SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Public safety officials say they are tired of telling people not to drive drunk, so instead, they showed people why it is a bad idea, Friday.
One by one, local news media stepped aboard the first ever "DUI Staycation Trolley Tour Bus." With two trusty tour guides, snacks, and Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, Lawrence Hopper, the one-of-a-kind tour was on its way.
Among the sights in Salt Lake City Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen saw families and friends out enjoying the weather -- some kicking off their Independence Day celebrations with alcoholic beverages.
"You see this a lot. This is where DUIs commonly start..." Hopper pointed.
While responsible adults plan ahead and find a designated driver, Hopper says unfortunately, too many people still fail to do that, especially during Independence Day weekend.
"It used to be New Years. New Years used to be the big drinking holiday... but people are realizing that law enforcement is going to be out on New Years, and they're making a plan..." Hopper explained. "Now, we have to focus on those other holidays," he said.
UHP is sending 189 extra troopers out to patrol roadways across the state this holiday. They say their prime focus is catching drunk drivers.
"Look what we got up here! This is somebody who's been drinking too much. This is really what's going to happen," the Salt Lake Trolley tour guide pointed out.
Authorities will conduct field sobriety tests the moment a driver seems impaired.
"We're asking him, 'Keep your hands down straight, lift your foot up, look straight, and he just can't do it..." Hopper said of the actor impersonating an impaired driver. "I would not be surprised if he gets arrested," he said.
"Go ahead and put your lips around there, and big deep breath..." the trooper issuing the FST said to the driver. "Unfortunately sir, you are over the legal limit," he said.
That blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08.
Of course, the intoxicated driver eventually ends up with the ultimate 'staycation' in jail, facing a minimum fine of $700, a suspended drivers license, and impounded car.
'Not only that, but what about the safety? You're putting yourself at risk, you're putting others at risk... The message is 'be responsible about it, get a designated driver, don't do what you just saw,'" Hopper said.
AAA is also reminding divers that free tipsy tows are available this July 4th. Just call (800) AAA-HELP for a lift.
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