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Expect additional DUI shifts on Super Bowl Sunday

At least one person is in critical condition following a crash involving three vehicles on I-15 just south of Beaver, Utah.  (File photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah law enforcement officials say they have their own game plan for Super Bowl Sunday. It includes officers, deputies and troopers working overtime DUI shifts to deter, detect and stop impaired driving.

Find a sober ride for Super Bowl Sunday

The National Football League’s Super Bowl LV is on Sunday, February 7, 2021. The annual event is one of America’s favorite celebrations, although Lieutenant Nick Street with Utah Highway Patrol says, unfortunately, fans make irresponsible decisions too often.

“Over the past five years we’ve averaged about 40 DUI arrests on Super Bowl Sunday in Utah,” he explains.

That number really spiked in 2018 with 60 DUI arrests. Last year, 43 DUI arrests were made.

The Utah Highway Patrol and 73 law enforcement agencies throughout Utah recently completed a two-week Winter Holiday DUI enforcement period, arresting 101 impaired drivers.

“It’s so easy”

According to Lieutenant Street, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking. 

“It’s so easy to use a ride sharing app or find a designated driver,” he says.

This Sunday will be a Super Bowl viewing experience unlike any other, as national and local health officials urge people to stay away from large gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the plea to avoid gathering, which has been an ongoing message for nearly a year, local law enforcement agencies have stayed plenty busy pulling over impaired drivers.

“We’re still seeing a pretty consistent number of DUI’s being arrested,” says Lieutenant Street. “Our DUI rates have [actually] increased, even here in the state of Utah throughout the pandemic.”

In Utah, the BAC limit is .05. A DUI arrest may result in the suspension of your driver license, impoundment of your vehicle and jail time. The average DUI costs approximately $10,000.

Looking ahead to the numbers on Sunday, 25 different law enforcement agencies will be working more than 75 DUI overtime shifts.