First-of-its-kind DUI blitz planned for the weekend

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Troopers will work overtime this weekend to catch bad drivers. They will look for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers and those not wearing their seat belts. The Utah Highway Patrol says this is the first blitz of its kind.

"It bothers me that so many people out there are willing to roll the dice and gamble that they'll be able to make it home safely, and put everyone else on the road at risk just ‘cause they don't want to call for a cab ride," said UHP trooper Jacob Cox.

When Cox is out on the road, he knows what he's looking for. "Impaired drivers have a specific look about them, on their face," he said.

This weekend, especially, he'll use his skills to his advantage. So will more than 170 other troopers stationed across the state.

"It really makes me stop and think how many impaired drivers there really are on the roads at any given moment if 30 troopers can go out in one night and arrest 30 different DUI offenders," Cox said.

This blitz is the biggest ever, and troopers won't just look for drunk drivers. They'll spot out aggressive drivers, speeders and those not wearing their seat belts. Sometimes it's the small violations that tip troopers off.

"These officers have been trained to spot different things, different indicators. Through somebody's driving, they may see something that catches their eye, and the driver's reaction to the way they are and just key off of that," Roden said.

"It just falls upon me as a trooper to do a thorough investigation there on the side of the road to find out if they're impaired or not," Cox said.

Troopers hope drunk drivers know they're serious. Their plan is to start doing blitzes like this one from now on. "Letting people know we're out there. Often times, I would, I think, make them stop and think and maybe grab a taxi or designated driver," Cox said.

The UHP says this statewide blitz is just the first in what will become a monthly event. "We have a new administration that's really focusing on letting the public know we are serious about getting drunk drivers off the road. We want to make a difference for the future," Roden said.

The troopers involved in this weekend's statewide blitz will be paid with federal grants. The blitz starts Friday night and will last through Sunday.


Story compiled with contributions from Courtney Orton and Shara Park.

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