Pre-holiday DUI roundup sends unlucky 13 to jail
By Becky Pallack
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.24.2005
Thirteen people went to jail on Thanksgiving Eve as part of a new crackdown on drunken driving.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department went looking for 85 people on Wednesday and caught nine wanted on warrants for felony driving under the influence, two wanted on misdemeanor DUI warrants and two sought on other misdemeanor warrants, Sgt. Karl Woolridge said.
It will be up to a judge which offenders have to stay in jail for the holiday, Woolridge said, because some of the arrestees have violated probation or skipped court dates.
The roundup was part of the Sheriff's Department's annual holiday DUI campaign.
"The felony DUI offenders we arrested today are not getting the message," Woolridge said. "These are the ones driving drunk with their kids in the car, driving on suspended licenses, repeating offenses, hurting and killing people - and we want them off the streets."
Officers with the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force will be looking for drunken drivers every Friday and Saturday though New Year's Eve. There also will be sobriety checkpoints during the holidays on streets where alcohol-related crashes and deaths have occurred. The next checkpoints will be set up on the next two Saturday nights, Woolridge said.
In Arizona, Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday when it comes to fatal crashes, and many are caused by drunken drivers, said Sgt. Ed Slechta, Task Force president.
"If you want to drink and drive, we want to take you to some bars called the Pima County jail," he said.
During the 2004 holiday season, task-force officers arrested 417 motorists on drunken-driving charges. In