Park City police report suspected drunken driving crashes, leaving vehicles totaled
Authorities prepare to conduct heavy traffic enforcement on New Year’s Eve
The Park City Police Department in the days before Christmas responded to two traffic accidents involving suspected drunken drivers, wrecks that occurred as the agency prepares for heavy enforcement on the roads on New Year’s Eve.
The police said in an online statement both of the accidents occurred on Dec. 22. In one of the cases, the police said, two vehicles hit each other in a head-on collision. The accident occurred at the S.R. 224-Payday Drive intersection. The police said the driver responsible for the accident left on foot and was tracked through footprints. The authorities brought the person back to the scene of the accident.
The police said the Utah Highway Patrol found the person appeared to be impaired and the person was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The online statement indicated both of the vehicles were totaled. There were no reports of injuries deemed to be serious at the time of the accident, the police said.
The other accident was reported at the intersection of Deer Valley Drive and Bonanza Drive and involved one vehicle. The police said the driver was reported to be unconscious after the accident. Officers “immediately noticed signs of impairment,” the police said in an online statement. The police administered field sobriety tests and, afterward, arrested and took the person to the Summit County Jail, the statement said.
The police said the driver is 20 and was arrested on a count of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The police said the accident left the vehicle totaled. It was impounded afterward based on a state tax issue, according to the police.
The two accidents occurred as Park City became busier with the approaching holidays. There was a marked uptick in traffic in late December, and some of the revelry of ski season was seen in the community even if it was scaled back from a normal year as the spread of the novel coronavirus continues.
The Police Department reported other recent cases of suspected drunken driving, including on Sunday in the vicinity of the intersection of Meadows Drive and Crestline Drive and on Monday on Park Avenue.
Drunken driving is a common violation in Park City during the ski season. The police regularly conduct traffic patrols that net drivers for moving violations before an officer during the stop determines the person may be driving under the influence.
New Year’s Eve is usually an especially busy night in Park City with Parkites and visitors crowding onto Main Street to celebrate. Drunken driving is an annual concern on the holiday. Even with crowds likely to be smaller than is typical for New Year’s Eve on Thursday night, the police are preparing to conduct heavy enforcement.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said there will be increased patrols on New Year’s Eve as well as officers assigned to drunken driving enforcement.
“Certainly see more alcohol related-type incidents and, unfortunately, that includes impaired drivers,” Kirk said.
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.