Troopers Crack Down on DUI Motorists

Troopers Crack Down on DUI Motorists

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Samantha Hayes reportingEvery year thousands of people die or suffer life long injuries at the hands of drunk drivers.

Friday night, alcohol and speed resulted in a rollover accident at the mouth of Parley's Canyon. Utah law enforcement plans to do its best this weekend to prevent more accidents like that one from happening.

This weekend's crackdown is part of a national effort to stop drunk driving, as part of the "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" campaign.

Officers started the crackdown at 10:00 pm Friday, and the campaign lasts until July 27th.

Sgt. Lee Perry/ Utah Highway Patrol: "We would like to see less fatal crashes, especially alcohol related. We'd like to not have to make that walk to the door quite so often."

Exactly five years ago Rosalyn Richardson got the knock on her door. The family was preparing for a vacation to Lake Powell when her husband, Todd, was hit from behind on his motorcycle by a drunk driver.

Rosalyn Richardson/ Wife of victim: "Now most of his days are spent watching television and unable to do very much without a lot of direction and help."

At the time of the accident, doctors didn't even expect Todd Richardson to live. He's doing much better now, but his wife says he doesn't have the memory capacity to walk a block away to the local school and make it back home.

Rosalyn: "I run the household now. It's like being a single parent. He would like to help, and that's what hurts the most. But he's not able to do what he would like to do."

In the past 16 years, 1,322 people have died in alcohol related crashes on Utah roads. In 2002 alone, there were 53 alcohol related fatalities.

UHP says many of those happen this time of year.

Lee: "People are off during the summer months, out vacationing, enjoying themselves. You've got the fourth of July, where people go out and have a tendency to party and a tendency to drink."

And as the campaign says, if you then drive, you lose. The victims, though, lose more than a license and pay far more than any fine.

Rosalyn: "It's changed everything completely. One hundred percent. There's hardly anything in our lives that has not changed as a result of this."

At .08 blood alcohol content you are presumed to be under the influence. But you can be arrested and prosecuted for having much less, even just that one beer.

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