DUI task force issues 362 citations


The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department’s DUI task force teamed with multiple agencies across the county this holiday season to issue 362 citations.

“Our message was clear. If you were driving impaired you were going to jail,” said spokesman Tim Gaffney.

The task force operated from late November until the end of December, spending a combined five days patrolling the streets of Maricopa.

The operations netted 124 misdemeanor DUIs, seven underage DUIs, 10 aggravated DUIs and 15 extreme DUIs countywide. Misdemeanor DUI is a first or second offense with no additional crimes involved. Aggravated DUI occurs when the intoxicated person is driving without a valid license.

A person operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of.15% or above can be charged with extreme DUI. Anyone so charged faces the possibility of 30 consecutive days in jail, more than $1500 in fines and at least a 90 day license suspension. If convicted of extreme DUI, an individual may be placed on probation and will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

“Statistics show on average, nationwide, someone is killed every 40 minutes by an impaired driver,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu. “As your sheriff, I am committed to providing the residents of Pinal County high-visibility, zero tolerance-traffic enforcement,”

In addition to DUI citations, police issued 206 other citations and arrested a man in Maricopa who was transporting 300 pounds of marijuana.