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Arizona agencies begin Memorial Day DUI crackdown campaign

PHOENIX — Law enforcement will be out in full force Memorial Day weekend looking for impaired drivers.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is coordinating a statewide effort to crack down on impaired driving with check points and increased patrols on Arizona highways and roads over the holiday, said Director Alberto Gutier.

“Right now, we have over 73 police agencies, including the sheriff’s offices and the highway patrol, working through the whole state,” Gutier said. “We’re talking from Yuma to Pinetop-Lakeside, over to Kingman, etc.”

Between 800 and 1,000 officers will be a part of the DUI enforcement campaign, Gutier said, which begins Friday and ends Monday night.

Gutier said after three wrong-way driving crashes that killed seven people in the Valley last week — all of which involved impaired drivers — it is especially important for heavy DUI enforcement right now.

“Officers are very alert, and I think the public (is) after those three wrong-way crashes,” he said, “especially since all three of those wrong-way crashes happened here in the Valley (and) all were (caused by) impaired drivers.”

The campaign will also include strict enforcement on Arizona lakes and waterways, with patrols keeping an eye out for impaired boaters and lake-goers.

“The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office with Game and Fish and the Park Service, they’re going to be (at) the lakes also,” Gutier said. “The penalties are also severe for someone intoxicated (while operating) a boat.”

Gutier advised people to be prepared by designating sober drivers ahead of time, drinking responsibly and, if needed, calling a cab to get home safely.

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