours ago

SLCPD officers pulling the the man off the parking garage ledge. (The Salt Lake City Police Departm...

Alex Cabrero

Body cam video shows police officers save man’s life during mental health crisis

Many people who live or work in downtown Salt Lake City often have very normal days. 

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah New Year’s DUI Arrests Double Year-Over-Year