Arizona DUI Task Forces Rack Up 495 DUI Arrests Over Memorial Day Weekend

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Rusty Clark


DUI task forces around the state arrested 495 people on DUI charges over Memorial Day weekend.

That's the fewest DUI arrests of the last five years over Memorial Day weekend. An average of about 630 people were arrested over Memorial Day weekend between 2010 and 2013, according to statistics released by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

See also:
-Memorial Day Weekend DUI Patrols

The level of enforcement was about the same as previous years -- the statewide DUI task forces have averaged about 1,800 police officers combined, and included 1,849 over this year's holiday weekend.

As is the case with all holiday DUI enforcement, we published details and maps of DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints in the Phoenix area.

For the first time in the last five years, police actually pulled over more sober designated drivers (580) than allegedly drunk drivers (495). More than 5,000 citations were handed out, including for speeding and seat belt violations, but not including DUI.

See the stats below of DUI enforcement over Memorial Day weekend, from this year and last year:

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Of the three statewide DUI-enforcement campaigns this year, Memorial Day resulted in the second-most arrests. There were 500 arrests statewide during Cinco de Mayo weekend, and 413 over St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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35 comments
Robert Johnston
Robert Johnston

Or another way of looking at it is that 11000 people were stopped on suspicion of DUI when they should have been left alone. Perhaps it's time to devote more Police resources elsewhere.

Kyle Hague
Kyle Hague

its gonna take Matthew Hendley hours to sort all the poor and minority folks out of the mugshots for his column on Friday.

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

So out of 11,580 people stopped by police, having their 4th amendment rights violated, they managed to cobble up maybe 140 people who statistically might have actually had some meaningful level of impairment (that generally occurs at .14 BAC).  


Wouldn't it have been more useful to actually look for drivers that seemed to be having a hard time controlling their car?  Yes, yes it would.  But that would have required 1/10th the number of officers and they would actually have to work for a living and they would have lost out on the BS ticket revenue.  


What a joke.  People should be up in arms about this BS.

Cris Cross
Cris Cross

All the dumb people cant drive. The already lost they're license.

marcy
marcy

Almost 1/2 of the stops resulted in a citation.  



marcy
marcy

Does the MCSO post people's net worth along with their mugshots?



marcy
marcy

@HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

It isn't a violation of the 4th amendment to pull people over to cite them for speeding and other traffic infractions.


You must be drunk to think that impairment starts at 0.14

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@HerePiggyPiggyPiggy 

Speaking of BS:

How do you imagine it would take far fewer officers to get this many drunks off the road simply by watching for signs of impairment?


Does it really seem better to you to only cite those people who are obviously visibly impaired?   You can be too drunk to notice a red light while still able to drive in a straight line.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@arizonanewtimes.com 

Arrests really aren't the goal of the checkpoints  Reducing collisions is the goal.

It would be more interesting to see the number of alcohol-involved collisions for each year, but that doesn't serve the goal of this article, which is to remind people to click on Matt's link before every drinking holiday weekend to see where the check points will be.


Nationwide, about 40% of traffic fatalities during the drinking holiday weekends involve alcohol.

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@marcy


Yeah and that's the real reason for the checkpoints and patrols: take money from hard-working people out to have a good time so they can shove it into the police-prison industrial complex.

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@marcy @HerePiggyPiggyPiggy


That is what the original NHTSA study found.  I am going off of what a study concluded.  And keep in mind that is an average.  That means that clearly half of the people were not impaired to the point where their ability to drive was affected.  What makes you think that .08 is too much to drive?  In this state you can get a DUI with .01 - do you consider that impaired?  It basically comes down to a po-po saying "I think he was impaired" and your only defense is to have a blood test that comes back completely clean.  

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

@valleynative Pearce was driving 80mph in a posted 40 mph zone, and killed a man. He has never been arrested. peace 

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@valleynative 


Yes, actually it would take less police.  If you suspect drunks are coming off the Salt River, just post a few police vehicles along the exit route and watch for signs of obvious inability to control a vehicle.  Of those 11,580 people they interacted with, I would be surprised if there were more than 1 or 2 who were unable to control a vehicle.  If you can't spot obvious impairment to the point of driving in an unsafe manner, the people should not be stopped.  The fact is that people in AZ are prosecuted for having a BAC of any level, despite the fact that they were perfectly capable of safely driving a vehicle.  Hell, we have a jackboot county attorney who wants to prosecute people for having cannabis metabolites in their system from smoking a joint two weeks ago for DUI.  Driving with alcohol in your system or pot in your system does not cause accidents; driving unsafely or inattentively causes accidents.  People run red lights for all sorts of reasons, and being inebriated just happens to be one of them.  But just because people go through red lights because their talking on the phone does not mean that it makes sense to bust everyone for talking on their phones because they MIGHT run a red light.  A little common sense when it comes to "safety" might be nice.  What you have is a prison industrial complex that wants to find as many reasons to run people through the system as possible.  I predict that when we have self-driving cars, these same jackboots will want to prosecute people who are drunk in a self-driving car, again under the premise that 'hey, you can't be too safe'.  Yeah, actually when you are throwing people in jail in the name of safety, it's real easy to be too 'safe'.

