LOCAL NEWS

MADD Campaign Launches As ‘Sarah’s Bill’ Moves Forward

Nov 17, 2020, 10:24 PM | Updated: 10:31 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – On the same day Mothers Against Drunk Driving launched its annual “Tie One On For Safety” campaign to stop drunk drivers, a house committee in the Utah State Legislature approved a bill that would tighten the bond process for drunk drivers who seriously injure or kill someone.

The lunch crowd always seems to be busy at R&R barbeque in South Jordan.

However, with the line of cars they had waiting for food outside of their building Tuesday afternoon, it would have to be for more than just good brisket.

The people in those cars didn’t mind the wait at all.

“It feels really good people are appreciating what we do as police officers,” said Sgt. Roy Carlson.

Carlson is with the Utah Highway Patrol and was one of the dozens of law enforcement officers who picked up a free lunch outside the restaurant.

 It was part of the annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s and The Arrow 103.5’s campaign to raise awareness against drunk driving and thanking the officers who look for them.

“You hear all these stories about family members getting killed or injured really bad. And it just gives you more desire to get out there and find DUI’s,” said Carlson.

Sometimes, though, for everything officers do to catch drunk drivers, they could use a little help.

Sarah’s Bill is named for 17-year old Sarah Frei who lost both of her legs after a drunk driver smashed into her car. (Tanner Siegworth/KSL-TV)

That’s where 17-year old Sarah Frei comes in.

“I’m so glad that this opportunity is even here for me,” said Frei. 

She and three of her friends were hit by a drunk driver in Logan Canyon this past summer. 

All four suffered some type of injury, but Frei’s were the most severe.

Both of her legs were amputated.  

Sarah Frei, 17, and her father Greg Frei. (KSL-TV)

What really upset her and her family is the guy who hit them was out of jail in less than 24 hours after posting bail.

“If the driver had used a gun to injure four high school kids instead of a vehicle, he would not have walked out like that. He would have been in jail or incarcerated a lot longer,” said Greg Frei, Sarah’s father. 

Currently, a bill is going through the Utah State Legislature called “Sarah’s Bill.”

 It would make it a lot tougher for suspected drunk drivers to get out of jail so quickly and easily by posting bail.

“It’s really comforting to know that I can make a difference,” said Sarah Frei. “We just want to make the community safer now and in the future.”

For police officers who know how often drunk drivers are out there, they appreciate any law that will keep drunk drivers locked up. 

“You’d be surprised by just, when you’re out on the road, how many people are actually impaired,” said officer Miles Knapp. 

Knapp is with the Salt Lake City Police Department’s motor squad and deals with DUIs almost every day. 

“It’s more than likely there is somebody impaired on the road next to you, behind you, in front of you. You never know. That’s a scary thought,” he said. “We have DUIs come in at all times of the day. In fact, there was one that came in this morning and I’m like, man it’s nine o’clock in the morning. So that just drives home the point that you never know when somebody is out there on the road impaired.”

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MADD Campaign Launches As ‘Sarah’s Bill’ Moves Forward