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Arizona DPS says impaired drivers cause majority of wrong-way crashes

LISTEN: Arizona DPS says impaired drivers cause majority of wrong-way crashes

PHOENIX — The director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety said about 70 percent of wrong-way crashes on state highways are caused by impaired drivers.

And Col. Frank Milstead that number should be encouragement enough for people to do their part to keep those drivers off the road.

“It needs to be supported socially, that we just don’t let people drive impaired, no matter if it’s prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol or marijuana,” he said.

“It’s killing people across the state and we see it over and over again, and almost every weekend with a wrong way driver incident, and it’s got to stop.”

Milstead said he understood that stopping someone from driving could be an awkward or volatile situation.

“Nobody wants a confrontation, and it’s difficult because that impaired person is volatile and they become confrontational much quicker than someone who is not impaired,” he said,

However, he said that uncomfortable moment could be mean a potentially deadly crash does not happen.

“When you see someone getting in a car impaired, or you know someone sitting at the table next to you is drunk out of their mind and they’re going to go drive home, that that’s reported to law enforcement or reported to management to stop that person from getting behind the wheel,” he said.

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