COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS -- Schools are getting out for the summer and that means graduation parties. But the celebrations don't come without a warning from police, because some of those parties will involve alcohol.

The Utah Highway Patrol says our state has the lowest alcohol fatality rate in the nation, and it wants to keep it that way.

Brighton High School seniors who received their diplomas Wednesday afternoon are ready to celebrate. Parties are planned throughout Utah, and police hope young adults will keep this statistic in mind: impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death among people 15 to 24 years old.

School administrators want to drive that lesson home.

"I think every high school is impacted by drugs or alcohol, and it doesn't matter where you go, and the effects are so long lasting," said Charisse Hilton, principal of Brighton High School.

On June 5, Cottonwood police, in partnership with other agencies, will conduct a DUI checkpoint at 6800 S. Highland Drive. They'll arrest drunk drivers. Teens say their peers could be among them.

"There's definitely people that are probably going to go out and party, which is really dumb because I don't want to lose any classmates a week after we graduate. That'd be really sad," said Angel Vernon, who just graduated from Brighton High School.

Vernon and her fellow new graduates will be at a parent-planned party at Dimple Dell.

"It's with all the seniors, and that's what most of us are going to be doing tonight," said Ryan Wells, who also just graduated from Brighton.

Police say that is a smart idea. But not everyone will play it safe.

"Last year, we had 31 deaths. This year, we hope we can make it through without any deaths. Unfortunately, that won't happen. Somebody will choose to drive drunk and either kill themselves or somebody else," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey.

The DUI checkpoint will begin at 8 p.m. Police will have a mobile command center, where they'll be able to test and keep DUI offenders before taking them to jail.

Link to article: