One person is killed on Arizona roads every nine hours. Between speeding, impairment and a lack of seat-belt usage, so much of the problem seems preventable. ABC15 Arizona is Taking Action to make our roads safer and save lives. Story idea? Call 833-AZROADS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DUIs in the Valley: Average weekend sees dozens of impaired drivers
As part of our Operation Safe Roads coverage, these were just a few of the stories we discovered while gathering a "snapshot" of a typical summer weekend in the Valley for impaired driving.
Data from records requests to every agency in the area paints a frightening picture of what is happening on our roadways:
167 DUI or suspicion of DUI incidents were reported between June 7-10 from 10 agencies: Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Salt River, Surprise, Scottsdale, and Tempe police departments and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. (Casa Grande, El Mirage, and Goodyear police departments and the Department of Public Safety did not provide ABC15 with the data within a month of our request.)
Over 40 percent of the incidents occurred between the overnight hours of 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.
About 18 percent of the incidents were reported as “extreme DUI,” which is .15 percent BAC or higher.
Under Arizona’s DUI laws, you will receive a DUI if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above .08 percent. If you're a commercial driver, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is above .04 percent. If you're under 21 with any alcohol in your system, you can be charged with a DUI. Even first offenses carry fines, jail time and a license suspension. RELATED: See the penalties for DUI in Arizona
REPORTING A DRUNK DRIVER
Call 911 if you think you see an impaired driver on the road. Officers in the area will respond as safely and quickly as possible.
If you call 911, be prepared to give exact information: Direction of travel, street names, description of vehicle. The more information you can provide, the easier police can potentially find the vehicle.