In Other News
Sedona police officers arrested four people for DUI during a New Year’s Eve Task Force on Sunday, Jan. 31.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Sedona police officers arrested four people for DUI during a New Year’s Eve Task Force on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Sedona Police Department joined other Northern Arizona law enforcement agencies New Year’s weekend to stop drunk driving during the holidays.

“We had a good night,” SPD Cmdr. Ron Wheeler said. “A successful night would have been no DUIs.”

Officers conducted all four arrests between 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, and midnight Monday, Jan. 1.

Saturation patrol — having more officers on the street than normal — resulted in 41 total contacts. Four contacts resulted in DUI citations — three misdemeanors and one felony.

Seven officers patrolled rather than three.

“The contact numbers were down,” Wheeler said, “but all of the DUIs were quite lengthy.”

Every time officers arrested someone, it took at least two officers off the street, Wheeler said.

Two of the individuals arrested refused the Intoxilyzer test. SPD obtained bodily fluid search warrants to draw their blood to be tested instead.

For a small task force and a community the size of Sedona, Wheeler said, four arrests is pretty average.

After 2 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, Wheeler said patrol officers reported very few cars on the road. Overall, Wheeler said, Sedona had low traffic volume New Year’s Eve.

On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29 and 30, Flagstaff conducted its holiday task force.

Friday’s task force in Flagstaff resulted in 104 contacts and nine DUIs. Twenty officers patrolled.

Saturday’s task force resulted in 163 contacts and five DUIs. Twenty-four officers patrolled, one of whom was a SPD officer.

Wheeler said SPD is waiting for a grant due in late January or early February which will provide money for future task forces.

SPD plans to conduct saturation patrols on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day and Labor Day in the upcoming year.

Also, according to Wheeler, SPD plans to increase DUI patrols with the incorporation of a motor-officer program at the end of January.

Motor-officers will ride motorcycles and concentrate on traffic enforcement as part of SPD’s Sedona Traffic Education Program.

“The DUI patrols will stay the same until the end of January, and at the end of January, they will increase,” Wheeler said.


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