During this past holiday season, November 25 to December 31, 2011, the Salt River Police Department Traffic Enforcement Bureau (TEB), Field Operations Division (FOD) and Public Safety Communications Division (PSCD) dispatchers conducted the East Valley Holiday and New Year’s Eve DUI Task Force within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The goals were to enforce tribal and state traffic laws, specifically focused on impaired drivers, and to educate drivers to increase roadway safety within the Community and to reduce collisions, especially serious-injury and fatal collisions.
During the task force, SRPD officers conducted 830 traffic stops within the Community that resulted in the following:
• 196 DUI arrests, with 112 above the blood alcohol content (bac) limit of .08%, including 39 extreme DUI (above .15 bac), 18 super-extreme DUI (above .20 bac) and eight aggravated DUI felony arrests.
• 1,770 Community Police Contacts (CPCs)
There were 1,418 written warnings issued and 109 citations issued, including warrants and citations for:
• 87.55 grams of marijuana, 4.2 grams of cocaine, 1.04 grams of methamphetamine, 5 grams of “spice,” and various prescription drugs and paraphernalia
• 16 warrant arrests
• 374 speeding violations
• 181 stop sign/red light violations
A total of 1,201 hours of overtime for these special operations was paid for through a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Highway Safety Program (IHSP)—saving our Community thousands of dollars while serving and protecting Community members!
This dramatic increase in DUI detection and investigation can be directly attributed to the increased vehicular traffic within the Community, increased assigned police staff, better DUI detection training and having a drug-recognition expert on staff.
The message is simple: If you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested. No exceptions. No excuses.
Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs is one of the Community’s deadliest problems. Follow these steps to avoid jeopardizing your life or the lives of others on the road.
• Plan ahead: If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
• If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to drive you home safely. Otherwise, stay where you are.
• Promptly report drunk drivers on the roadways to law enforcement.
• And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
Have a Safe New Year! Don’t drink and drive, buckle up yourself and your children, obey all traffic laws and drive safely.