Labor Day weekend means extra DUI patrols

KINGMAN - Assign a designated driver ahead of time if you plan on partying away from home over Labor Day weekend - or risk a DUI arrest.

The risk will be high, as officers with the Kingman Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, as part of the Western Arizona DUI Taskforce, will be out in force and on the prowl for impaired drivers.

While the Western Arizona taskforce includes Mohave, LaPaz and Yuma counties, other agencies throughout the tri-state region will also take part in similar DUI saturation patrols.

The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration fund the program, according to KPD Deputy Chief Rusty Cooper. The funds pay for overtime and extra manpower trained in DUI detection.

While DUI arrests and accidents are on a downward trend in Arizona, impaired driving, both through the use of alcohol and drugs, even legally prescribed and property taken drugs, remains a problem.

Cooper encourages motorists who believe a driver is impaired to call his or her local law enforcement agency, provide a good description of the vehicle, direction of travel, and if possible a license plate or description of the driver.

Cooper cautions against confronting the person, but "be a good witness and keep a safe distance," he said.

More than 600 people were arrested for DUI in Arizona - nearly 200 for extreme DUI, and more than 120 for DUI-drugs - in 2013.