KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 4/18/10, 10:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews  Lt. Karl Woolridge, Pima Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Woolridge is also President of the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force, comprised of representatives from 11 law enforcement agencies in the region. 

Woolridge says the State of Arizona has a drunk-driving law that says a person is “presumed” to be impaired if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.  He says the Task Force sets up sobriety checkpoints as a tool in the on-going effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road. He says the checkpoints serve as a deterrent to DUI as well as an educational tool.  He says the checkpoints are determined by the number of dui-related vehicle incidents at a particular location.  He says motorists passing through the checkpoints are asked if they’ve been drinking.  Most have not.  All are given a brochure explaining the sobriety checkpoint program.  He says those who are determined to have been drinking are given field sobriety tests and if they fail them, they are placed under arrest and their vehicle is impounded. 

Woolridge also says it is illegal in Arizona for a driver under the age of 21 to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while there is any spirituous liquor in the driver’s body.  In fact, he stresses, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to even have any spirituous liquor in their body at any time. 

Woolridge says April and May are among the worst months for DUI-related crashes, due to high school proms and graduation night, Cinco de Mayo and the Memorial Day weekend.  He says the sobriety checkpoints and accompanying saturation patrols will be in place nearly every night during April.