November 26, 2014

Arizona leaders tout holiday DUI enforcement

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An average of about 4,000 drivers in Arizona have been arrested for drunken driving in the holidays for the past several years, and a host of politicians and police leaders came together on Tuesday with a simple message as the season approaches: Get a designated driver.
The theme has been a constant message for several years from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the state agency that provides funding for task forces that operate throughout Arizona, and officials believe the message is paying off.
The number of sober designated drivers that police contact increased by 28 percent in a recent three-year period even as the total number of drivers contacted dropped by about 10 percent, according to data from the Office of Highway Safety.
Gov.-elect Doug Ducey echoed the sentiment when he took to a podium on the Capitol Lawn surrounded by law enforcement officials from around the state. The men and women who enforce the law are the reason Arizona is one of the toughest states in the nation on eliminating drunk driving, he said.
"I want people to enjoy themselves this holiday season, but be responsible," Ducey said. "Make the right choice to not drink and drive."
Police arrested nearly 600 drivers on DUI charges during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2012, among more than 4,000 suspected drunken drivers picked up during the entire holiday season.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday said the number increased to nearly 4,400 drivers in the 2013 holiday season, which stretches from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, partially due to an increase in officers participating in the DUI task forces.


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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