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Arizona saw small rise in DUIs last year, still below 2014 numbers

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona saw a relatively small increase in the number of DUI arrests last year, though the total still represented a drop from 2014.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said Wednesday that 26,899 arrests were reported last year.

That was down from three years ago, when 29,250 people were arrested.

More than 1.2 million traffic stops were made this year — the highest number of the past four years — meaning the percentage of DUI arrests when compared to traffic stops fell.

The office also reported that 15,415 designated sober drivers were contacted last year. That was an increase of more than 6,000 people who were responsible when they knew they had to drive when compared to 2016.

The average blood-alcohol content of drunk drivers also fell last year. In 2017, the average person arrested for DUI had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14, down from the previous three years included in the report.

Between 2014 and 2016, the average BAC was 0.15.

However, the report was not all good news.

“DUI drugs went to the highest number we ever had,” Alberto Gutiere, the office’s director, said.

Last year, 6,046 people were arrested for a drug-related DUI.

That was nearly 1,000 more people than 2016 and nearly 2,000 more than 2014.

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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