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New Anti-DUI Campaign Targets Hispanics

New Anti-DUI Campaign Targets Hispanics

July 8, 2006 10:29 AM CDT
By Teresa Jun, KOLD News 13

A higher percentage of hispanics die in drunk driving crashes compared to the general population.

That's why Arizona is kicking off a new campaign called "Pass The Keys," or "Pasa Las Llaves."

"It's alarming because it's saying that we're not being educated enough to not drink and drive." Melissa Romero applauds the new education campaign.

It's something Melissa wishes she had learned from last year before getting busted for DUI—a mistake she's still paying for. "My total fine came out to be $4,500," she said.

Not to mention, giving up dozens of hours to attend alcohol education classes. And what may have been the worst part for Melissa, spending a night in jail. "Awful, horrible...it's not a place for a young lady."

Besides educating the community about consequences like these, the campaign will include ramping up DUI patrols around town.

"These additional patrols may take place in additional places such as Wilmot & Broadway, Oracle & Grant, South 12th Avenue and Ajo," according to Richard Fimbres of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

"It's not about putting people in jail and making lives miserable, and it's not about targeting Hispanics, it's about saving lives," says South Tucson Police Chief Sixto Molina.

At the campaign's kick-off Wednesday, community member Ruben Perez, whose son was killed in a drunk driving accident last year, sums up the appeal. "Hermano, hermana, amigo, amiga, por favor, pasa las llaves."

This DUI campaign will run for two and a half years. Arizona is one of only two states to receive federal money for this project. If it's successful here, the program could go national.

Attorney Kathleen Carey

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