UHP Seem Disappointed in only 6 Utah DUI Arrests

Here is a follow up to the New Years Eve post where the there were car dealerships paying cops to arrest Salt Lake City and Provo City DUI suspects.  Many police worked overtime and many resources were pulled in for this cause.  All the sponsored money, all the overtime paid, and all the resources used for New Years Eve culminates in six DUI arrests for New Years.  No crashes or accidents ocurred that were DUI related. The UHP seem disappointed.  The UHP expected a lot more.

Deseret Morning News
New Year’s DUI sting is on the dry side
UHP makes only 6 holiday arrests in Salt Lake, Utah counties

By Linda Thomson and Rebecca Palmer
Deseret Morning News
Published: January 2, 2008
Maybe all those "Don’t Drink and Drive" messages are starting to hit home.

The Utah Highway Patrol reported it made only six DUI arrests in Salt Lake and Utah counties from New Year’s Eve through the morning of New Year’s Day, according to UHP spokesman Cameron Roden.

"It’s somewhat surprising," Roden said.

There also were no DUI-related crashes and no DUI-related fatalities in those two counties during the holiday that traditionally is associated with heavy drinking.

"This makes us really happy," Roden said. "It looks like we achieved the message we wanted to put out that people should take alternate means home. We’re glad there weren’t any crashes or injuries."

In 2006, the UHP reported that New Year’s Eve and early New Year’s Day produced 10 DUI arrests for the areas it covers in the Salt Lake Valley, according to Deseret Morning News archives.

Roden on Tuesday credited the media — newspapers, TV and radio — with helping police agencies emphasize how dangerous drinking and driving can be and the fact that there would be plenty of law enforcement officials out on the roads watching for any DUI-related problems.

Various other law enforcement agencies in the Salt Lake Valley said they had no statistics as yet regarding DUI arrests on Tuesday.

The UHP did have one particularly troubling DUI case involving an intoxicated 17-year-old male who led police on a chase from Tooele to the east side of Salt Lake City. The youth ran over three sets of spikes placed by police but kept on going until he finally ended up driving on the tire rims with shreds of rubber flapping.

The 30-minute chase started about 9:30 p.m. when Tooele police officers tried to stop a small, speeding pickup truck, dispatchers said. The truck moved onto state Route 201, and UHP troopers took over.

"He was all over the road at speeds up to 80 mph and down to 30 mph," Roden said. "We attempted to spike the vehicle at 5600 West and we were not able to. We attempted to spike it at Bangerter Highway around Route 201 and got some of the tires. We spiked it a third time and got all four tires," Roden said.

The young driver still kept going, although now at speeds of 10-20 mph.

"The tires were flapping all around," Roden said. "His vehicle finally gave out on him."

The 17-year-old was arrested just west of Foothill Drive in Salt Lake City (2800 East), and he was booked into a juvenile detention facility.

He told police he was underage and had been drinking, so that’s why he ran.

Here is a comment posted at the article site:

 "Previous articles touted UHP troopers’ claims that finding impaired drivers on the road was like shooting fish in a barrel and the highest rates of impaired driving is over the holidays.

The State of Utah’s own statistics don’t bear this out.

Perhaps the federal grant money-funded scare tactics were to induce some pre-legislative session hysteria.

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Posted in Saturation Patrols and Checkpoints

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