Despite cops around the state probably hearing the phrase "just two beers" quite often during DUI stops this holiday season, the state government's statistics show that Arizonans tend to be fairly slammed when they were caught driving drunk.
For the second year in a row, drivers busted for DUI during specific DUI-enforcement operations since Thanksgiving had an average blood-alcohol level of .15, a level which is nearly twice the "legal limit" of .08, and would quafily people for the "extreme" DUI category.
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According to statistics released by the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Arizona's drunk drivers were slightly less drunk during the holidays than during the rest of the year, as the average blood-alcohol level for the entire year was .151.
Despite this, only a fraction of the DUI arrests were actually for "extreme DUI." From Thanksgiving to December 27, 888 of the 3,353 people arrested for DUI were hit with the "extreme DUI" charge -- slightly more than one-quarter. Perhaps some of Arizona's drunk-er drivers are throwing off the average a bit.
In the same stretch of time last year, 2,888 people were arrested for DUI, 788 of them in the "extreme" category.
Meanwhile, it appears that the cops have a pretty decent success rate while on the hunt for drunk drivers. From November 23 to December 27, officers on DUI patrol pulled over 67,225 people statewide. Of those, 1,356 were actually designated drivers. About two-and-a-half times that were determined to be the drunk drivers.
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So, only about 5 percent of the drivers pulled over during the DUI enforcement operations statewide were determined to be driving under the influence, although more than 40 percent still got a ticket of some sort, whether it be for speeding, or any other violation.
For the curious, all the stats released by the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety can be found below: