The Utah Highway Patrol last year shifted from a year-long focus on apprehending impaired drivers to enforcing speed limits and seat-belt use instead. The number of deaths related to driving under the influence increased from 25 to 39, up 56%. The report shows that in 2010 when the Utah Highway Patrol focused on DUI -and conducted more DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols – related deaths were much lower than other years. Law enforcement also made about 1,000 more DUI arrests than the previous year.
Other findings of the report include:
- 13,031 DUI arrests were made by police agencies statewide in fiscal 2012, which ended June 30.
- That was 785 fewer than the previous 12 months.
- 972 arrests were made during specialized DUI overtime enforcement events, which involved 100 law enforcement agencies statewide.
- The average blood alcohol content for those arrested was 0.14, with the highest at 0.39 – nearly five times the legal limit of 0.08.
Since the report’s release, Utah Highway Patrol Superintendent has said that his agency will again make DUI enforcement a priority in 2013.
In Utah the minimum consequences for a first-time DUI conviction include 2 days in jail, 120-day license suspension, vehicle impoundment, a $700 fine and an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle.