ROAD TO ZERO

Officials cracking down on DUIs during the holiday season

Dec 16, 2021, 2:16 PM | Updated: 2:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers can expect to see more Utah Highway Patrol troopers out on the roads this holiday season.

They’re stepping up patrols and looking for impaired drivers – adding 145 extra DUI shifts from law enforcement agencies across the state.

The Utah Department of Public Safety joined forces with Intermountain Healthcare to launch the “Every sip has a consequence” campaign.

They’re urging drivers to drink responsibly this holiday season.

DPS officials say on average, 37 people die in alcohol-related crashes each year. In 2020, that number nearly doubled to 61.

“Drinking and driving is 100% preventable. If people could make a plan, it can save lives,” said UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden.

Doctor Wing Province, the medical director at Intermountain Park City Hospital says there are devastating impacts when someone chooses to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking.

“If you survive an accident where you were drinking and driving it will haunt you for the rest of your life,” Province said.

Province also pointed out that during the pandemic, there’s been an increase in mental health needs where people are treating chronic pain with anxiety medications and then going to holiday parties where they drink alcohol.

They then get behind the wheel, not realizing they are under the influence.

This is also having an impact on health care workers. Province said they are often the ones telling families their loved ones died in an alcohol-related crash.

These extra patrols will be in place through the new year.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Officials cracking down on DUIs during the holiday season