East Valley DUI Task Force kicks off Friday, December 4th running through the Holiday Season
Thursday, December 3, 2009 -
The East Valley DUI Task Force will conduct a press conference on Friday, December 4th, 2009 at 7 p.m. to begin the 24th annual East Valley Holiday DUI Task Force. The press conference will be held at Tempe Diablo Stadium, located at 2200 West Alameda Drive in Tempe, Arizona. Guest speakers for the press conference are listed below. Representatives from each of the agencies participating in the East Valley DUI Task Force will be present at the press conference.
Sergeant Tom Neve Arizona DPS
Chief Jack Lane Arizona DPS
Director Alberto Gutier Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Heather Hurst Archangels Foundation
Family Representative for Fallen Officer Shane Figueroa
Other unconfirmed speakers possible
ASU PD, Chandler PD, Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, Gila River PD, Gilbert PD, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa PD, Paradise Valley PD, Phoenix PD, Salt River PD, Scottsdale PD, Tempe PD
Goal of the Task Force:
The goal of the East Valley Holiday DUI Task Force is to educate the public about the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and to prevent deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving. This is accomplished through continued zero tolerance enforcement during the holiday season. We combine resources from multiple jurisdictions and focus enforcement activities in specific jurisdictional areas.
In 2008, 849 people were killed in Arizona in fatal crashes. Of those killed, 294 involved drivers who had a blood-alcohol concentration over the .08 limit. This represents almost 34% and does not account for drivers impaired by drugs.
As a motorist, there is a 30% chance that you will be involved in an alcohol related collision in your lifetime.
During the month of December in 2008, Officers from 12 agencies participated in the East Valley Holiday DUI Task Force. In the fifteen day Task Force, Officers arrested 1629 drivers for DUI. Of those arrested, 413 were charged with extreme DUI, 120 Aggravated DUI and 260 for DUI drugs.
Arizona law states that you cannot drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs when your ability to drive is impaired to the slightest degree. The statutory per se law sates that an individual is presumed to be impaired if their BAC is .08 or above. The extreme DUI law prohibits you from operating a vehicle if your BAC is .15 or above. The new “super extreme” law enhances the penalties to include mandatory jai terms if your BAC is .20 or above. A person under the age of 21 is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any alcohol in body.
Recent legislation makes Arizona one of the toughest States for Impaired Driving. The first time conviction of a misdemeanor DUI offender can expect to spend at least one day in jail and pay a fine of about $1250 and be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. A person convicted of extreme DUI will spend a minimum of 20 days in jail and face increased fines. This does not include the cost of an attorney, maintaining insurance or the impact a DUI may have on your ability to remain employed. In addition, the Motor Vehicle Division will suspend your license for a minimum of 90 days.
Method of Operation:
Nearly 125 officers from local agencies will join forces and conduct saturation patrols in a different East Valley location each night. Officers will conduct traffic stops for violations that they observe. Drivers found to be impaired by alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested and transported to the command post for processing. Additionally, officers will be enforcing the “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy toward underage drinkers. Youth alcohol officers will be searching for and citing persons under the age of 21 who are found to have alcohol in their possession or system. In addition to enforcing alcohol and drug impairment laws, the task force will work with the media to help educate the public on the dangers of driving while impaired.
“Drive Hammered, Get Nailed,” Cab companies are available for cab rides home to those who celebrated too much. A cab ride home will save the cost of being arrested for DUI and prevent you from being involved in a collision that could cost your or someone else their life. You can also designate a sober driver.
DUI is one of the most committed crimes in the United states. In 2006, 35,877 people were arrested in Arizona for DUI. No one deserves to be injured or killed because of an impaired driver. We will enforce a zero tolerance policy for impaired drivers and do everything we can to ensure a safe holiday season for all.
‘How much is too much?’ If you have to ask yourself the question, chances are you have had too much. So if you choose to celebrate, plan ahead for a safe, sober ride home. Use a ‘sober’ designated driver and not the “least drunk” person in your group or the designated “drunk driver.”
This year the agencies involved have dedicated the East Valley Holiday DUI Task Force to the family of Phoenix Police Officer, Figueroa, who was killed by an impaired driver in the line of duty, while responding to a call on October 25, 2008.
The East Valley Holiday DUI Task Force will be collecting new, unwrapped toys on Saturday, December 5th for the W. Steven Martin’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive. The task force will be at Maricopa Sheriff’s Department Southeast Facility, located at 1830 S Javelina in Mesa. The public is invited to drop off toys and help us successfully assist those less fortunate this holiday season.
Enforcement alone will not resolve the problem of impaired driving. We need your help in getting the message to the public. The media is encouraged to visit the task force command post during any night of operation. Media ride-a-longs can be scheduled in advance. AZ DPS DUI Squad Tom Neve or MCSO Lake Patrol Sgt. Wes Kuefer will be happy to respond to any questions concerning the task force. They will provide you whatever information that you need to help us stop impaired driving this holiday season. They can be reached at:
Sgt. Wes Kuefer 602-525-2276 Office
PIO Doug Matteson 602-876-3278
PIO Bob Bailey 602-223-2310 Office
Sgt. Tom Neve 480-609-2126 Office
Please direct your initial inquiries to AZ DPS Ofc. Bob Bailey or MCSO Doug Matteson who are available during daytime hours. The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has access to the arrest totals and statistics in regards to the task force.
Click here for photos relating to this news release.