ROAD TO ZERO

UHP stresses the importance of sober driving during holiday season

Dec 14, 2023, 5:40 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — With Christmas just weeks away, many Utahns are planning holiday celebrations. And if your plans may include drinking, there’s a statewide movement to encourage Utahns to add a sober ride into those plans.

“We don’t want to arrest anyone during the holiday season. We don’t want anyone to lose their loved one during the holiday season,” said Utah Highway Patrol’s Major Steve Salas.

Salas believes nobody wants to end the night on a bad note after a holiday party.

“We know that once you start to feel signs of impairment, you are overconfident, think you may not be impaired, and that’s when we have tragedy,” he said.

This year, Utah’s Department of Public Safety has paired up with the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services and WCF Insurance to urge bargoers to plan a sober ride home.

To get the message out, liquor stores, partnering bars, and restaurants will display safety messages encouraging a sober ride home. The signage will include a QR code that gives riders $10 off on an Uber, funded by WCF Insurance.

“We had a bartender last weekend actually who had a gentleman that was not fit to drive home and mentioned that he was driving home, she brought up the program, he utilized the program, even left his keys on the bar, got home safe and picked up the keys the next day,” said Richard Noel, the manager of Bar X.

For added safety, UHP plans to add 380 extra DUI shifts and have 36 agencies participating in the campaign.

“Just be responsible, know that we are going to be out there from a law enforcement perspective looking for people who are driving impaired, and we encourage everyone to have that formal plan in place,” Salas said.

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UHP stresses the importance of sober driving during holiday season