SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Highway Patrol says their DUI blitz the past two weekends was one of the most successful they've ever had. The blitz this weekend focused on Salt Lake County.
Holiday weekends are always busy for troopers on DUI patrol, but this weekend especially busy, and they say it's probably just because more people are sticking around here rather than traveling far.
Utah Highway Patrol spent these past two weekends arresting individuals for drunk driving. They made about 1,000 traffic stops throughout the county on surface streets and on highways. Combined, troopers nabbed 136 people for being impaired on our roads--61 last weekend and 76 this weekend.
Troopers also picked up several people with outstanding warrants, worth about $1 million in bail.
UHP Sgt. Martin Turner said, "It's a good thing and a bad thing. We were extremely successful in our contact with the impaired driver. Unfortunately that's way too many impaired drivers on our highways."
Sgt. Turner went so far as to say that this blitz was the most productive in his career. He explained two reasons for the success. First, the downturn in paying more to get away. More people are staying in town for holidays, drinking at parties, then driving home, rather than flying out of state.
Second, because of new legislation, impaired drivers are having to pay $200 to get their car out of impound. That's double the amount of last year. All that money is going back to fund the highway patrol for blitzes like these. So instead of 30 extra officers getting overtime, they paid 60 troopers for back-to-back weekends.
Tonight the UHP will be targeting speeders especially. But since most people are off tomorrow, they'll be looking for more drunk drivers tonight, as well.
E-mail: ngonzales @ksl.com