SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – With Utahns about to ring in the New Year, Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and West Jordan Police (WJPD) are going to be enforcing a DUI blitz in honor of a child who was killed by a drunk driver eight months ago.

The New Year’s Eve DUI blitz is being dedicated to 13-year-old Eli Mitchell, who was struck and killed by a man who had drunk seven beers prior to the accident.

In April, Mitchell was riding his bike home from a grocery store in West Jordan when he was struck and killed. The driver reportedly fled the scene, and West Jordan Police officers later arrested the man.

“Eli was taken from his family far too soon by the selfish actions of one person. Dedicating this enforcement blitz to Eli emphasizes the life-saving impact that removing impaired drivers from our roads has,” says West Jordan Chief Ken Wallentine.

“Every drunk driver our troopers and officers arrest represents possible lives saved. We will continue to enforce our DUI laws to help prevent other families from experiencing tragedies like the Mitchells have had to endure,” says Colonel Mike Rapich.

This New Year’s Eve “joint enforcement blitz” is in addition to the ongoing national year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement, according to a press release. Officers from 27 law enforcement agencies throughout Utah are reportedly working more than 240 overtime shifts to keep drunk drivers from our roads.

Though it’s no secret, the Utah Highway Safety Office states that holiday celebrations bring higher numbers of impaired drivers to the roads, endangering themselves and innocent people on the roads with them. A release states that an alarming 34% of roadway fatalities in 2022 were related to alcohol or drug-impaired driving.

“People who drink need to make the conscious decision never to get behind the wheel after drinking. If you see a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely,” a release states.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.