Despite forewarnings, many still drank, drove
One of comedian Red Skelton's favorite child characters used to say, "If I dooed it, I get a whippin', but I dooed it anyway."
It appears that a few impaired drivers were using the same thought pattern this past New Year's Eve, when local law enforcement officers arrested 17 individuals on drunk driving charges.
The average blood alcohol level was .154. In Arizona, .15 is the threshold for a charge of extreme driving under the influence (DUI).
Officers said the Red Skelton thinking was winning the evening, because the unusual number of arrests and high intensity drinking took place despite heavy advance publicity about the patrols and relatively light traffic volume.
The patrols using 16 officers from six local law enforcement agencies also arrested six people on under-age drinking charges and three on drug-related charges.
The money to pay for this special patrol came from special traffic grants, but let's hope that during the rest of the year all local law agencies continue to be diligent about impaired drivers.
Someone once said that God looks after fools and children, but 16 law officers focusing intently on a task provide added protection for both.