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Utah Highway Patrol responds to DUI monitoring mandate

Nov 29, 2021, 4:09 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2021, 9:28 am
A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
FILE: Utah ranks high among the safest areas to live in the U.S. when it comes to drunk driving fatalities. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Part of the newly passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a mandate that requires DUI monitoring devices to be built into all new cars beginning in 2026.

And at least for now, officials from the Utah Highway Patrol say they are on board with the DUI monitoring mandate.

“We’ve seen a lot of wrong-way crashes this year,” said the UHP’s Major Jeff Nigbur, “have seen impaired driving fatalities and some significant wrong-way vehicles on the freeway due to impairment.”

Nigbur said that last year in Utah, the UHP saw about five alcohol-related crashes every day.

It isn’t known exactly what kind of technology would be placed inside new cars. One under consideration is an infrared sensor that would detect blood alcohol levels in the skin. If the number is too high, the car won’t move. 

There is one concern that Major Nigbur mentioned, and that’s who will have access to the information the car compiles.

“Let’s say we stopped a car with probable cause, we arrest the driver for probable DUI, we run through the standard (field sobriety tests), and later on down the road in court, would we be able, maybe through a warrant, maybe through some other process or processes, to access that information?”

The Associated Press reports that a final decision about the best anti-DUI technology to install would come from the US Transportation Department.

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Utah Highway Patrol responds to DUI monitoring mandate