Black Friday started early this year's as most people began their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving instead of the wee hours of Friday morning. It seems fitting that holiday DUI enforcement started early as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving week is one of the deadliest during the year, with the week between Christmas and New Years' Day being a particularly dangerous time as well.
With that, the annual mobilization of DUI enforcement is taking place. KTAR.com reports that hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered at the state capital to as this year's holiday DUI crackdown begins. Arizona is notorious for its tough drunk driving laws, and with many events bringing out of town visitors (e.g. the Fiesta Bowl, Insight Bowl and other warm weather holiday events) law enforcement is under pressure to avoid tragic accidents.
A number of officials expressed their memories and concerns about auto accidents to KTAR News. A majority of auto accidents during the holidays involve alcohol, and they said collectively that they would never forget the effect that drunk driving accidents have on families. Moreover, they expressed anger over how such senseless acts could have been prevented.
Last year, nearly 4,000 people were arrested for drunk driving offenses in Arizona during the holiday season. This was about a 15 percent decrease from the same period in 2010. Some may credit the use of "no refusal" strategies while others believe that people are being more responsible. Regardless of the reasons, Arizona motorists should be aware of increased enforcement.
Source: KTAR.com, Arizona launches holiday DUI task force, November 27, 2012