Utah Leads Nation in Reduction of DUI Arrests

More than 14,000 DUI arrests were made in Utah during 2005, which includes drunk drivers as well as those operating vehicles while impaired by drugs. Of that number, 32 accidents resulted in a death. Fortunately that represents a 51% reduction in Utah DUI related fatalities.

Sgt. Ted Tingey of the Utah Highway Patrol stated that "we’re one of the lucky states, our rates have been coming down. We’re still having problems, but we’re making progress and that’s good."

The reduction is due in part to the use of roadblock sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols, as well as a nationwide focus on the highest demographic shown to be arrested for DUI. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ad campaign ‘Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.’ targets 21 to 34 year old men who are
statistically the most likely age group to drink and drive. NHTSA administrator Nicole Nason notes that demographic demonstrates "a higher likelihood, or frequency, to drink and drive. They’re also the least likely to wear their seat belts (and) the most likely to speed."

Of the 32 DUI related accidents in Utah resulting in a death, twelve involved drivers between 21 and 34 years of age.

Nationwide the number of alcohol related traffic deaths was only slightly lower in 2005 compared to the previous year. Of the fifty states and the District of Columbia the following jurisdictions showed the biggest changes in DUI fatalities:

Utah – 50.7% reduction in DUI fatalities
Maryland and Rhode Island – 23.7% reduction
Massachusetts – 20.7% reduction
Oregon – 19.3% reduction
Connecticut – 18.8% reduction

Vermont – 40% increase in DUI fatalities
Delaware – 35.9% increase
North Dakota – 32.4% increase
District of Columbia – 30.8% increase
Hawaii – 20.5% increase

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