DUI task force warns Arizonans to be safe on New Year's Eve - New York News

DUI task force warns Arizonans to be safe on New Year's Eve

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PHOENIX -

Many will bring in the new year by partying, but be wary of how you get home. The DUI van will be out and officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

When you're out celebrating this New Year's Eve, think before you get behind the wheel.

"They're putting not only themselves, but  innocent families, innocent victims at risk," said Lt. Brian Lee, with Phoenix police's DUI Task Force.

Drunk drivers will have to contend with a mobile DUI processing unit in every precinct in Phoenix.

"What's frustrating for law enforcement is that the DUI is 100 percent preventable," said Lee.

Roughly 1,700 Phoenix officers will be looking for impaired drivers.

Lee is seeing a rise of extreme DUI drivers who are not just consuming alcohol.

'It's continuing to resurface, presence of prescription drugs. People seem to think that if a doctor prescribed it, it's okay. They don't realize it has the exact same symptoms that you get through alcohol impairment or through illicit drugs," said Lee.

So far this holiday season, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 27, officers have already arrested 3,353 people statewide.

578 arrests were made in Phoenix alone.

Once suspected, drunk drivers are given field sobriety tests and brought to a mobile processing center, where officers can finger print them and check their records instantly.

"We're seeing less of border line impaired driver and more of the extreme impaired driver," said Lee.

Lee recommends you plan how you are getting home before leaving the house for a New Year's Eve party.

Call a driver in advance or have a secured designated driver.

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