WILLCOX — The annual December DUI Task Force yielded more local citations in 2019 than in 2018.
According to the Willcox Director of Public Safety Dale Hadfield, this year there were upward of nine driving under the influence citations. Of those citations, six were DUI drugs, meaning that the driver of the vehicle was determined to be on illicit or prescription drugs and was experiencing impared driving.
“It (the number of DUI) was higher than last year,” said Hadfield. “We run the task force from the beginning of December to Dec. 31. We account for DUIs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays up until the week after Christmas Day.”
The Arizona Governor’s Office awarded the Willcox Police Department with a grant of $35,000 to fund the Willcox Police Department overtime as well as the equipment needed for the DUI task force.
“It was productive, but I wish the numbers weren’t that high,” Hadfield said.
Statewide, the number of impaired drivers declined, while the number of sober designated drivers increased dramatically.
DUI patrols contacted 34,207 sober drivers, up almost 73 percent from 2018’s 19,789 sober drivers.
There were a total of 27,844 DUI arrests by DUI patrols in 2019, down eight-tenths of a percent from the five-year high of 28,094 DUI arrests in 2018.
David Bell contributed to this report