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5:54 AM Thu, Jan. 17th

DUI arrests on July 4th drop in Mohave County

GOLDEN VALLEY - The Mohave County Sheriff's Office conducted driving under the influence saturation patrols countywide over the Independence Day weekend.

The MCSO, as a part of the Western Arizona DUI Task Force, contacted 517 motorists and arrested 25 DUI offenders, said Sgt. Don Bischoff, MCSO DUI Task Force coordinator.

The MCSO investigated seven traffic crashes countywide over the holiday weekend. None of the crashes investigated appear to be alcohol related, a release stated.

The MCSO was joined by the La Paz County Sheriff's Office, the Kingman Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety in conducting the saturation patrols.

Overall, the arrest numbers for the Western Arizona Task Force were about the same as last year; however, the average blood-alcohol concentration for the drivers arrested was down from to .150 percent from .172 percent, Bischoff said. The BAC levels were down during the Memorial Day holiday as well, he added.

Enhanced penalties may be the cause for the reduced numbers, Bischoff said, adding that penalties for extreme and super-extreme DUI have increased and now ignition interlock devices are required for one year in all first time offender cases.

An extreme DUI is a violation involving a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or more and a super extreme is .20 percent or above.

The statewide BAC levels are also down significantly in comparison from last year to this year from .150 to .139, respectively.

Over the weekend, MCSO deputies also patrolled the waterways of Lake Havasu City. From Thursday through Sunday, they had nine operating under the influence incidents and four boating accidents - one of which involved injury. There were no fatalities reported.