Thursday, July 25

Combating Drunk Driving Just Got an Upgrade in Arizona

It’s something we see far too often: an innocent person killed due to someone who chose to drive rather than take a taxi after a night of drinking. It’s an unfortunate reality that many people get behind the wheel, believing that they’re fine to drive home, but they put not only themselves in danger, but others on the road as well.

Take the example of an Arizona man, Abraham Delgadillo Castro, who is now charged with the death of his girlfriend Jeanette Ruiz and the injury of two others. According to the Arizona Republic, he ran a red light in Phoenix, resulting in a violent crash which fractured the vertebrae of the other driver and injured their passenger. Ruiz, who first suffered a head injury, died later.

Castro’s blood alcohol level was .18%, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08%.

Authorities are getting smarter, however. This past holiday weekend, the Arizona Department of Public Safety unveiled ghost cars that enforce DUI laws. The cars feature graphics that blend into the car’s exterior and reflect when hit with light, therefore allowing DPS officers to be more stealthy when trying to locate drunk drivers. Each year on holiday weekends, Arizona officers typically arrest around 300-400 people for driving while impaired, despite warnings.

“Each holiday weekend we know that 300 to 400 Arizonans will be arrested for driving impaired, yet every year we arrest 300 to 400 more,” Milstead said.

“We also know that this weekend a number of Arizonans will be killed on Arizona highways that have failed to buckle their seat belts, they’ll drive impaired (or) they’ll be a victim of aggressive driving,” said Col. Frank Milstead, the director of DPS.

Most drivers involved in fatal crashes who were under the influence had a blood alcohol level of well over .08%.

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