DUI checkpoints in full force during Memorial Day

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- Impaired drivers are a huge concern for law enforcement during any holiday, so they took extra steps to make sure everyone who spent Memorial Day on the Salt River makes it home safely.

Checkpoints and patrols were set up to catch anyone who may be drinking and driving.

Mesa police said the DUI checkpoint near the Salt River is in honor of Mesa police Sergeant Brandon Mendoza who was killed two weeks ago by an intoxicated wrong-way driver.

One woman at the Salt River said she's doing her best to make sure any of her friends who’ve been drinking stay away from the wheel.

Riley Pierson said she's not taking one sip of alcohol because she is the designated driver.

“I'm going to be driving for them because they're going to be drinking," she said.

But she said that doesn't mean she's not having fun.

"Coming out to the river and going to have some clean good fun," she said.

She said being the designated driver is something she takes very seriously.

"I have a friend who passed away in an accident, so he was driving drunk and killed himself, so I'll never let a friend do that," she said.

So while her buddies drink, Pierson will be having water.

The Mesa police DUI squad said they hope every driver out there is doing the same.

"Because if we have to take action, we will make an apprehension for DUI," said Mesa police Sergeant Efren Carmona.

It’s something they have been doing as they spot intoxicated drivers coming down from the Salt River.

"You can't be playing around with that," said Mary Larson, who was tubing at the river.

"Hopefully they are getting the message,” said Sgt. Carmona.

Mesa police said it's a matter of safety.

Mesa police said last Memorial Day they stopped 19 hundred vehicles and arrested 24 people for intoxication.

Officers made 23 DUI arrests and 14 underage alcohol consumption arrests. They stopped 1,841 vehicles during the special Memorial Day enforcement operation.

They said they hope their public outreach efforts about drinking and driving are paying off.