Police made nearly 400 DUI arrests in Arizona this weekend, according to reports

The authorities have said that the increasing enforcement efforts through the deployment of police statewide has resulted in the arrest of nearly 400 people on suspicion of DUI so far in this Labor Day weekend.

Officers, statewide, will continue their saturation patrols, including around lakes and rivers, Sunday and Monday, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Alberto Gutier said.

According to numbers released last weekend on Sunday morning by the state Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the police have made 382 DUI arrests since Wednesday last week.

Of those, 40 arrests were for aggravated DUI, 342 for misdemeanor DUI, 115 were extreme DUI, which is a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 or higher, and 62 drug DUI arrests, GOHS said.

Those numbers are down from last year’s holiday enforcement. Officers have stopped 7,875 people so far this year, compared to 13,839 last year. Officers have issued 246 seat-belt citations and 41 child-restraint citations so far this year, down from 443 and 59, respectively, last year.

Last year, between Sept. 1 and 6, the police had arrested 617 people on suspicion of DUI, including 93 aggravated DUI, 524 misdemeanor DUI, 192 extreme DUI and 69 drug DUI, according to GOHS numbers. There have been 309 designated drivers this year, down from 673 last year.

However, the average blood-alcohol content is up from 0.149 last year to 0.155 this year.

Gutier said he expects this year’s numbers to increase as enforcement continues, but hopes they remain lower than last year’s, which he said means they’re getting the message out.

The highway safety office has collaborated with the Arizona Department of Transportation to curb drunk driving and the hazards associated with it, by raising awareness through the display of its safety messages on more than 100 digital message boards across the state highways and freeways. These messages aim to remind people to wear their seat belts, ensure children are buckled into child-safety and booster seats, and to get a designated driver if the driver is not sober.

One message reads, “Drive hammered, get nailed. Get a DD, not a DUI,” while another urges motorists to “Buckle up Arizona, it’s the law.”

“It’s a great message,” Gutier said. “I hope that people heed to it.”

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety state DUI enforcement efforts will be featured prominently in a 1-hour special airing on the National Geographic Channel at 10 p.m. Sunday that is part of the “Taboo” series. The episode also will include doctors treating people in emergency rooms.

It will use footage filmed over Labor Day weekend last year to highlight how Arizona officers enforce the state’s DUI laws. It will feature officers from the Mesa police department along with Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe police departments, alongwith Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Corrections and Department of Public Safety, as well as Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“Tomorrow’s a big day,” he said. “This is a big weekend for law enforcement, not to get people arrested but to keep people safe.”

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