Statewide DUI crackdown begins



Video report by Casey James

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 5:59 PM

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of police officers will swarm Valley streets during the holiday season as part of a statewide DUI crackdown.

Alberto Gutier, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, said his office has been doing the crackdown for nearly 30 years.

"The beauty of it is that this particular one has both the East Valley and West Valley working together for a central location in Phoenix," he said.

The operation is based at 28th Street and Indian School Road.

Gutier said more than 80 police agencies will participate in the special patrols through the end of the year.

The East and West Valley DUI task forces are setting up two mobile command centers, where they can quickly process drunk drivers.

Officers will use blood and breath tests to determine drivers' blood alcohol content.  Drivers who refuse to take the tests will be detained until they are forced to do so by a search warrant, automatically suspending their license for one year.

In Arizona, a DUI can cost a first-time offender about $10,000.

"It's a great message," Gutier said. "Get a designated driver, or drive hammered and get nailed."