Dozens busted for DUI at Mesa sobriety checkpoint

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MESA, Ariz. -- Officers have been very busy at a sobriety checkpoint at Power and Thomas roads in Mesa.

More than 20 people were busted for DUI. Another seven passengers were busted for things like underage drinking.

As people make their way through the checkpoint, anyone officers feel might have been boozing it up earlier, is pulled to the side and questioned. If they fail the Breathalyzer or field sobriety test, they are immediately cited and their car is towed.

Officers chose this spot on Power Road because it’s a major thoroughfare for the people who only moments earlier were likely partaking in the holiday festivities out on the water.

Some 219 shoes line the checkpoint, each one representing a person killed in a drunk driving accident in just one year here in the state.

Much like those shoes, Nancy Clay was there as a sobering reminder of the perils of drunk driving.

Her son Kale Clay was killed last year. The 23-year-old soldier had just returned from Iraq and was getting ready for a deployment to Afghanistan. 

"I prayed every day that my son was over there, that he would return home safe," Clay said. "Five months later to get a knock on my door and to have two military soldiers tell me my son was killed was beyond comparison. We have learned going through this ... his death was preventable."

For the people busted at this checkpoint who were thinking this was the worst thing that could have happened to them, Clay knows better.

"How I wish there were an officer to pull the car my son was driving in," she said.

Saturation patrols will continue all night and the rest of the weekend across the Valley.