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Holiday DUI total declines in Arizona

Holiday DUI total declines in Arizona

By Lindsay Butler, Tribune
January 9, 2006

The number of holidayseason DUIs in Arizona decreased this year, the Governors Office of Highway Safety reports.

The Arizona DUI task force made 2,399 DUI arrests between Thanksgiving and New Years, down 243 from 2004.

In the East Valley, there were 1,596, down 133 from 2004.

In Scottsdale, there were 152, down nine from 2004.

Strong enforcement and advertising campaigns are responsible for the decrease, said Michael Hegarty, deputy director of the Governors Office of Highway Safety. There are more officers on the task force, and they are making more stops.

Despite the numbers, Arizona is still showing poorly against the national average, Hegarty said. In the nation, the number of alcohol-related fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled is 1.5. In Arizona, it is 2.0.

Still, Arizonas average is slowly dropping. Two years ago, the average was 2.16, Hegarty said.

At Phoenix Country Day School, 3901 E. Stanford Drive in Paradise Valley, students are trying to bring those numbers down even further.

Scottsdale resident Asher Landay, 16, is one of 157 members of Students Against Destructive Decisions at the school, out of a total enrollment of 270. The organization encourages youths to stay away from alcohol and drugs.

Each Friday, students meet to listen to police officers, parents who have lost children to drunken drivers or other youths who have struggled with alcohol or drugs.

During the week of their prom, SADD members will slowly step out of class during the day to show how many people are killed by drunken drivers.

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