More Than 150 Motorists Arrested in DUI Dragnet

More Than 150 Motorists Arrested in DUI Dragnet

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News Specialist Stacey Butler reporting
January 1, 2003
A new year and possibly a new record for drunk driving arrests -- and the crackdown is far from over.

"Just because the new year is over, we're not going to quit looking for impaired drivers," says Lt. Doug McCleve with the Utah Highway Patrol.

Early this morning, UHP Troopers completed an aggressive new campaign to keep Utah's streets safe.

On Salt Lake County roads alone, 158 drunken drivers were arrested during a five-day crackdown that ended just last night.

"That's what we're here to do. To help make the community a safer place to be," McCleve says.

And apparently it's working.

After a five-day crackdown that ended early this morning, troopers arrested 158 drunken drivers. That's more than last year's arrests during the routine two-day DUI enforcement.

"It was a combined effort. Law enforcement came together to work together on this to see if we can make a difference out there," McCleve says.

For the first time, local, county and state agencies enforced a major DUI crackdown for five days instead of the routine two, because this year the New Year celebrations fell midweek.

In spite of wet roads and social drinking, only one major crash likely involving alcohol was reported.

Police suspect the driver of this red Blazer was intoxicated when he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a minivan in West Valley.

One child and four adults, including the driver of the Blazer, were injured.

Fortunately, there are no fatalities to report this new year.

"Overall, I could say it's a big success," McCleve says.

And recently, a national report showed Utah had the lowest rate of drunken driving fatalities in the nation last year.

Good news, but with 158 DUI arrests in five days, troopers have their work cut out for them.

"What we're trying to do here is to avoid getting injured or killed out here," McCleve says.

The number of statewide DUI arrests is expected to reach more than 200 after all the local police departments across the state report their arrests later this week.

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