Southern Arizona DUI task force has dire message

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The holidays are a time of celebration and for the members of the Southern Arizona DUI task force, it's a time to crack down on impaired driving.

The Southern Arizona DUI task force had a sobering message Wednesday morning,  "If you choose to drink this holiday season, which ride will you be taking?"

"Impaired driving is a choice, we've talked about that, and the best choice is a sober designated driver or a taxi cab," said Sgt. Chris Andreacola from the Tucson Police.

If you do choose to drive impaired, you could end up in the back seat of a law enforcement vehicle or a hearse.

"The sad thing is, it may result in an ambulance ride for somebody, it may result in a ride with the police department to a jail or it may result in the final ride in a hearse," said Andreacola.

Sadly for Joanna Aguilar her son Aaron Anaya Junior was killed by a drunk driver in April of 2005.

Reliving the incident six years later is still very painful for her and family friends.

"The moment she started speaking it was six years ago, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear it again with the holidays coming up," said Aguilar family friend Stephanie Lopez.

The family is glad to hear that the police will be out in full force during the holidays; looking and waiting to catch impaired drivers.

"As a victim, I mean it's nice to see that there's so many officers away from their families for the holidays so that they can help us with our safety and hopefully not have anybody else be hurt like we've been hurt," said Lopez.

The task force says there are too many people dying on the streets because of drunk drivers.

"You may not kill yourself.  You may kill somebody else, you may kill a friend, you may kill a neighbor but chances are you're going to hurt somebody," Andreacola said.

In 2009, 27% of all fatal crashes in Arizona involved a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The task force says, that's about one in every four fatal crashes.

The Southern Arizona DUI task force began on Thanksgiving and it will run until January 1.