Highway patrol troopers advise New Year’s revelers to designate sober drivers

Sobriety checkpoint, image by SoCalShooter | Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In 2015, more than 10,200 people died in alcohol-related crashes in the United States, and in Utah, alcohol contributed to 13 percent of all traffic related fatalities, killing 37 people. In Arizona, 295 lives were lost in alcohol-related traffic incidents. The Arizona Highway Patrol will be out in force this New Year’s Eve with one purpose — to reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries.

Those who plan on heading to Mesquite, Nevada, to ring in the new year at one of the casinos should plan on getting a room for the night or designating a sober driver, as the Arizona Highway Patrol will be on the lookout for motorists who are under the influence.

“We will be looking for those drivers who decide to party in Mesquite at one of the casinos and attempt to drive home. We strongly encourage people to have a designated driver if they drink tonight,” Sgt. John Bottoms with the Arizona Highway Patrol said.

In Arizona, there were more than 116,000 car crashes in 2015, claiming the lives of 895 people, and nearly 300 of those who died were involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes, according to figures provided by the Arizona Department of Transpiration.

Alcohol-related crash facts:

  • Every day in the U.S. 28 people are killed in alcohol-related car crashes, which is 1 person killed every 53 minutes.
  • Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased by 3.2 percent, from 9,943 in 2014 to 10,265 in 2015.
  • The deaths and damages come at a cost of $52 billion a year.

Anthony Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary said in a statement released two weeks ago:

“Each year, too many lives are lost to drunk driving, particularly around the holiday season. Now we have an opportunity to prevent future drunk driving tragedies by taking action today, and we want everyone to be safe this holiday season, which is why we’re urging the public to make the right choice, follow the law and drive sober.”

  • During the 2015 Christmas holiday period from 6 p.m. December 24th to 5:59 a.m. December 28th, 34 people were killed per day in drunk driving crashes, totaling 120 deaths over 3.5 days.
  • During the New Year’s holiday period from 6 p.m. December 31, 2014 to 5:59 a.m. January 5, 2015, 31 people were killed per day in drunk driving crashes, totaling 139 deaths over 4.5 days.
  • These two holidays combined accounted for 259 lives lost in drunk driving crashes.


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1 Comment

  • [email protected] December 31, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Catching DUI drivers is a far more important use of public safety resources than chasing some idiot on a crotch rocket who will sooner or later wipe out, according to Natural Selection principles… Thanks go out to those officers who keep the DUIs off the road, before serious damage is done.

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