Here's Where Metro Phoenix Cops Will Be Waiting for You During the Holidays

Metro Phoenix police will be out in force from tonight until New Year's Day. Drive safely.
Metro Phoenix police will be out in force from tonight until New Year's Day. Drive safely. Arizona Department of Public Safety
The holidays mean legions of plowed partiers smashing into things and people, and statistics show that tonight, Thanksgiving eve, can be especially dangerous.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office reports that more than 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes from 2012-2016 during the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and that 28 Arizonans died in 2017 between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Because of those not-so-cheery holiday facts, motorists can expect to see the annual flood of cops on "saturation patrols" in many metro Phoenix locations between now and New Year's Day. These are areas in which the slightest driving error may get you pulled over so cops can check your condition. They're more than ready to screw up the holiday season for impaired drivers, in hopes of preventing tragedies.

See below for a list of all the hotspots for these DUI patrols. But take care no matter where you are, and remember that most patrols include specially trained drug detection officers.

Unfortunately, stats show that impairment-related road deaths nationally have hit a plateau of roughly 10,000 per year in the last few years, a number that has failed to shrink significantly in spite of the advent of rideshare companies that make it easy to find a driving alternative. In Arizona, the total number of road deaths has gone up since 2012, and the number of alcohol-related deaths has hovered at around 230 each year.

Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, said the overall increase in road deaths can be explained by the increase of cars on the state's roads in the past 10 years. But the state has seen some successes recently, he said. For instance, a campaign to reduce wrong-way-driver crashes seems to be working, with no fatalities related to wrong-way-drivers in the past six months.

Gutier said he's seen the consequences of DUI drivers first-hand. A few years ago, he came upon the scene of a crash at Union Hills and 45th Avenue. An adult body and three small bodies lay under blankets on the street, he said, adding that he later learned the driver, who'd been drinking, died along with three of his children.

See below for the list of saturation patrol locations:

Saturation Patrol (6 p.m. - 4 a.m.)
11/23- 75 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert
11/24 -7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
12/05 -7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
12/06 -250 East Chicago Street, Chandler
12/07 -1340 East University Drive, Tempe
12/08 -7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
12/12 -75 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert
12/13 -7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
12/14 -7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
12/15 -1340 East University Drive, Tempe
12/19 – 2802 West Devonshire Avenue, Phx
12/20 - 7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
12/21 -7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
12/22 -2330 West Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa
12/23 -1340 East University Drive, Tempe
12/26 -2330 West Rio Salado Parkway,Mesa
12/27 -2802 West Devonshire Ave, Phoenix
12/28 -250 East Chicago Street, Chandler
12/29 -75 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert
12/30- 1340 East University Drive, Tempe
12/31- 7601 East McKellips, Scottsdale
*12/27 East & West Valley Joint

Saturation Patrol (7 p.m. - 4 a.m.)
8351 West Cinnabar Avenue, Peoria
16809 North Bullard, Surprise
11550 West Glendale, Glendale
4701 West Thunderbird, DPS/ASU
12401 West Cinnabar, El Mirage
21699 West Yuma, Buckeye
2802 East Devonshire, Phoenix
DPS/ASU 4701 W. Thunderbird

*12/27 East & West Valley Joint

Saturation Patrol (7 p.m. - 3 a.m.)
11/23-11/24 – Apache Junction
2525 South Ironwood Drive
11/29-12/1 –San Tan Valley
1725 West Hunt Highway
12/6 and 12/28 - Casa Grande
1436 East Florence Boulevard
12/07 – Casa Grande
512 South 11 Mile Corner Road
12/13-12/15 – San Tan Valley
1725 West Hunt Highway
12/20-12/22 – Apache Junction
2525 South Ironwood Drive
12/27-12/29 – Casa Grande
1436 East Florence Boulevard
12/31 – Casa Grande City Hall
510 East Florence Boulevard

11/23 (9 p.m. - 4 a.m.) Lower Salt River
11/24 (6 p.m. - 4 a.m.) East & West Valley
12/1-12/31 (6 p.m. - 4 a.m.)
Weekends and Holidays

11/22 through 12/31 (9 p.m. - 3 a.m.)
Weekends and Holidays

11/25 (9 p.m. - 4 a.m.)
1610 East Highland - QT Gas Station

11/23-12/31 (8 p.m. - 4 a.m.) East Valley
Weekends and Holidays
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.