Ariz. crackdown on drunken driving starts Tuesday

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Police agencies across Arizona plan on Tuesday to launch a statewide crackdown on drunken drivers during the holiday season.

Governor's Office of Highway Safety director Alberto Gutier says 75 police agencies in the state will take part in the special patrols.

A few agencies participating in the crackdown are planning on getting an early start by launching their patrols late this week.

Pima County sheriff's deputies are planning patrols throughout the holiday weekend, including a DUI checkpoint on Saturday.

Spokesman Deputy Tom Peine says for the first nine months of the year, Pima County has investigated 33 deaths resulting from motor vehicle collisions that involved impaired drivers. He says that's up from 18 fatalities in both 2010 and 2011.

The statewide crackdown is scheduled to end on Jan. 1.