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10:18 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

New Year's DUI arrests down in 2007 for tri-cities

The Tri-City DUI Taskforce arrested five people in its New Year's Eve saturation patrol.

The taskforce comprised six agencies: Prescott, Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Sedona police departments, Yavapai-Prescott Tribal Police and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Thirteen officers conducted specialized DUI patrols throughout the county.

The patrol yielded one extreme DUI arrest, two aggravated DUI arrests and three misdemeanor DUI arrests, according to Sgt. Tim Fletcher, Prescott Police.

"Last year, we had the same number of agencies participating with 17 officers and 10 DUI arrests," he said. "Locally, people are getting the word not to drink and drive. However, state statistics do not show the same trend. DUI arrests are up state-wide."

Statistics from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety show that from Thanksgiving 2007 through New Year's Day, the number of DUI arrests increased across Arizona from 2,663 to 2,828.

Arizona has an increase in DUI extreme arrests, with blood alcohol content .15 or greater, from 160 to 884. Aggravated arrests increased by 29 to 231. Underage DUI arrests increased from 145 to 176.

Locally, in addition to arrests, the taskforce made 97 traffic stops, one DUI arrest after 2 a.m. with an average blood alcohol content of .158, two seatbelt citations, two minor consumption citations, one drug influence evaluation and 55 other citations.

The Chino Valley Police Department made 15 traffic stops but did not make any DUI arrests on New Year's Eve, according to Sgt. Mark Garcia.

Prescott Valley Police Department staffed four additional traffic enforcement/DUI officers from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 through early morning on Jan. 1.

Officers made one DUI arrest on Dec. 31 and wrote 12 traffic citations, 10 written warnings for minor traffic violations, and processed one person for DUI drugs.

The officers also issued dozens of verbal warnings on multiple traffic stops during the shift.

The Arizona Office of Highway Safety paid for the Prescott Valley patrol under a traffic enforcement/safety grant.

The Tri-City DUI Taskforce will continue increased enforcement efforts throughout the year, conducting monthly specialized enforcement details to include saturation patrols and sobriety check points.