Drug Related Car Crashes on Rise in Uta

A recent report in a Salt Lake City newspaper indicated that drug-related fatal car crashes are on the rise in Utah again.  The report indicates that 108 individuals from Utah were killed in incidents where someone chose to drink or use drugs before getting behind the wheel in a one year period. Also during that year, the amount of deadly collisions where a driver tested positive for drug use rose 7 percent— from 67% to 72 %.  Within the past decade, these fatalities account for more than a quarter of all fatal crashes within Utah during the 1 year period that was examined.

The report further indicated that most often, marijuana, meth, depressants and narcotics were found within the driver’s system. Perhaps this prompted Utah lawmakers to recently pass a bill which dropped the legal blood alcohol content for driving to .05 percent – making Utah the lowest in the nation.

The DUI report also indicated the following statistics:

  • 81% of drivers arrested for DUI had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.
  • 12% of those arrested were under the legal drinking age of 21, with 14 being the youngest.
  • The average blood alcohol content for those arrested was .15%, with the highest being .42%.

Although the recent bill to lower the legal blood alcohol content for driving is significant, more needs to be done to lower the rate of drug related car crashes in Utah.

Source: Desert News, Heather Miller, DUI/Alcohol-Related Crashes Fatalities in Utah, DUI/Alcohol-Related Crashes Fatalities in Utah

Drunk drivingMichael Phelps receives second DUI

It’s been 10 years since the last time Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges. He’s headed to rehab again after being booked in Baltimore, MD, on charges of DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines.

In a series of tweets, he indicated, “I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself. Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”

Rival Olympic swimmer and competitor Ryan Lochte is quoted as responding to the arrest by saying, “He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. It just stinks for the sport of swimming. But he will become smarter from this. Luckily he did not hurt himself or someone else.”

USA Swimming announced that they are suspending Michael Phelps for six months due to Code of Conduct violations. He will have to forfeit payments from his USA Swimming stipend during this suspension because of the DUI and he has agreed to withdraw from the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships held in Russia next August.

As previously mentioned, this isn’t the first time that Phelps has been suspended and made headlines for DUI/drug abuse. During 2009, he was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe during a party and received a three-month suspension. The marijuana stint resulted Kellogg dropping his sponsorship. Further, media also questioned him during the 2008 Beijing Olympics as to whether he was using performance-enhancing drugs, but successfully passed 9 drug tests.

Teamusa.org reports that, “the current sanction sends a message to fans that Phelps’ actions are unacceptable and not in line with USA Swimming’s code of conduct, which states that, ‘The privilege of membership may be withdrawn or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA Swimming determines that a member’s conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who participate in it.’”


A lot of our recent posts have been about alcohol consumption and the holidays, and for good reason.  According to the United States Department of Transportation, from 2001 to 2005, an average of 45 people died each day during the holiday season.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that drinking and driving spike during the holiday season, with alcohol being blamed for about 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Year’s. The average yearly rate is 41 percent. In addition, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 25,000 people will be injured as well.

What should you do?

First, always have a designated driver.  Second, if you see friends drinking, don’t let them drive!   Yes, they might be mad at you, but it’s better to have them mad then to not have them at all.  This is also true if you have been drinking.  Call a cab or a friend.  In fact, we heard on the radio today that a Utah law firm will reimburse you up to $35 if you call a cab, instead of driving drunk.  We think it’s a small price to pay.

Third, avoid driving in the early morning or late evening during the holidays.  Yes, this one’s a stretch, but that’s when fatalities are typically the highest.  Finally, if you do see someone driving erratically, report them to the police immediately.

We hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season, and we wish all of you a happy New Year.  Please drink responsibly, and we’ll see you next year!

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