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DUI Arrests Down this New Year’s Weekend

DUI Arrests Down this New Year’s Weekend (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) -The Utah Highway Patrol reported a dip in the number of DUI-related arrests this weekend.

Lt. Todd Royce with the Utah Highway Patrol said while troopers swarmed the roads looking for drunk or impaired drivers this weekend, just like they do every other year, this year they noticed a big difference.

Royce said while there were 45 DUI arrests for the New Year’s weekend this year (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) they had 46 arrests on New Year’s Eve alone last year.

“We had just as many troopers out there on the road working just as hard but not finding many impaired drivers,” said Royce.

Royce said troopers noticed a lot of people who had too much to drink had sober friends drive them home or called on ride-sharing companies for a lift.

“They are seeing more responsible drinkers out there and that’s exactly the course we want to go,” he said.

Royce said while DUI continues to be a big problem in Utah (about 3,000 arrests in 2017), there is a noticeable difference when it comes to drinking and driving: people seem to be heeding the message to drink responsibly.

Most years, someone is either seriously injured or killed in a DUI crash on New Year’s Eve – that did not happen this year.

While the UHP is happy about the decrease in alcohol-related arrests, the progress there is being replaced by another disturbing trend: driving under the influence of prescription pills.

Royce said pills and alcohol can impair drivers in the same ways – the public doesn’t seem to understand that.

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