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Add Jell-O shots to the drink-in-moderation list this New Year’s Eve

By Genelle Pugmire - | Dec 30, 2021

Courtesy of INSP

Jell-O salad, as shown on the Utah episode of "State Plate."

It’s that time of year again when police agencies, the Utah Department of Transportation and other organizations start chanting the New Year’s Eve mantra: Don’t Drink and Drive.

“Safety on the roads is our number one priority,” said Mitch Shaw, UDOT spokesman. “Safety is enormous. Our goal is zero fatalities. No other goal is worth having as much.”

Shaw added that alcohol and driving don’t mix and that when people drive under the influence they are putting themself and everyone else on the road at risk.

“Like other years, we will have extra enforcement on DUI shifts,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s office. “If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly.”

Cannon noted that over the New Year’s weekend the Utah County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing DUI violations with zero tolerance. “You will go to jail. Your car will be impounded. You may be convicted, and fines and fees could reach $10,000 or more.”

Cannon said that so far in 2021 UCSO has made 523 arrests for driving under the influence, 257 of those being alcohol related. In 2020, there were 159 alcohol-related DUI arrests.

Those who choose to drink at parties this weekend are encouraged to call an UBER, taxi, a friend, ride public transportation or walk, according to both Shaw and Cannon.

New Year’s Eve could also bring a double whammy of not just drinkers on the road, but dangerous road conditions because of weather that could increase travel irregularities.

For those Utahns who do drink, it appears that Jell-O Shots with Vodka are a favorite “drink” of choice.

A survey of 3,373 drinkers from Recovery First, a leading alcohol and addiction treatment facility, led to a ranking of signature state cocktails people will be toasting with on New Year’s Eve.

Tennessee was number one with its iconic Jack & Coke, a mixture of whiskey and Coke. New Hampshire was second with hard apple cider. Iowa’s frozen blue water margarita ranked third.

According to the poll, Utah’s Jell-O Shot emerged as the country’s 19th favorite cocktail to toast in the New Year.

Jell-O, already a big hit in Utah, was dubbed the official state snack in 2001. Utah has been colloquially referred to as the “Jell-O Belt.”

A Jell-O shot is made by simply following the directions but swapping out a portion of the water with vodka, then pouring the mixture into shot glasses and chilling in the fridge.

While it may appear to be safe, these colorful treats can catch you off-guard. Like the popular slogan says, “there is always room for Jell-O.” But not necessarily Jell-O with vodka.

Vodka should only be consumed in moderation as, depending on type and region, it might be as much as 40-50% pure alcohol, according to Recovery First.

To play it safe, perhaps drivers in particular should add nothing more to Jell-O than a can of fruit cocktail.

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