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Arizona officials report slight uptick in St. Patrick’s Day weekend DUI arrests

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

PHOENIX — Most Arizonans spent time over the weekend celebrating all things Irish for St. Patrick’s Day, but for a few it turned into St. Pad-DUI.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said Monday that 358 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI over the weekend, a very slight uptick from last year’s number of 349.

The average blood-alcohol content also increased. This year’s average of .151 topped last year’s, which was .142.

Both of those were nearly twice the legal limit.

A statewide task force arrested more people suspected of aggravated, extreme and drug DUIs as well when compared to recent years.

However, the report did contain some good news: Officers contacted more sober designated drivers — 440 — than they had in the two previous years.

More than 9,800 law enforcement officers worked on the weekend task force.

Arizona officials have worked for years to combat the number of DUI arrests, particularly during the holidays.

This St. Patrick’s Day, Maricopa County partnered with the ride-sharing service Lyft to offer new and existing users free or discounted rides to avoid drinking and driving.

Triple-A of Arizona also offered its Tipsy Tow service, which offered to tow anyone’s vehicle for up to 10 miles for free.

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