SALT LAKE CITY, UTah (ABC4 News) – The countdown is on for the end of 2015 but the work at Utah Highway Patrol and several law enforcement agencies across the state has just begun. Utah Highway Patrol will have over 100 extra troopers on the road this New Year’s Eve, and they’ll be looking for those drunk drivers.
Utah Highway Patrol wants to kick it off the new year by getting drunk drivers off the road and having no DUI related deaths.
“The last few years we’ve seen DUI fatalities on the rise. So, we’ve got a team out there looking hard for those impaired drivers, not only Utah Highway Patrol, but you’ve got city and county agencies that will be doing the same thing,” says Sgt. Todd Royce with the Utah Highway Patrol.
Their team will include 120 troopers covering every inch of the state’s highways. Last year they made more than 70 DUI related arrests. With the holiday falling on a weekend this year, they anticipate more people out celebrating. Law enforcement’s key message is to have a plan in place or prepare to go to jail.
“If you see somebody who is going to drive drunk, please, talk to them and help them. Help encourage them to make a better choice,” says Det. Richard Chipping with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Sgt. Royce also adds, no one should be driving drunk this holiday weekend as there are several alternatives to driving, “there are so many avenues out there for cabs, tow trucks, or people offering their time to be designated drivers. There’s no reason somebody would have to be driving impaired tomorrow night.”
Officers aren’t only worried about drunk and drug related accidents this weekend. They’re also concerned about the weather. Light snow over the last few days has created dangerous roads, and mixing drunk driving with slick roads makes for a deadly cocktail.
“We’ve had a couple of tragic fatalities over the last few days. We didn’t see that during the heavy snow storms, so, just be very careful. If there’s any moisture out on the road, please reduce your speed,” added Royce.