If the thought of being seriously injured or killed doesn't deter some people from drinking and driving, then law enforcers hope making a call to your mother will.
Since Aug. 21, the Utah Highway Patrol has been involved in its annual Labor Day holiday-weekend enforcement effort. Part of that campaign includes cracking down on drunken drivers.
To drive that message home, the UHP and some local bars are teaming up for their "one call" campaign.
Displaying a picture of a telephone key pad and using slogans like, "Getting a DUI is easy, calling your mom from jail is hard," "Why does the caller ID say 'county jail?' Funny story …" and "Remember how you said you'd always love me?" The goal is to deter people from drinking and driving by recreating what it might feel like to make your one phone call from jail.
A number has been set up, 1-877-JAIL-FON (524-5366), to recreate a jail call. The caller is greeted with an introduction by a yelling man who gives several options of people to talk to, including a "hysterical mother," "disapproving father" and a lawyer. After selecting an option, the caller can have a "conversation" with a prerecorded message of how the person selected might react.
Although the campaign is somewhat humorous, UHP Sgt. Ted Tingey said the message is very serious, and law enforcers wanted to get the point across any way they can.
"Whatever way we can deter somebody … through forceful factor or humorous way," he said. "If you drink and drive, we'll find you."
Last year, August was the busiest month for DUI arrests for the UHP. More than 1,500 people were arrested for DUI in August 2008. There were 276 fatalities in 2008, and 34 were alcohol-related.
The campaign is targeted primarily at the 21- to 35-year-old age group. Because many in that category like celebrating the holidays at local clubs, Lumpy's, 145 Pierpont Ave., is working with law enforcers during the campaign by allowing telephone-keypad table wraps to be put over some of its tables and coasters encouraging patrons not to drink and drive. The "men" and "women" signs on the restrooms have also been replaced by images of men and women in stripes with a ball and chain.
"We want to promote a good atmosphere and a safe atmosphere, as well. We really want to help our customers," said Lumpy's spokeswoman Dana Romney. "We want to push safety for our customers."
The UHP campaign runs through Sept. 7.
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