Arizona

Cinco de Mayo by the Numbers: DUIs, Speeding, BAC, Designated Drivers All Increase

With Friday hitting a record 108 degrees, more people were more inclined to suck down margaritas, DUI numbers from Cinco de Mayo show.
With Friday hitting a record 108 degrees, more people were more inclined to suck down margaritas, DUI numbers from Cinco de Mayo show. Rudri Bhatt Patel


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With Friday hitting a record 108 degrees, more people were more inclined to suck down margaritas, DUI numbers from Cinco de Mayo show.
Rudri Bhatt Patel
The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has just released official enforcement numbers from three days over Cinco de Mayo last weekend. Safety experts and sober-driving advocates will see reasons for cheer but also signs of concern.

Here are cinco key indicators.

DUI Arrests: Up sharply from 378 last year to 504 this year. That’s a 33 percent jump.

Sober Drivers: The number of sober drivers contacted at checkpoints also jumped sharply, however. This year police stopped 517 designated drivers, compared to 308 last year. That’s a 68 percent jump.

Intoxication Levels: Normally, the average impaired motorist blows or bleeds 0.14 blood alcohol content. This year, it was 0.15. That’s high, but not the highest. Two years ago, Cinco revelers behind the wheel averaged 0.16, or double the legal limit.

Speed:Police busted 216 drivers on criminal speeding charges. Last year’s figures were much lower: 124 charges. That marks a 74 percent increase.

Policing: Maybe this last number explains all of it. Over the festive Friday through Sunday, a total of 2,192 officers were assigned. Last year 1,937 officers took part. That’s a 13 percent jump.

The upshot: More cops made more arrests and logged more drunkenness, but also recorded more designated drivers and made fewer DUI arrests per officer.

Seat-belt violations were down, too, by the way.

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Sean Holstege is the editor of Phoenix New Times. He's been a print news reporter for 35 years. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege