DUI Arrests Down In Arizona For 3rd Year
In 2014, a small number of people driving impaired were taken into custody by the Arizona police for the 3rd consecutive year but there is a small increase in the number of extreme DUI arrests, showing that highly impaired drivers are still a danger on the state’s highways for other drivers.
Statistics that make Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, proud are decreased number of individuals taken into custody for DUI from 32,174 in 2012 to 31,892 in the year 2013, and still further to 28,471 in the year 2014.
According to Gutier, “I’m very encouraged by the fact that people understand the consequences. We’re doing something right. I think the public understands the dangers of driving drunk”.
He told that fewer arrests mean less impaired drivers are driving on the roads, especially with the increasing number of police officers participating in saturation patrols and the ability of police to see more drivers impaired by alcohol or other intoxication drugs due to better training.
In the year 2014 and during the same time period, the number of sober designated drivers contacted by police officers during traffic stops has more than doubled in number from 6,759 in 2013 to 14,079.
Gutier added, “I’m thrilled”.
The average known BAC level content reported by police increased a bit from 0.151 percent to 0.152 and falls into the extreme DUI category, which means stricter penalties for the offense. In Arizona, drivers are said to be under the influence of an intoxicating substance if he/she has a BAC level equal to 0.8 percent or more.
Another issue related to DUI is that the number of extreme DUI arrests increased a bit from 8,212 in the year 2013 to 8,256 in the year 2014, showing a continuation of a serious issue.
Gutier said, “There’s an element that thinks nothing will happen to them that they can drink and drink and drink. They don’t realize the extreme hazards to themselves and others. That’s the element that concerns us.”
An interesting statistical side note is that overall DUI arrests decrease despite a substantial increase in the number of police officers assigned to patrol duties, with 5,790 more police officers and deputies on duty during the year 2014 in comparison to the year 2013.
All over the annual peak season, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve 2014, the total number of police officers assigned to patrol duties were 9,685 which is 1,387 more from 2013.
News Source: AZCentral