UHP to add troopers to help stop DUIs leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day

Mar 15, 2023, 7:16 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Alcohol-related deaths made up 16% of all traffic-related deaths in Utah in the last five years. Col. Michael Rapich and the Utah Highway Patrol is sounding the alarm about the Saint Patrick’s Day.

He said this week UHP will have over 100 additional troopers to watch for, among other things, impaired drivers.

“Saint Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday, a lot of drinking involved in that, historically, and we are hoping that people make good decisions, we are being really proactive to encourage them to do so , but those that don’t we are going to be out there and hopefully we can catch them through that,” Rapich said.

He said arrests of those driving while intoxicated have been consistent but have actually dropped each year since 2020.

“Why we do probably better than a lot of the other states do or why we do so well, even though its a significant problem, I think we are very proactive; I think law enforcement as a whole in the state of Utah make impaired driving enforcement absolutely a priority.”

Since 2018, when Utah became the first state to lower blood-alcohol content laws to .05 to be considered above the legal limit, crashes involving a driver with BAC of .08 or above has increased by 34%.

“If you’re going to drink, plan not to drive don’t include the two,” Rapich said. “And definitely don’t wait until you maybe have started to realize impairment, and judgment goes, and a lot of other factors to make that decision, because that ends horribly.

Those who drink are encouraged to plan transportation ahead of time, use ride apps or public transportation.

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UHP to add troopers to help stop DUIs leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day