Deadly drug-related crashes are on the rise in Utah, according to report

SALT LAKE CITY – The Fourteenth Annual DUI Report to the Utah Legislature stated that drug-related vehicle fatalities are on the rise, increasing 76 percent since the last reported year.

The number of fatalities is the highest Utah has seen in the past decade

According to the report, DUI/alcohol related fatalities decreased nearly 18 percent, from 45 to 37. However, the amount of alcohol related non-deadly crashes increased 119 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Authorities made a total of 10,762 DUI arrests last year, with 81 percent of drivers having a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. 72 percent of arrestees were male, twelve percent were under the legal drinking age, and youngest offender was 14-years-old.

In 2016 there were, “8,434 DUI-related cases in Utah’s Justice Courts,” the report stated. 2,884 cases were disposed by the state’s District Courts.

The report stated that, “While Utah’s population has continued to grow, the arrest rate has declined steadily, with a nearly 38 percent decrease since FY 2009.”

Law enforcement agencies across Utah have cracked down on DUI and drug-related driving offenses. In 2016, there were 1,472 total arrests made by officers working overtime, in DUI enforcement events. These events are sponsored by federal and state funding, and typically occur during holidays where drinking and driving is more widespread, such as Halloween, New Years Eve, Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl.

Law enforcement agencies are attempting to lower statistics for DUI’s and drug related fatalities state-wide. For more information, visit http://drivesober.org/