Police report more designated drivers during holiday weekend

May 29, 2012

Police agencies fanned out across the state this Memorial Day weekend trying to keep drunk drivers off the road. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Terry Ward reports.

TERRY WARD: Statewide, more than 1,700 officers were on DUI detail this holiday weekend. They made 13,000 stops, concentrated mostly around recreation areas like the Salt River, Saguaro Lake and Lake Pleasant. Alberto Gutier of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety says of those 13,000 stops, they made 528 arrests for driving under the influence. He says the good news is the number of designated drivers is up.

ALBERTO GUTIER: We found 401 sober designated drivers that we identified. These are people who said, “No, I’m sober” and that’s fantastic because, you know, there might be a couple of people slouched in the backseat, very drunk.

WARD: Gutier says the number of extreme DUI’s – that’s the number of people with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 or above -- was down from last year when 183 people were caught. This year it was 145 people. A first-time DUI conviction results in fines of at least $1,000, a minimum 24 hours in jail, a license suspension of at least 90 days and installation of an ignition locking device at the expense of the offender.

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