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Officers work to keep roads spookily sober

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Officers pulled 48 possibly intoxicated drivers off Utah roads Halloween night, and extra DUI patrols continued Saturday night.

The numbers of DUI arrests is higher this year because Halloween was on a Friday, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey.

"People don't have to get to bed early to get up for work; they can stay out as late as they want," Tingey said. "(Halloween) has become quite an adult-celebrated party. It's becoming one of our main problem holidays for illegal activity and alcohol use and alcohol abuse when they drink and drive."

The great weather also encouraged more people to be out and about, Tingey said.

Saturday night, UHP, Centerville and Bountiful police agencies were watching for intoxicated drivers in Davis County from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

One of the busiest stops Halloween night was eastbound I-80 at the port-of-entry near Wendover, Nev., Tingey said.

From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., 25 officers from the Utah Highway Patrol and the Tooele County Sheriff's Office randomly stopped 300 of the 550 cars that passed.

They arrested five individuals for driving under the influence, four people for drug violations and took two commercial vehicles off the road for major violations, Tingey said.

"The biggest things that comes with these (stops) is the word of mouth, that these things are going on," Tingey said. "So you better not choose to drink and drive."

Drivers were also dangerously tipsy in Salt Lake County, where 18 UHP troopers on a saturation blitz made 130 traffic stops. From those, 18 people were arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and three for investigation of drug possession.

In Weber County, UHP and Ogden police officers arrested 25 drivers alleged to be under the influence after stopping 226 vehicles, Tingey said.

"What's shocking is to see how many cars we stopped but imagining how many more slipped by that we didn't stop," Tingey said. "Luckily we haven't had any DUI fatalities. Hopefully we just can keep it that way."

E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com