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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:26 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

Police save drunk-drivers from themselves

Law enforcement officers from all agencies in Yavapai County deserve kudos for the hard work they put in over the Labor Day weekend.

Yavapai County saw one traffic fatality and three deaths in a plane crash. Other crashes were not fatal, and officers probably prevented many with their saturation drunk driver patrol.

The traffic fatality resulted from a head-on collision on Fain Road. The death of 39-year-old Francisco Velasquez marked the seventh on Fain Road this year. Because Fain Road is a well-designed, mostly straight highway, people tend to drive too fast, and they tend to pass other vehicles too readily without accounting for the closing speed of oncoming cars.

Some things just make people shake their heads. In one nonfatal accident on Interstate 17 over the holiday weekend, the driver of large SUV pulling a toy-hauler lost control and rolled his rig, causing a major traffic backup.

Because he had his wife and three children with him and officers say he was driving drunk, the driver faces six felony counts of aggravated assault and aggravated DUI.

The 16 officers from seven police agencies working the DUI saturation patrol stopped 183 motorists and issued 109 miscellaneous citations. They made seven misdemeanor DUI arrests. Of those, two were extreme DUIs with blood alcohol levels each exceeding 0.15 percent. The average blood alcohol level was 0.105 percent.

Those individuals may not be happy campers, but they aren't dead and they didn't get a chance to kill anyone else.

Well done, officers.