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Fewer DUI arrests this year

Fewer DUI arrests this year

By Catherine Junia, Independent Newspapers

Added police presence and better traffic enforcement seem to have a sobering effect on Northeast Phoenix streets.

Fewer drunk-driving related arrests were made within the boundaries of Northeast Phoenixs Desert Horizon Precinct from January to August this year compared to the same period in 2004. In the eight-month period, the precinct logged 1,072 DUI-related arrests, 10 percent less than the 1,193 arrests made in 2004.

Alcohol-related fatal collisions also went down 33 percent to four this year from six the previous year.

Phoenix Police Detective Tony Morales attributes the drop in alcohol-related traffic accidents to the deployment of additional traffic and DUI aid units to the precincts coverage area.

Desert Horizon is bounded on the west by 40th Street, on the east by Scottsdale Road; and on the south by Thunderbird Road, on the north by Jomax Road.

Over the past years, weve seen an increase in DUI-related accidents in that area, especially on Bell, Mr. Morales said. As a result of that spike, weve added extra enforcement and sent out more special DUI units to cover the area.

In 2004, 41 DUI-related collisions were reported in the Desert Horizon Precincts coverage area, which was 54 percent more than 2003. Police officers attributed the spike in alcohol-related incidents in Northeast Phoenix to the increase in population, roadway traffic and alcohol establishments.

A lot of those accidents were speed-related collisions, Mr. Morales said. With extra enforcement, motorists slow down and now were seeing less crashes.

Desert Horizon Precinct Commander Robert Demlong added having more police officers certified for radar enforcement also helps reduce the incidence of DUI-related collisions.

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