Utah is stepping up enforcement of drink driving through Labor Day

Officials across the state will be completing additional DUI shifts.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Highway Patrol officer Terry Buck interviews a driver in October 2014. Law enforcement agencies across the state are stepping up enforcement of drink-driving through Labor Day weekend.

Law enforcement agencies across the state began ramping up enforcement of drink driving on Wednesday.

According to the Utah Department of Security, the increased enforcement action will continue into busy Labor Day weekend.

Law enforcement officers from 25 different Utah agencies will complete more than 180 additional DUI shifts through Sept. 4, according to a press release.

The legal blood alcohol limit in Utah was officially lowered to 0.05 percent in late 2018. The law applies to vehicles and bicycles.

According to DPS, there have been 573 drug- or alcohol-related auto accidents in Utah so far this year, and 51 people have died in those accidents. In 2022, more than 10,400 people were arrested in the state on suspected drink driving, an average of 28.5 arrests per day.

“Every incident of driver impairment is 100 percent preventable when drivers make the decision to act responsibly,” said Robyn LaLumia, director of the Utah Highway Safety Office, in a statement.

She urged people who drink alcohol to organize a sober ride home, whether it be by public transit, a designated driver, a friend or relative, or by Uber or Lyft.

“The consequences are too severe,” she continued.

What to do if you see a drunk driver

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Highway Patrol officer Daud Eftin conducts an on-site sobriety test during a DUI raid on New Year’s Eve 2018, a day after the state BAC limit of 0.05 percent went into effect .

If you suspect a driver is impaired, call 911. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Guide to DWI (Driving During Impairment) Detection, signs of an impaired driver include:

• Drifting during a turn or turn.

• Not paying attention to the surroundings.

• Dodging or crossing lanes.

• Stopping too far from or too close to traffic signals or reacting slowly.

• Driving at night without headlights.

• Driving at different speeds or driving approximately 10 miles per hour below the speed limit.

Justin Scaccy

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