ROAD TO ZERO

Officials remind you to celebrate responsibly this New Year’s Eve

Dec 29, 2023, 7:47 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2023, 1:36 pm

OREM — The countdown to 2024 is on, and law enforcement is reminding you to celebrate responsibly this weekend.

“It’s one of the top deadliest holidays of the year,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Colton Freckleton.

Freckleton said there will be extra officers on the roads over the New Year’s holiday to watch for impaired drivers. If you plan on drinking, he advises having a designated driver.

“Plan a ride home if you plan on drinking,” Freckleton said. “There are plenty of resources out there for you to get home safely, whether that’s different Ubers or taxis or Lyfts or even a family member.”

Study: Utah ranks first in increased DUI drivers

Some businesses like Robert J. DeBry & Associates are offering incentives for staying off the roads. With their “Free Rides Home” program, adults aged 21 and older can get up to $35 in reimbursement when taking a rideshare or cab on New Year’s Eve.

Freckleton said if you see a drunk driver on the roads, don’t be afraid to call 911 – they can send officers to check it out. And don’t forget to buckle up.

“Just drive safe. Make sure you’re wearing your seat belts. Increase your following distance from all the traveling people on the road. Reduce your speed,” he said.

UHP stresses the importance of sober driving during holiday season

Another thing to keep in mind this weekend is fireworks safety. Just like having a designated driver, have a designated person to light the fireworks. Officials remind everyone that alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

Fireworks are allowed between 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, except in restricted areas.

“Check your city ordinances on laws and rules for fireworks this weekend,” Freckleton said. “Every city has different ordinances of what times you can be lighting those fireworks off and also as a fire precaution just to keep your neighborhood safe.”

For more information, you can visit the Utah Department of Public Safety’s website.

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Officials remind you to celebrate responsibly this New Year’s Eve