Courtesy of ADOT
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DUI arrests on a downward trend over the last few years


Tara Alatorre

ARIZONA –  The state saw a 16 percent decrease in DUI arrests from 2014 to 2017, and a 70 percent increase  in sober drivers contacted on traffics stops in just over the last year, according to a newly released report from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
“In 2014 there were about 32,000 DUI arrests, we have seen a big downward trend, and I credit Uber and Lyft for the decrease we have seen over the years,"  said the Governor's Office of Highway Safety's Director, Alberto Gutier, in an interview.
There were 26,899 drunk driving arrests statewide in 2017, and although it is about a three percent increase from last year’s DUI arrests, which was a total of 26,060, the state is seeing an overall reduction of DUIs since 2014.
“We have seen an incredible effort from law enforcement, so when we look at the big picture with the increased officers on patrol and the increase of traffic stops it explains the small rise,” Gutier said.
In 2017, there were about 100,000 more traffic stops and 7,000 more officers on patrol compared to 2016, which can explain the small uptick in total DUI arrests, he said.
Another important statistic to look at Gutier says, is the number of sober designated drivers contacted in 2017, which is the number of traffic stops that resulted without a DUI arrest.  In 2016, there were only 9,057 sober drivers contacted, but in 2017 there were 15,415 sober drivers contacted, which is a huge upsurge.
“The most important thing in my book is the sober drivers contacted,” he said.