Highway patrol ‘DUI Blitz’ nets 107 offenders, Southern Utah arrests low

SOUTHERN UTAH – Eight people were arrested for driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Southern Utah, a low number in comparison to other parts of the state.

On New Year’s Eve, the Utah Highway Patrol launched a statewide “DUI Blitz,” flooding state roads with units on the lookout for drunk drivers. They made a total of 107 arrests, nearly 80 percent of which were in the Salt Lake City area and along the Wasatch Front.

In contrast, only two drivers were arrested by the UHP in all of Southern Utah. Local law enforcement agencies in Washington, Kane and Iron counties made six additional arrests.

“We always see the largest number of DUI arrests in the metropolitan areas,” UHP’s Cpl. Todd Johnson said. UHP doesn’t have as many troopers in Southern Utah, so they can’t always catch the drunk drivers, he said; “It is good that the local agencies are vigilant.”

DUI is the third-highest cause of fatalities on Utah’s roads, according to Zero Fatalities. In 2011 alone, 23 people were killed as a result of drunk driving in Washington, Kane and Iron counties and numerous others were injured.

Driving safely and responsibly is crucial at all times, especially holiday weekends when many are on the roads. The UHP has offered St. George News readers some tips on how to travel with caution.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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