Cops Arrest Fewer Arizona Drunk Drivers This Labor Day Weekend Than a Year Ago

Good job, Arizona?

Over Labor Day weekend, 1,097 law enforcement agents around the state pulled over 14,212 drivers and arrested 450 of them on DUI charges — that's 100 fewer arrests than last year despite 1,200 more people getting pulled over.

The cops caught about the same number of drunk minors driving vehicles as last year – 28 compared to 27 in 2014 – but nabbed far fewer minors in possession of alcohol – 73 compared to 109 in 2014.

There were also 10 fewer aggravated DUI arrests, 89 fewer misdemeanor DUI arrests, and 47 fewer extreme DUI arrests, but the average blood-alcohol content of those pulled over was 0.153 – up from 0.145 last year. (To put that in perspective, at 0.15 BAC, you are 380 times more likely to be in a fatal crash than you are when sober.)
Even though the Labor Day data isn't all that different from the last few years or other holiday weekends, Alberto Gutier of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety says “overall, when you look at the whole picture, the [annual] numbers seem to be going down.”

He says that in 2012, about 32,000 people were arrested for a DUIs; in 2013 about 31,000 were arrested; and in 2014, 29,250 people were arrested.

“My hope is that the trend going down means people are getting the message.”

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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser