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UHP and SLC bars team up to prevent DUIs

By Jed Boal | Posted - Mar 12th, 2014 @ 10:09pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, law enforcement in Utah made more DUI arrests in March than any other month partly because St. Patrick's Day has become a big drinking holiday.

Local bars are teaming up with the Road to Zero Fatalities campaign that aims to cut those numbers.

St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday this year, and law enforcement and the bars are expecting most celebrations to take place this weekend.

But here's the message they're sending if someone is planning on driving after drinking: "A little drunk, a lot arrested."

At Fats Grill and Pool in Sugar House, a person can hone his or her skills shooting pool or get together with friends to enjoy a meal, and bartender Adrian Martin would love to mix up his ir her favorite drinks.

"We're going to have a lot of people in," Martin said. "It is a drinking holiday."

But after reaching the legal limit, don't even think about driving.

"We're going to do our best to make sure that while everyone's happy, no one is too drunk,” Martin said.

Fats is among 40 bars and restaurants along the Wasatch Front teaming up with local law enforcement to help prevent drinking and driving.

"They don't want to see anybody from their bar going out and getting behind the wheel if they're over the limit,” said Trooper Lawrence Hopper from the Utah Highway Patrol.

UHP are handing out T-shirts for the servers to wear and coasters to use at their establishments.

"You see this unlucky leprechaun who chose to drink and got behind the wheel and got arrested,” Hopper said.

Law enforcement doesn't want to kill the party, but it wants to make sure that party-goers can have a good time while keeping themselves and others safe.

"There's nothing fun about getting into a DUI crash and hurting someone or possibly killing someone,” Hopper said.

If people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some drinks, UHP said to plan ahead, have a designated driver in the group, call a cab or walk if celebrating close to home.

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