9 nabbed during DUI task force operations

KINGMAN - Although only nine people were arrested for driving under the influence over the Thanksgiving holiday, their average blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit.

KPD Cpl. Dan Spivey said the Western Arizona DUI Task Force, comprised of officers and deputies in Mohave, La Paz and Yuma counties, made a total of 127 traffic stops last week.

Nine people were arrested for DUI. Spivey said their average BAC was .144 percent, well above the legal limit of .08.

The Western Arizona DUI Task Force is one of 17 that operate across the state. The combined task forces made a total of 318 DUI arrests over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, down from last year's total of 484. No fatal crashes attributed to alcohol were reported. 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.

Those who refuse the BAC test almost always lose their license for a year.