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DUI task forces are planned for long weekend

DUI task forces are planned for long weekend

Michael Ferraresi
The Arizona Republic
May. 26, 2006 04:39 PM

A number of Valley police agencies are working together this Memorial Day weekend to curb drunk and unsafe driving.

Those driving around the Valley this weekend are urged to take caution, buckle up, and watch their liquor.

Officers with the DUI task force arrested more than 540 drivers statewide on suspicion of misdemeanor and aggravated DUI during last year's Memorial Day weekend, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. advertisement

The average blood-alcohol content of those arrested in 2005 was 0.147 percent, or nearly twice the 0.08 percent legal limit.

"That's not surprising for officers to see as they're doing DUI details," said DPS Sgt. Warren Simpson, who oversees East Valley patrols for the state task force.

"It's important that (residents) plan ahead of time, if they're drinking, to have a sober driver," Simpson said.

Today and Sunday, DPS officers will take extra time watching drivers on the Beeline Highway, Arizona 87. The highway is a popular vacation route for Valley residents to get to Payson and other towns in the high country.

Gilbert police will work with Scottsdale and Mesa police throughout the weekend as part of the East Valley DUI task force. The three agencies will work Saturday night in Gilbert and Monday on Bush Highway, which leads to Saguaro Lake.

In Glendale and Peoria, the West Valley DUI task force will take to the streets Monday. An exact location was not specified, police said.

Reporters Elias C. Arnold, William Hermann and Brent Whiting contributed to this article.

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