Dui/Traffic Checkpoints Set Up Across Rim Country

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Drunk drivers will have a hard time making it home undetected this Fourth of July as the Arizona Department of Public Safety set up a number of DUI checkpoints.

According to a news release from DPS, they began an "intensive enforcement program" June 29, which will continue through July 7.

The program is targeting all Arizona highways, lakes and forests in an effort to minimize highway accidents and fatalities over the holiday.

According to DPS, Roosevelt Lake, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, the Salt River and most high country forests will be sites of DUI checkpoints or task forces, as well as major highways, including Highway 87 through Payson.

The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, meaning that instead of just three days of weekend holiday traveling, many will be taking extended Fourth of July holidays of five days or more.

DPS lists five major causes of accidents, which they plan to target this week -- impaired driving (DUI), safety belts, speeding, yielding to emergency vehicles and attentiveness/fatigue.

A total of 24 people died on Arizona roadways in 2006 over the Fourth of July holiday, according to DPS.

According to The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 303 people died on the nation's highways over the Fourth of July weekend in 2006 in alcohol-related collisions.

Fines and sentences for DUI can be as high as a judge decides is prudent, but cannot be less than $250 and 30 days minimum in jail for a first offense.

A second offense can garner fines of not less than $500 and a minimum of 120 days in jail, along with a one-year revocation of driving privileges, as well as being held responsible for restitution to any victims and jail/court costs.

For a complete list of checkpoints and more information from DPS on its Fourth of July "Intensive Enforcement" program, visit http://www.dps.state. az.us/.

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