DUI arrests over holiday weekend in Utah nearly double last year’s count

Jan 3, 2024, 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 —  Throughout New Year’s weekend — Friday through Monday — 70 drivers were arrested for DUI in Utah. That’s nearly double the number of arrests (36) from the previous year. The better news is that no deaths or injuries were reported.

Almost half of those arrests involved narcotics said Sgt. Cameron Roden with Utah Highway Patrol.

“A lot of [DUIs] actually involve both alcohol and drugs,” Roden told KSL NewsRadio. “So it’s something that everybody needs to be aware of, especially just knowing that it’s not just alcohol.


“There’s other things, too, that can impair your ability to drive,” said Roden, reminding people taking prescription medicines to make sure they don’t impair their driving.

The high number comes despite Utah’s tough DUI law, which is the strictest in the nation.  Drivers in Utah with a blood alcohol concentration of .05% are considered to be “driving under the influence” (DUI).

Is the law too strict?

Can more arrests correlate to how strict the law is, and, is it too strict?

Roden said that when the stricter law went into effect, UHP surveyed Utahns. They asked drivers if a stronger law would affect their decision to drink and drive.

“A good number of those people said ‘Yes, I’m going to plan that sober ride home,'” he said, “and then going into 2019, we saw a significant decrease in impaired driving deaths …  we want to get back to that.” 

Are other resources needed?

On the Friday ahead of the long holiday, the Utah Transit Authority said most buses would end service at or before 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. All TRAX train lines would shut down by or before midnight. 

Would more public transportation options lower the number of DUI arrests during the New Year’s weekend in Utah?

“How much that actually plays into it, you know, we would have to look at that a little bit more, but there are so many other options than considering driving if you’re impaired,” Roden said.

Other options are out there, he said, such as taking an Uber, Lyft or calling a friend for a safe ride home.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Former president Donald Trump, Manhattan trial...


With trial starting next month, Manhattan DA asks judge for a gag order in Trump’s hush-money case

The Manhattan DA's office asked that Trump be barred from making or directing others to make public statements about people involved in the case.

2 days ago

Kathy Brandel and her husband of 27 years, Ralph Hendry...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

Family of Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada describe scene of violence

The family of two Americans who may have been killed in an alleged yacht high jacking in Granada hope the couple might be found alive.

2 days ago

Police tape drapes the crime scene on a trail behind Lake Herrick at the University of Georgia in A...

Ashley R. Williams, Raja Razek, Priscilla Alvarez, Isabel Rosales and Jaide Timm-Garcia, CNN

Questions remain in investigation of death of Augusta University student found on UGA campus

As the investigation continues into the death of an Augusta University student, officials confirmed the immigration status of a suspect.

2 days ago

A car ran into a house in Hurricane Sunday morning, police say. No injuries to the driver or the oc...

Devin Oldroyd

Car crashes into house in Hurricane Sunday morning

A car ran into a house in Hurricane Sunday morning, police say. No injuries to the driver or the occupants of the house were reported.

3 days ago

FILE — Handcuffs hang from a rail inside the Wasatch entry of the old Utah State Prison in Draper...

Mary Culbertson, KSLTV

Man accused of manslaughter after allegedly selling fentanyl that led to overdose

One man was arrested and accused of manslaughter after authorities believe he sold fentanyl to a victim who died of overdose.

3 days ago

Charles E. Escalera, 21...

Michelle Watson and Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN

Kentucky man arrested in connection with death of Campbellsville University student

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a student at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

DUI arrests over holiday weekend in Utah nearly double last year’s count