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3:45 AM Thu, Nov. 22nd

Officers arrest fewer people for DUI during statewide enforcement

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Prescott Valley police stop and question a motorist suspected of driving under the influence in Prescott Valley during last year’s holiday statewide enforcement effort. The suspect was taken into custody and the vehicle towed.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Prescott Valley police stop and question a motorist suspected of driving under the influence in Prescott Valley during last year’s holiday statewide enforcement effort. The suspect was taken into custody and the vehicle towed.

Law enforcement officers stopped about half the people they did last year and arrested fewer people for driving under the influence this year during the statewide DUI Holiday Task Force from Thanksgiving weekend until the day after Christmas.

Officers stopped 28,592 people this year compared with 55,328 people last year, and arrested 2,760 people for DUI this year compared to 3,683 last year, according to figures released Monday by the Governor's Office on Highway Safety.

Most arrests were for misdemeanor DUI, but the second highest number of arrests were for extreme DUI with a breath alcohol content of .15 or higher, which is consistent with last year, said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. The average breath alcohol content was 0.146, which declined from 0.155 last year, Gutier noted.

Officers arrested more people for underage DUI, 246, and for DUI drugs, 445, this year than last, Gutier said. Officers saw an increase in citations for underage liquor law violations, 246, but seatbelt (351), child restraint (78), and other citations including speeding (10,622), declined, Gutier said.

"These statistics are the result of the dedication and training of police officers, sheriff deputies, volunteers, and other law enforcement personnel" said Gutier.

Out of the 28,592 people officers spoke with, 994 were sober designated drivers, a number that keeps increasing, Gutier said.

"This holiday season, law enforcement officers will be out in full force looking for drunk and impaired drivers," Gutier said. "We want to remind people to enjoy the holiday season, but do so responsibly by getting a designated driver, not a DUI."

Six Prescott Police officers participated in a DUI detail on Nov. 27, where they stopped 56 people and arrested three people for extreme DUI who had an average breath alcohol content of 0.15, said Officer Nathan Barto of the Prescott Police Department.

Officers also issued 58 other citations and warnings, Barto said.

DUI details in the Quad-Cities will continue throughout the holidays.