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Grace period out; DUI offenders with warrants busted

Grace period out; DUI offenders with warrants busted

Feb. 7, 2006 05:40 PM

A two-day police roundup of people with outstanding DUI warrants wrapped up Tuesday, nabbing nearly two-dozen people in Chandler.

Authorities went to homes and workplaces to arrest people who had been convicted of drunken driving but who had failed to pay court fees, appear in court or follow through in some ways with their cases.

"People wouldn't have these warrants to begin with if they would have taken care of things," said Chandler police Detective Frank Mendoza.

Some simply forgot to show up for a court date. Others forgot to notify the court and some just haven't paid their fines.

Other than failing to appear in court, failure to pay court fees is the second most common reason Chandler police have such a large backlog of these type of arrest warrants - nearly 3,000, said Chandler police Lt. Lucas Hunt.

But no matter the excuse, if they didn't self surrender or come to the police station when authorities contacted them, they were handcuffed in front of others, usually co-workers or family.

"We try to call people initially and let them know they can come in and if they don't, we'll come get them," Hunt said.

Average DUI fees can cost more than $1,000 in court fees, Hunt said. The largest bond amount police found during the roundup was $4,200.

One Chandler resident was handcuffed and arrested Tuesday at his workplace after police couldn't reach him by phone or at home. They called the Department of Economic Security to locate his workplace.

Chandler police Sgt. Dean Lavergne and Arizona

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