Impaired driving increases during holiday season

Impaired driving increases during holiday season

The Utah Highway Patrol says most DUI’s and drunk driving car accidents happen between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. –  and with the holidays right around the corner, it’s important to always stay cautious when driving.

In Utah, 11.8 percent of all crashes last year happened because people were driving under the influence. McKell Huntsman had a scary experience with a drunk driver.

“I was going through a stop light and all the sudden a car just came out in front of me out of nowhere and I t-boned them. And if it would have been a second later I probably would have died just because of how fast they were going,” she said.

Huntsman said she didn’t realize the girl was drunk until the police handcuffed and arrested her.

“But then once I saw she had been drunk, I was immediately so frustrated because that was a choice she made, it wasn’t just an accident,” Huntsman said.

Lt. Todd Royce with the Utah Highway Patrol said impairment will be higher for first-time drinkers than for someone who’s been drinking their entire life.

However, “Driving under the influence is always preventable,” he said.

In Utah, a .08 blood alcohol level is considered impaired. Lt. Royce said there will always be impaired drivers, especially during the holiday season when alcohol sales are high.


Terry Wood, director of communications and public information for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said Utah broke a sales record last year on the night before Christmas Eve with over $3 million in alcoholic beverage sales.

“We may break (the record) this year,” he said.

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