Originally Published: December 1, 2006 4 a.m.
The relatively few drunk driving arrests in Yavapai County over the Thanksgiving weekend are a hopeful sign.
Whether drivers finally are exhibiting greater common sense or a justified fear of ending up on the wrong side of the Tri-City DUI Task Force's intensive enforcement effort area highways were safer this year.
Task Force members made only seven misdemeanor DUI arrests over Thanksgiving. Three of those involved illicit drugs rather than alcohol.
During the Tri-City DUI Task Force detail, 15 officers from five agencies stopped 129 motorists and issued 14 seatbelt tickets, two child restraint citations, a minor alcohol consumption violation and 156 other miscellaneous traffic tickets.
Statewide, officers made 488 traffic stops and 39 DUI arrests, two of those on charges of aggravated DUI, a felony.
Although it would be far more praiseworthy if the fewer arrests bespeak a greater sense of personal responsibility on the part of local drivers rather than a fear of a DUI arrest at the hands of the task force, the fact that the task force seems to have instilled a healthy fear in the hearts of many would-be tipsy drivers will do.
The task force members have done a great job. Let's hope the encouraging statistics persist through Christmas and into the coming new year.