Police Say: 'Drive Hammered, Get Nailed'

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From one border to the other in Arizona, police will be out in force searching for impaired drivers between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

The increased patrols will include sobriety check points and saturation patrols in areas known for high incidents of alcohol- and drug-related collisions.

The state's motto "Drive Hammered, Get Nailed" will be the driving force in the effort to remove impaired drivers from the roadways.

Statewide over the past five years, enforcement action has led to the arrest of an average of 2,311 impaired drivers during the holiday season. Those drivers had an average alcohol concentration of .153. About 12 percent of those drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of a narcotic or prescription drug.

Impairment can result from use of inhalants as well as drugs, both legal and illegal. Persons who choose to drive while under the influence of a legally prescribed drug can be arrested if it is found they are impaired.

Most prescription drugs will come with a warning, however, that when taken with other drugs or even small amounts of alcohol, a person may become impaired.

The law defines DUI as "impaired to the slightest degree."

"Drivers need to keep in mind that their alcohol concentration does not have to be at or over .08," Sgt. Rod Mamero of the Payson Police Department said. "If they are impaired to the slightest degree, they will be arrested."

The Payson police made 176 DUI arrests in the year 2000.

"Our stance has always been in line with the Governors Office of Highway Safety," Mamero said. "Zero tolerance."

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