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4:52 PM Fri, Feb. 15th

DUI arrests stay on par with last year

KPD/Courtesy<br>
The Western Arizona DUI Task Force set up their mobile command post again this year for the Fourth of July weekend. Officers arrested 25 motorists on suspicion of DUI over the weekend.

KPD/Courtesy<br> The Western Arizona DUI Task Force set up their mobile command post again this year for the Fourth of July weekend. Officers arrested 25 motorists on suspicion of DUI over the weekend.

KINGMAN - A number of Mohave County residents learned the hard way what happens when you drink and drive.

"All the agencies were busy," said Kingman Police officer Dan Spivey.

This year's numbers were slightly discouraging, because arrests did not go down, but they didn't go up either, he said.

However, last year the task force covered two weekends since July 4 fell on a Wednesday and this included more officers and more days.

The Western Arizona DUI Task Force arrested 25 motorists on suspicion of driving while under the influence. Of the 25 arrests, 20 were for misdemeanor DUI, and five arrests were for aggravated and extreme DUI. Three of the motorists arrested had previous DUI arrests or convictions and three were minors.

According to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, arrests were about the same as last year. Last year the task force made 26 DUI arrests, 23 of the arrests were for misdemeanor DUI, three were also aggravated DUI and nine were also extreme DUI. Two of the arrests made last year had prior DUI arrests or convictions and one was a minor.

This year, however, the blood alcohol concentration of drivers arrested dropped slightly from .175 to .150.

The legal limit in Arizona is .08. An extreme DUI involves BAC of .15 percent or more and a super-extreme DUI is a BAC of .20 percent or more.

"We're trying to get the message out, if you make the decision to drink and drive, you're going to get arrested," Spivey said.

Sgt. Don Bischoff of MCSO believes that enhanced penalties for extreme and super-extreme DUI may be the cause for the reduction in arrests.

The task force is made up of officers from MCSO, La Paz County Sheriff's Office, Kingman Police Department and Arizona Department of Public Safety.

MCSO also investigated seven traffic crashes countywide. None of the accidents appear to involve alcohol.

MCSO deputies were also out on the water in Lake Havasu City. They arrested nine boaters for operating while under the influence, responded to three boating accidents without injuries and one with an injury, arrested three minors for drinking alcohol, arrested one person for drugs, arrested one person for giving false information to an officer, arrested a person for a parole violation, issued 48 safety violation citations and issued 87 warnings for safety violations

They also responded to seven calls to assist other agencies, 16 calls to assist boaters and three calls for medical assistance. No fatalities were reported.