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@valleynative @HerePiggyPiggyPiggy


I don't see any statistics to prove out your point and I would be skeptical of them to begin with.  As you noted before, the stats usually are for 'alcohol related' traffic fatalities.  If a sober driver runs a red and t-bones a driver with two beers under his belt, is that 'alcohol related'?  Something to think about, not that your mind is open to any reason on this topic.


As for randomly firing a gun around, I think you would have a hard time finding someone who would not agree that that is an inherently dangerous activity.  I am arguing that just because you have alcohol in your system does not make you inherently a dangerous driver.  If it did, I would expect that we would have carnage on the streets because lots of people drive with alcohol in their system.  Years back when the HTSA did tests for BAC, the avg level of noticeable impairment to driving ability occurred at .14.  That means that some people can drive fine at a level of .14 or even above.  As I stated earlier, the problem is dangerous driving, regardless of whatever the underlying cause of that style of driving. 


As for the DUI, I don't have one but like a lot of people in AZ, I have driven home from a happy hour with two beers under my belt and in this state that can easily get me a DUI at some idiotic checkpoint. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative @HerePiggyPiggyPiggy


@valleynative @HerePiggyPiggyPiggy  


DRIVERS ON CELL PHONES ARE AS BAD AS DRUNKS


June 29, 2006 -- Three years after the preliminary results first were presented at a scientific meeting and drew wide attention, 


University of Utah psychologists have published a study showing that motorists who talk on handheld or hands-free cellular phones are as impaired as drunken drivers.


"We found that people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit” of 0.08 percent, which is the minimum level that defines illegal drunken driving in most U.S. states, says study co-author Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology. “If legislators really want to address driver distraction, then they should consider outlawing cell phone use while driving.”


Psychology Professor David Strayer, the study's lead author, adds: “Just like you put yourself and other people at risk when you drive drunk, you put yourself and others at risk when you use a cell phone and drive. The level of impairment is very similar.”

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@HerePiggyPiggyPiggy @valleynative 

Alcohol is statistically far more dangerous than being over 60 or even than talking on cell phones, in terms of auto fatalities.

Should I be allowed to go outside and fire my gun at random, as long as I manage not to actually hit anybody or damage any property?

That's exactly the sort of nonsense you're suggesting.


You sound like somebody who's bitter about a DUI, and lack common sense (which may have contributed to the DUI).

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@valleynative 


Yeah, someone should not be prosecuted until they've done something demonstrably wrong.  This idea that we can make life safe if we just run more people through the system just feeds the system rather than lead to safety.  


Some old people are demonstrably dangerous behind the wheel.  Why are we not arresting people for driving while old?  Oh yeah, they vote in a big way and that would be politically incorrect.  Did that old lady who drove into that beauty school and kill that young lady ever get charged with ANYTHING?  Last I heard, she didn't?  Does that make sense to you?  Someone KILLS someone due to negligence and we're locking up people for a few beers.  This state is backwards a fuck when it comes to this stuff.

HerePiggyPiggyPiggy
HerePiggyPiggyPiggy

@valleynative


OK well it's not uncommon for someone talking on a phone to be able to drive a straight line but still blow through a red light.  Or someone who is 75 years or age.  Or someone who is trying to read a map.  Or someone who has makeup in the car and might be wanting to put it on.  Or someone who was up all night and is now sleepy.  Or someone who has a passenger and is having a conversation, etc, etc, etc.


Just because someone has some alcohol in their system does not mean they will drive unsafely, just like people who are stone-cold sober don't always drive safely.  I don't care what someone is doing in their car, or did before they got in their car so long as they drive with proper care.  People should only be prosecuted for not taking due care with regards to driving; this boogie-man about someone having two beers and being a danger is the result of a prohibitionist campaign aided by the financial interests of the prison-police complex and the fact that dullards out there don't seem to care that people who have hurt no one and would have hurt no one are having their lives turned upside down for no good reason. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@HerePiggyPiggyPiggy @valleynative 

"If you can't spot obvious impairment to the point of driving in an unsafe manner, the people should not be stopped"

Complete nonsense.  Think this through.

As I said above, it's not uncommon to be too drunk to notice that a light has turned red, while still being alert enough to drive in a straight line.


 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative 

Yes.  and if you're involved in a collision and any of those factors is involved, the cop will take note, and you could be fined if he thinks it's significant.

Alcohol is simply the factor that is easiest to prove in court.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative ... so does Driving Tired, Driving Distracted, Driving Emotionally Distraught ... and the worst ... Driving While Stupid.



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative 

Because driving while drunk creates a danger to others, whether or not you happened to be at fault in the accident that led to your being caught.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative "It's completely possible that the drunks involved in the collisions didn't actually cause them"


So why punish them for it?



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative @arizonanewtimes.com 

True.  It's completely possible that the drunks involved in the collisions didn't actually cause them in every case, but in many of those cases, it's likely that alcohol interfered with their ability to avoid the collision.

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