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Utah cops cracking down on Labor Day drinking

Published August 27, 2013 5:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah law enforcement are trying to get ahead of the impending spike in drinking that comes with Labor Day weekend, and cracking down on the ones who do not heed the warning.

South Salt Lake gets a fair amount of a traffic, with the valley's major thoroughfares crisscrossing through it, so more officers than usual will be looking for impaired drivers Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Publicly announcing the extra patrols is also part of the strategy: a 2010 survey of Salt Lake County drinkers indicated that when they know of saturation patrols and checkpoints, they are less likely to drive drunk, according to a news release.

"Successful saturation patrols are not solely marked in actual drivers taken off the streets, but in drinkers who decide not to get behind the wheel in the first place," the release adds.

As another preventative measure, officers from Salt Lake City, Kaysville, the Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Utah Highway Patrol will be handing out customized barbecue sauces and spatulas near the University of Utah on Thursday, before the big game against Utah State University. The giveaways have labels that warn against driving drunk, such as "Drive Sauced, Get Busted. Warden Ted's Tangy Orange Jumpsuit BBQ Sauce," according to a separate news release.

Labor Day weekend has been the third deadliest holiday on Utah highways in the past 10 years, trailing behind Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, which is the deadliest.

The officers will be set up on the corner of 500 S. 1580 East from 4 to 6 p.m. The release encourages everyone who plans on drinking to arrange for a designated driver or to call a cab.

The South Salt Lake release also encourages anyone who sees a drunk driver to call 911 or South Salt Lake Police Dispatch at 801-840-8000.

The South Salt Lake Coalition for Drug Free Youth is sponsoring the extra DUI patrols.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda