Holiday task force targets drunk drivers

KINGMAN - Law enforcement will be out en masse this 4th of July weekend looking for impaired drivers.

Officers and deputies from the Kingman Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office will join 16 other active Driving Under the Influence task forces operating across Arizona through Monday.

Last year's July 4th DUI campaign resulted in 1,136 arrests in the state. KPD Cpl. Dan Spivey said the average blood alcohol content for drunken drivers was 1.43 percent. The legal limit is .08.

He added that 491 people were killed across the nation on the 4th of July holiday weekend in 2009.

Those arrested for DUI face an administrative hearing before the Motor Vehicle Department, which could include a suspension of driving privileges. At the time of arrest, police will take the driver's Arizona license and issue a 15-day temporary license. Most first-time offenders receive a 90-day suspension of their license. The driver is also stuck with towing and impound fees, and even first-time offenders can be forced to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

Criminal penalties can range from jail time, a minimum fine of $250 plus surcharges and an additional $250 assessment to the Arizona DUI abatement fund.