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Avoid drunk driving during the holidays by planning ahead

Dec 15, 2023, 7:00 AM

UHP Major Steve Salas urged people to plan how they're getting home from holiday celebrations....

FILE: UHP Major Steve Salas urged people to plan how they're getting home from holiday celebrations. (Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol said Thursday that, because of the holidays, more people will be drunk driving over the next few weeks.

Troopers warned Utahns to be vigilant and to likewise be responsible. 

The UHP said between Dec.1st and New Year’s, authorities will arrest usually 800 to 900 people in Utah for driving under the influence. And troopers will arrest around 600 of those people over the next two weeks alone.

UHP Maj. Steve Salas said the numbers increase in December because of the back-to-back holidays.

“You have people that have multiple days off and historically just [have] more celebrations.”

Add to that, Salas said, a feeling of overconfidence.

“When people start drinking and they become overconfident, they don’t feel that they are impaired… [but] statistics show they are.”

Salas said the best thing people can do is to plan how they’re getting home and not take the issue lightly.

“What we’re trying to prevent is death and injury to innocent motorists.”

Salas said drivers can expect to see extra UHP patrols during the holidays on the lookout for drunk driving.

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Avoid drunk driving during the holidays by planning ahead