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12/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
DUI task force already posting results
Law enforcement officers from around the state gathered in Phoenix Dec. 3 to officially kick off the 2013 holiday season DUI crackdown.  (Courtesy)
Law enforcement officers from around the state gathered in Phoenix Dec. 3 to officially kick off the 2013 holiday season DUI crackdown. (Courtesy)

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Two weeks into the month-long operation, the Western Arizona DUI Taskforce crackdown has yielded results, with 12 allegedly impaired drivers arrested.

The dozen motorists had an average blood alcohol content of 0.137, according to Kingman Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Sochocki.

The Western Arizona DUI Task Force is one of 17 in Arizona and consists of law enforcement officers from the KPD, the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, the police departments in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Hualapai Tribal Police, and the sheriff's offices of LaPaz and Yuma counties.

More than 700 motorists have been stopped since the operation began shortly before Thanksgiving Day, said Sochocki. The KPD's mobile command post has been up each weekend helping to process impaired drivers. The operation will continue through Jan. 1.

Last year, more than 5,000 people were arrested for DUI in Arizona between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, with an average blood alcohol content of 0.15, nearly double the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Not all DUIs are alcohol related. Sochocki said abuse of illegal and prescription drugs is on the rise and that has led to an increase in DUI arrests.

Kingman Police Sgt. Dan Spivey last year conducted a number of evaluations on subjects who were arrested for DUI while under the influence of drugs.

He concluded that, oftentimes, just one or two alcoholic drinks combined with a single prescription drug dose can "severely impair" a person's ability to drive safely.

The task forces are funded with grants from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The money is used to pay for overtime and other expenses that allow the 70 agencies that participate across the state to conduct DUI patrols without taking officers away from routine duties.

Authorities believe a high number of DUI arrests will be made during the 2013 holiday season, but they're wishing for the best.

"My hope is that we are going to have less DUI arrests and more designated drivers," said Alberto Gutier, director of the governor's highway safety office.

Sochocki said the KPD and the Western Arizona DUI Task Force encourage holiday revelers to use a designated driver or to call a cab when indulging away from home.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Really?

"They need to step it up there are impaired drivers everywhere."

Are you sure the word to be used here is "impaired and not inept"?


Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: think about it .....

I'll bet you could find 12 out of 700 people at church who have been drinking.

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: Cash Cows

I read that 31% of the fatality's involving a motor vehicle, involve drugs or alcohol. That means that 69% of those fatality's are from idiots like most you that spend your time complaining about the drunks on the road. Just because someone has been drinking doesn't mean they will be in a wreck. DUI laws are all about the money. D.U.I.'s are the systems new cash cow. I do believe if you drink don't drive because that's just the smart thing to do. I think every time there is an accident not involving drugs or alcohol they should lock them up for driving like an idiot. Stopping 688 vehicles to find 12 means you stopped 688 innocent people to find 12 that were drinking. That's just wrong!

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Its a shame

I see Mr Fleming did the math showing four stops per day per officer over this period.

Why are people complaining? One stop every two hours per officer. Think about the number of vehicles that passes by in those two hours. I think the people complaining are the ones willingly drinking and driving.

Thousands of cars can drive by an officer in two hours anywhere in this little town. If you dont believe it park for an hour and count them yourself. Honestly, The police may as well not even be out there in retrospect.

For the 700 stopped and 12 busted twice that many drove on past blind drunk and lucky.

The Drunks still have a massive advantage. Thats worth complaining about.


Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Jay Fleming

700 sounds like a lot, right.

It looks like about 17 motor officers involved, over 12 days, that's around 4 stops a day for each officer.

99.9 % of law enforcement officers are good cops. Some posters are concerned about traffic stops without probable cause.

If anyone feels their rights were violated in an illegal traffic stop, please file a complaint.

Send a complaint to the officers agency, and FBI Civil Rights Division, they have an office in phoenix.

I would no one ever has to use this information.


Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

It's always nice to see the drunks show up here defending their right to kill and maim people.

