DPS officers cracking down on impaired drivers, wrong-way driver - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

DPS officers cracking down on impaired drivers, wrong-way drivers remain a concern

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Every memorial day weekend, officers with the Department of Public Safety target impaired drivers.

But after seven people have died in wrong-way crashes last week in Central Arizona, they'll be watching for all kinds of dangerous drivers.

Many drivers have been nervous following those deadly wrong-way crashes. On a weekend when people are more likely to hit the roads impaired, it's important for you to be paying attention.

911 Operator: "DPS, 9-1-1"
Caller: "Hi there's a driver on the 202 heading West on the wrong side of the road, going about 65-70 miles an hour"
Caller: "It was like a big black truck on the off ramp and it crossed one lane right in front of me going the wrong way, couldn't believe it"

Those 911 calls came in moments before 20 year-old Ashley Adea, and her boyfriend 25 year-old Michael Ruquet were killed by a wrong-way driver last Sunday on Loop 202.

A search warrant for the driver showed she had drugs and alcohol in her system.

"We do know that bringing it to the forefront of people's thoughts, and they're at least thinking of it as they're driving and going along, the possibility of it being out there," said Captain Daniel Golden with DPS.

DPS asks that you eliminate distractions like your phone, food or even rambunctious passengers so that you can focus on staying safe. It's especially important if someone who has abused drugs or alcohol is on the road with you.

"Everbody has to be able to drive defensively and be able to react to the unknown," said Capt. Golden.

DPS, ADOT, and the Governors Office of Highway Safety are targeting impaired drivers with DUI task forces, checkpoints, and saturation patrols. Officers will also be looking for distracted drivers and those who did not put on a seatbelt.

"We are working every aspect of safety that we can as an agency and statewide, trying to make it as safe as possible so everyone can have an enjoyable holiday weekend," he said.

And of course if you see an officer pulled over with a driver you are expected to move over when it is safe to do so or slow down.
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