Fourth of July weekend
PRESCOTT – Despite many reminders not to drink and drive, local authorities arrested 25 people on suspicion of driving under the influence during the Fourth of July weekend.
Officers from six agencies – Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley police departments, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Yavapai-Prescott Tribal Police – conducted two saturation patrols on Friday and Saturday.
Prescott Police Sgt. Rich Gill said officers stopped 204 vehicles and arrested 25 people on drunken driving charges.
He said eight of them had blood alcohol levels that led to either extreme or aggravated DUI charges. An average blood alcohol level was 0.12, he said.
Officers also issued 11 under-age drinking citations and 12 seat belt violations in addition to 166 miscellaneous tickets.
Gill said that the tri-city numbers for DUI arrests are a part of the statistics that the Governor's Office of Highway Safety released after compiling information from 84 reporting agencies on their DUI arrests during the holiday weekend.
That report indicates that officers made 400 DUI arrests statewide. Of those, 26 were aggravated, 104 were extreme and 374 were misdemeanor DUIs. An average blood alcohol level was 0.142.
Gill said that he was disappointed to see so many DUI arrests in the tri-city area.
He said 25 is a high number for DUI arrests, especially considering the total amount of stops that officers made and prior announcements of saturation patrols police were to conduct over the holiday.
On the other hand, Gill said, the City of Prescott was "fairly quiet" without major incidents or accidents considering the influx of visitors who came to attend Prescott Frontier Days festivities.
Unfortunately, though, it was not an entirely quiet holiday for the residents of Yarnell and Peeples Valley.
At around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, a 46-year-old Casa Grande man died in a head-on collision at milepost 275.8 on Highway 89 at the top of Yarnell Hill.
According to the Department of Public Safety, Patrick Bishop was southbound when he lost control of his motorcycle while going around a curve.
He laid down and slid on his side into the northbound lane when a Dodge Durango struck him. Bishop died shortly thereafter, but occupants of the Dodge were uninjured, the DPS said.
Alcohol was not a factor in this accident, the DPS said.
On the same day, as The Daily Courier reported Wednesday, the Peeples Valley Fire District extinguished a small brush fire that a Peeples Valley resident had ignited near his home with fireworks. The blaze burned an acre of land and came to within 25 yards of the resident's home but didn't burn any structures.
YCSO Commander Andy Bacon said that the resident, 68-year-old William Krieger Jr., faces a Class 3 misdemeanor charge of possession and explosion of illegal fireworks in connection with the incident. The law prohibits individuals from using fireworks in the state of Arizona.
Krieger will not be responsible for the cost of putting the fire out, Peeples Valley Fire Chief Jack Rauh said previously.
Bacon said Krieger was "extremely remorseful" about the entire incident.
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