Plenty of work for DUI Task Force during Labor Day weekend

Published: Aug. 31, 2014 at 3:23 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM MST
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PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) - The Southern Arizona DUI Task Force continues to put in work on this Labor Day weekend.

Saturation patrols around midtown and the university area Friday night resulted in 456 stops and 27 drivers arrested for driving while impaired, according to task force totals. The DUI charges account for roughly 6% of drivers stopped, but Sergeant Dawn Barkman said they're focused on safety instead of high arrest numbers.

"I'm glad we got them off the street," she said. " In my opinion, when we take someone off the street that's driving impaired, we saved somebody's life."

Task force members from various agencies around southern Arizona set up a check point Saturday night at Old Spanish Trail, just south of Escalante Road. Barkman said locations are chosen because of previous alcohol-related arrests or accidents.

That does not mean the area is a problem, according to Barkman, but she said the task force has had trouble there with previous operations.

"One of our last checkpoints we had one of our Sheriff Auxiliary Volunteers almost got taken out by a drunk and the person actually ran into one of the patrol vehicles," Barkman said.

The work wasn't over when the checkpoint closed. Barkman said task force teams spread out for saturation patrols in order to keep the roads safe.

More than 200 drivers around Arizona have been arrested for DUI as of Saturday afternoon, according to a release from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

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