The word was out all over the airwaves and television for the past month: Get the max if you get caught driving drunk. But not everyone heard the message.
Mesa police detective Tim Gaffney said late Monday arrests of impaired drivers in the East Valley increased from last year as people concluded Labor Day weekend.
Between Friday and Monday, the East Valley’s DUI Task Force netted 120 impaired driving arrests in Mesa, he said.
There were 94 DUI arrests in Mesa between Friday and Sunday, in addition to 26 arrests on Monday until the DUI patrols were called off because of rain, Gaffney said.
Some of those drivers also were impaired by drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamine, Gaffney said.
“I’m not sure why the arrests were up this year,” Gaffney said. “We had a lot of publicity out there advising people not to drive drunk, but unfortunately, people made a lot of wrong choices.”
The number of driver-impaired or DUI arrests made last year by the East Valley DUI Task Force wasn’t available.
But statewide, there were 852 arrests out of the 9,918 motorists pulled over during Labor Day last year, according to statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.