SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol is calling weekend enforcement efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road a success.
Troopers participated in enforcement blitzes, DUI checkpoints, saturation patrols and speed enforcement from one end of the state to the other over the holiday weekend. They looked for five of the riskiest driving behaviors: distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt and drunken driving.
They also worked with several agencies to perform DUI checkpoints across the state. In two of those checkpoints, officers stopped 1,000 cars and found no drunken drivers, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey. UHP made a few DUI arrests, but overall, the numbers were down.
“We’ve had several DUI arrests,” he said. “We’ve also had several individuals that have been designated to drive or take them home because they are impaired. We love to hear stories like that."
Tingey said a combination of education efforts in schools, businesses and corporations, and billboards and ads, along with enforcement is making a difference.
"We're looking great," he said. "We continue on a downward trend in Utah, which is fabulous. We'd like to keep it going."
But no one was declaring a victory until all travelers could return home safely. "Our main goal is to get you home safe, to make a memorable experience last and not turn it into a tragic circumstance because you did something wrong," Tingey said before the afternoon roadways got congested with travelers returning home.
Troopers focused on the busiest Utah roads as well as those with construction. UHP estimates law enforcement agencies statewide put in about 1,000 hours of overtime this Labor Day weekend.