Officers Increase Enforcement to Help Curb Drunk Driving Accidents in Phoenix

There are 6 new units that were unveiled at a recent news conference to help catch drunk drivers through the holidays. These new units were given to the Maricopa County, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Tuscon and the Phoenix Sheriff’s Offices, Scottsdale and the Department of Public Service office to help to combat drunk drivers during this year’s multi-agency Holiday DUI Task Force efforts, according to Cronkite News.

These mobile units act as processing centers where officers can conduct Breathalyzers and blood-alcohol tests, in addition to checking for search warrants. These units help to reduce the time that arresting officers spend processing those who are suspected of driving under the influence and frees up more time to help prevent drunk driving car accidents in Phoenix and elsewhere. The units cost more than $1 million and were purchased with federal money.
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“These trucks mean we can get out and get the next person off the road faster,” said Travis Mathews, officer for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Our Phoenix drunk driving car accident attorneys understand the need for increased patrolling efforts during holiday season. Each year, we see a large number of roadway fatalities during the month of December. Many of these accidents are alcohol-related. During this time of year, residents and visitors get to spend some time away from work and school and get to gather with friends and family members. What’s unfortunate isn’t the fact that more people drink during these joyous gatherings, but the fact that more people get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

In 2010, there were nearly 19,500 DUI arrests in Arizona. Nearly 4,000 of these arrests were during the holiday season. In 2010, there were nearly 200 people killed in the state because of alcohol-related car accidents.

Arizona isn’t the only one that’s beefing up enforcement efforts around the holidays. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that it will be launching its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is a nationwide campaign that involves thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. In 2010, there were nearly 10,500 people who died because of drunk driving accidents in the U.S. More than 400 of these fatalities occurred during the second half of December.

“Safety is our focus year round at DOT. But this holiday season, we’re stepping up our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads and reminding Americans ‘drive sober, or get pulled over,’ ” said USDOT Secretary LaHood.

The USDOT reports that although the number of drunk-driving fatalities decreased in 2010, these accidents still accounted for one out of every three deaths on our roadways.

Transportation officials are urging states to push education and enforcement efforts to help to reduce the risks of alcohol-impaired accidents on our roadways. This year’s national campaign is accompanied by a $7 million national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over advertisement campaign. This campaign will be running from December 16th through January 2nd.

Residents are urged to be extremely cautious behind the wheel during the upcoming holidays. There’s never a reason to drink and drive. If you’re expecting to go out and to drink, please designate a sober driver to get you home safely. If you can’t find a sober driver, consider getting a hotel room or staying at a friend’s house. Please be safe and responsible on our roadways through the remainder of the year. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free case evaluation. Call (602) 819-5191 and speak to an attorney today.

Additional Resources:

Law enforcement agencies kick off holiday DUI crackdown, by Anna Consie, Cronkite News
More Blog Entries:

More than half of all Arizona drunk driving accidents involve car accidents in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, October 15, 2010

More than 300 Arizona car accidents a day cost the state $2.7 billion in 2009, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, October 12, 2011