My take on drunk drivers - first offence, one year in jail, loss of license permanently, car impounded and sold. Second offense, death and the person who loaned them the car gets a year in jail, permanent loss of license and their car impounded and sold. Harsh – you got it!


Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"700 stopped? Why not just set up a Nazi check point when entering Kingman?"

That was 700 stopped throughout the entire area of the operation, the way I read it. Thats out of over 200,000+ people. Far less than 1%. Less than 50 stops per day. IMO, they should step it up. More people than that probably get tickets driving on I-40 every day.


Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Honoring Cody Raymond

700 drivers pulled over? 12 arrested. If that saved only 1 life it was worth all the effort.

I ask all the critics, do you know what it feels like to have a loved one murdered by some stranger that decides it's ok to drive drunk?

Have you been sentanced to a life of sorrow knowing your loved ones life was stolen by a drunk driver? Are you trying to find a way to make it through the holidays without crying everyday because your son or daughter will not be opening gifts with you this year?

Our family is waiting for the 4th court date so we can sit and see if the man (who was 3 times over the legal limit when he KILLED our son) will accept any responsibility for taking a 17 year old life. He's been offered a plea deal that is less than half of what the maximim sentance is, and still refuses to admit any responsibility.

These officers are out there to try and stop this nightmare from coming into your personal lives and all you can do is criticize them.

I see them as Heros.

To all the law enforcement out there trying to stop drunk drivers.

THANK YOU


Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: gun guy

@at all the idiotsyou really think drinking and driving is OK you think its a victimless crime? Just wait for some drunk driver kills your wife kids or mother it's only $15 form any bar in town to your house if you can afford to drink you can afford a cab ride don't be stupid and get behind the wheel

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Jimmy Green

Hey J. I used to be friends with MES. So, I know the cop\friendship BS your trying to pull. All of you LEAGAL MMJ growers should steer clear of cops. Once a cop, always a cop. *DISRESPECT*

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Jay Fleming

These guys save lives, I've seen far too many impaired drivers who injured, others, and walked away.

Motor officers can get around in traffic, and have a better view of drivers than patrol cars.

I hate dealing with drunks, especially the ones who say, "you apparently don't know who I am", as the officer just smiles.

So these guys need a little respect for saving lives, and dealing with drunks.


Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Keepin' my eye on you

I agree with Al Dicco. Were these 700 citizens stopped because they had a tail-light out? Were they speeding? Did they make a right turn on a red-light? Really? 700 stops for what? A fishing trip thats what. To see what they can find. Completely unconstitutional, but then again...the MCSO knows nothing about the Constitution.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: fellow traveler .....

@just me.....what, they robbed you, too? And yet someone always seems to pop up here warning us to be good little citizens. Keep dreamin'

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Mike Messer

Hey Tommy Boy. You should be ashamed of yourself. Posting an article like this garbage so recently after one of your untrained deputies murdered a man. Why have we not heard a comment from you on that situation. I for one do not want to pay untrained and unprofessional deputies. You are NOT going to police us that way. You better pull your head out... and clean up your filthy department.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

700 stopped? Why not just set up a Nazi check point when entering Kingman? Disgusting waste of resources and police state in action! Land of the Free and home of the brave.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: John Spencer

ONLY 12 in two weeks??? This doesn't seem like a success at all. They need to step it up there are impaired drivers everywhere.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Just Me :)

once again... All of these big bad tough cops making all the DUI arrests they can.

"Authorities believe a high number of DUI arrests will be made during the 2013 holiday season, but they're wishing for the best."

What exactly would be "the best"? if you could arrest EVERYONE?

Go catch some bad guys, maybe the MCSO could go to the KPD and arrest all the criminals employed by KPD. And then KPD should go arrest all the crooked cops at MCSO. All of you cops are a JOKE!

I really get tired of hearing that cops are to "serve and protect" I wouldnt call a pill poppin cop to help me with anything. Loosers!!!

I hope everyone of you cops wreck on those motorcycles.


Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: He He He

Seems like 12 out of 700 isn't that many when you had to stop 688 innocent drivers to find them.



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