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Annual DUI blitz nets 24 arrests from 178 traffic stops in Salt Lake County

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1 2014 5:11 p.m. MST

It was a busy New Year's Eve for Utah Highway Patrol troopers in Salt Lake County, but not quite as busy as last year when they took 30 impaired drivers off the streets during their annual DUI blitz.

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MURRAY — It was a busy New Year's Eve for Utah Highway Patrol troopers in Salt Lake County, but not quite as busy as last year when they took 30 impaired drivers off the streets during their annual DUI blitz.

"Twenty-one DUI arrests and two 'not-a-drop' violations might sound a bit low," UHP Sgt. Larry Mower said Wednesday. "But on the flip side, that's a good thing, right? It means that maybe we're getting the message out there, and maybe we don't have as many people driving under the influence during the holiday."

Not everyone has gotten the message though.

"The vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic, corrected and then obviously ended up here, on its top," said UHP Sgt. Wyatt Weber, standing next to a car that rolled while traveling from I-215 to eastbound I-80 about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The 23-year-old driver, who complained of shoulder pain, told troopers he'd only had the car for four hours before the crash. The vehicle had 78 miles on the odometer, investigators said.

The man's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, according to troopers, who said that even though one alcohol-related crash is troubling, there was still a silver lining.

"It was a single-vehicle crash," Mower said. "No other vehicles were involved and no other parties were injured. So, if you're looking at the positive, that's a good thing."

In addition to the DUI arrests that came from the 178 traffic stops they made, troopers in Salt Lake County said they also arrested one driver who was transporting a significant amount of marijuana.

Troopers statewide weren't called to any crashes with fatalities either.

All in all, they said, it was a successful night.

"Our statistic last night is fantastic," Mower said. "We only had one crash while we were out during the blitz. That rarely happens in the Salt Lake valley."

Blitz statistics for troopers in Utah's 28 other counties were still being tallied Wednesday. Last year, UHP reported 72 DUI-related arrests across the state during its New Year's Eve enforcement blitz.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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