ROAD TO ZERO

Number of New Year’s Eve DUI arrests lower than normal in 2022

Jan 1, 2022, 10:56 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 2:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol saw one of the busiest nights of the season Friday night.

Troopers said between DUIs and the snow storm, they had their hands full.

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest DUI holidays for law enforcement.

Troopers say drinking and driving just won’t be tolerated, which is why in the last two weeks, they’ve added 160 extra shifts to patrol Utah highways and freeways. Fifty troopers in Salt Lake City alone working regular and overtime shifts.

Law enforcement arrested 19 impaired drivers statewide overnight — that includes all police agencies, not just the highway patrol. But that’s only half the number of arrests from the previous year. Although, they’re awaiting the final tally.

Troopers are encouraged to see a significant downward trend in DUIs, but attribute it largely to the bad weather that kept people at home.

For the year, law enforcement has dealt with about 11,000 DUI arrests.

“That’s a really big number. That’s something that we as Utahns can do a whole lot better at. With Uber, Lyft, public transportation, taxis and designated drivers, there’s no reason to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking,” said UHP Sgt. Chris Bishop.

UHP reported no officer injuries overnight, which wasn’t the case last year.

In 2021, a trooper was hit by a drunk driver on New Year’s.

Troopers encourage people to call dispatchers if they notice an erratic driver.

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Number of New Year’s Eve DUI arrests lower than normal in 2022