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UHP sees ‘substantially higher’ DUI arrests over New Year holiday weekend

Jan 1, 2024, 10:06 PM | Updated: Jan 2, 2024, 7:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol reported a surge in DUI arrests over this holiday weekend compared to last year.

Sgt. Cameron Roden said, so far, 66 people have been arrested for driving under the influence from Friday through Monday morning.

“This weekend…was substantially higher than last year,” Roden said Monday. “This year, we had, from the preliminary numbers that we see, 66 DUI arrests for the holiday weekend versus last year, we had 36, so quite a bit more.”

Across the state, law enforcement officers covered the roads to stop drunk or high drivers. Roden said 380 additional shifts were worked from mid-December through the new year.

“Law enforcement is out there working those shifts trying to make sure we remove those impaired drivers so that we can avoid having those crashes, those deadly incidents on the roads,” he said.

Roden said 28 DUI drivers were arrested on New Year’s Day, 16 on Dec. 31, 13 on Dec. 30 and nine were arrested on Dec. 29.

“That’s just UHP numbers, that’s not including all law enforcement statewide,” he said. “That’s far too many people not making that plan beforehand and taking that gamble to drive home.”

The number of DUI arrests is nearly double what it was over the 2023 New Year holiday weekend.

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

A low number of arrests were reported in 2022. UHP attributed that to bad weather keeping drivers off the roads.

“Those are incidents where individuals were removed from the roadway that could’ve caused a really bad crash,” Roden said.

UHP reported no deadly crashes caused by drunk driving over the weekend. Roden said it easily could’ve been a different outcome.

“Those could’ve been crashes that ended up changing not only their life but the lives of those who were crashed into,” he said.

It’s an issue Roden said the UHP is hopeful Utahns will improve on as we move into the new year.

“We saw a record high compared to last year, so as we go into other celebrations, we’re going to have the Super Bowl coming up, other holidays, we can take this year and learn from it and hopefully next year,  we can make a difference,” he said.

UHP reported 66 arrests Monday night because there could be more than the data center reports when it reopens. While they have more troopers watching the road, the data center was closed for the holiday Monday.

This article will be updated with any new reports that may come in.

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UHP sees ‘substantially higher’ DUI arrests over New Year holiday weekend