Police Plan Dui Enforcement Patrols This Weekend

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Fewer people in the town limits of Payson this year are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In the first six months of 2006, the Payson Police Department arrested 145 people on charges of DUI, compared to 165 at the same time in 2005.

For all of 2005, Payson Police Commander Don Engler said there were 272 DUI arrests.

He said one reason for the decrease is that the PPD did more grant-funded DUI details in 2005.

He said the amount of out-of-town recreational traffic does have an impact on DUI numbers.

However, Engler said, the vast majority of DUI arrests are people living in the community.

"I know we are very firm in our (enforcement) of driving under the influence and domestic violence," Engler said, adding the two sometimes coincide.

He said when police are called to a location on a domestic violence call, the suspect often, knowing officers are coming, will try to drive away before police arrive, even if they have had too much to drink.

Engler said there is a slight increase in DUI numbers in the summer months, but added there are also high numbers of alcohol-related incidents during the holidays.

This weekend, the Payson Police Department has scheduled saturation DUI and traffic enforcement patrols.

The featured theme this year, "Drunk driving, over the limit, under arrest," has targeted the nation's highways with police officers to conduct visible enforcement efforts throughout the state.

Last year's effort involved 10,000 law enforcement agencies that targeted the nation's increasing alcohol-related fatality rate, which increased by 1.7 percent in 2005.

The first patrol will occur Friday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The second patrol will be on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Payson police officers will conduct these patrols in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the annual National Impaired Driving Law Enforcement Crackdown.

The funding for the police department's efforts this year is coming from a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

A key component of this program is public education with the goal of being able to provide a program that couples an aggressive approach to law enforcement in traffic and criminal-related violations.

To report an observed violation, contact the Payson Police Department at (928) 474-5177.

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