DUI task force made fewer arrests over Labor Day weekend

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The final numbers for the Labor Day weekend task force are in and officers throughout the state made fewer stops and fewer arrests than last year.

The last checkpoints shut down early Tuesday morning.

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Source: AZ Governor's Office for Highway Safety

In the course of the annual Drive Hammered, Get Nailed operation, nearly 1,400 officers and deputies made more than 11,100 traffic stops a total of 564 DUI arrests -- 182 on Monday alone.

Last Labor Day Weekend, officers and deputies made more than 13,800 traffic stops and 617 DUI arrests, according to numbers from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Of this year's 564 arrests, 60 were aggravated DUI, which means the driver had prior arrests -- there were 37 of those -- he or she was driving on a suspended, restricted or revoked license, or he or she had a minor younger than 15 in the car. Aggravated DUI is a felony charge.

Breaking down the total further, 170 of the weekend's arrests were for extreme DUI, which means the driver's blood alcohol content was at least 0.15. The legal definition of impaired in Arizona is a BAC of 0.08.

For the most part, there the numbers were down this year. That includes the number of sober designated drivers who were contacted. Last year that number was 673. This year, it's 428.

One exception, however, is the number of DUI drug arrests. Last year, there were 69. This year, there are 92. Another exception was the average known BAC, which was 0.155, up from 0.149.

In addition to the DUI arrests, officers and deputies also issued 417 seat-belt citations, down from last year, and 60 child-restraint citations, up from last year, but only by one.

This is the first Labor Day weekend in which drivers in Arizona were required to have children older than 4 in booster seats. The new law kicked in last month. It mandates booster seats or other restraint systems for children through age 7 who are not more than 4 feet 9 inches tall.