Pinal County upping awareness following increase in DUI arrests

Apr 4, 2023, 4:15 AM

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Pinal County has started a campaign to bring awareness to a problem it says is getting worse — DUI arrests.

The county that includes parts of metro Phoenix has charged 115 felony DUIs this calendar year, about half the total for 2022 despite just entering the fourth month of 2023.

The 2022 total of 243 DUIs was a 75% increase from 2021, according to the county.

“Unfortunately, I think this is just our officers noticing more impaired driving, stopping more people, doing more field sobriety tests and ultimately submitting more criminal charges for felony DUI,” County attorney Kent Volkmer told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Pinal County will use the motto “Drive Drunk or High, People Might Die” at events, on community handouts and other messaging moving forward.

Officials will be at music festival Country Thunder, one of the county’s most popular events, later this month to encourage potential drivers to give up their keys and find alternate transportation.

Volkmer said he expects Pinal to run the campaign throughout the rest of the year, with it being most widely used over the next few weeks.

“I think we want to avoid, you know, just saying the same thing over and over again and us becoming kind of background noise,” Volkmer said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak contributed to this report.

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Pinal County upping awareness following increase in DUI arrests