The DUI Crackdown for Memorial Day Weekend
By: Mary Ann Pekara
While Memorial Day Weekend has been traditionally been known for having barbecues and opening swimming pools, it is also becoming synonymous with law enforcement cracking down on DUI.
Did you know there were nearly 150 deaths in drunken driving accidents across the country on Memorial Day Weekend of 2005? Or that those DUI-related casualties accounted for 40 percent of the traffic-related deaths that were recorded that night?
In order to prevent such tragedies from occurring, law enforcement was out in extra numbers throughout the country this past Memorial Day Weekend, and here are some of the early numbers for the amount of DUI arrests that were made.
The California Highway Patrol reported that 1,449 drivers were arrested on suspicion of DUI this Memorial Day Weekend. The number of California DUI arrests made this year was very comparable to the totals from Memorial Day Weekend of 2006, when 1,450 people were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. California DUI-related fatalities were up this year as compared to last, with five deaths this past weekend versus four last year.
Peoria and Mesa police arrested a total of 320 people on suspicion of Arizona DUI this past Memorial Day Weekend. 94 of the DUI drivers recorded a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 percent or more, while the average BAC was 0.144 percent. It is of course illegal to be driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher in Arizona and all other 49 states in the country. Arizona police stopped 4,737 drivers over Memorial Day Weekend and issued 1,462 citations. Of even more interest, 30 drivers were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
The Washington State Patrol reported that it made hundreds of DUI arrests this past Memorial Day Weekend. Specifically, 305 people were arrested on suspicion of Washington DUI between 4 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. 53 of those Washington DUI arrests occurred in Snohomish County while King County saw 38 DUI arrests, a number that was down by 20 arrests from last year. The Washington State Patrol also implemented a new program using aircraft to track down potential DUI offenders. That program netted three total arrests, two for Washington DUI and one for reckless driving.
As the above figures show, law enforcement tends to really crack down on drunk driving on Memorial Day Weekend. And with the Fourth of July and Labor Day coming up, you can rest assured that they will continue to do so on these holidays.