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D.U.I. Unit

over the limit under arrest copy.jpgThe Mission of the Pima County Sheriff's Department DUI Unit is to aggressively enforce laws and ordinances relating to impaired driving, provide needed assistance and support for the Patrol and Criminal Investigations Divisions, as well as coordinate the training and development of the Sheriff’s Department’s DUI enforcement program.  It is expected the unit’s operations will reduce the number of impaired drivers on Pima County’s roadways by means of enforcement and education, thus reducing the dangers and potential loss of life and property associated with this easily preventable crime and effectively improving the safety of the citizens in Pima County.

The Unit consists of three Deputies and a sergeant.  In order to be considered for the DUI Unit, Deputies must show a determined willingness to remove impaired drivers from the road.  Additionally, members of the DUI Unit receive extensive training in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Drug Recognition Evaluation, Collision Investigation, and Phlebotomy. They are considered experts in impaired driver detection and enforcement and, as such, respond to critical and fatal motor vehicle collisions to assist with investigations.  The scope of DUI investigations range from misdemeanor DUI’s to Second Degree Murder (Vehicular Homicides).

The Unit provides DUI enforcement training to Department members and many Southern Arizona law enforcement agencies.  The DUI Unit also works closely with M.A.D.D. and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to further educate the public about the dangers of impaired driving.  Since 2003, the DUI Unit has provided Standardized Field Sobriety Test training to more than 500 law enforcement officers, military security personnel, and prosecutors.  Beginning in summer of 2008, the DUI Unit provided training to School Resource Officers, Teachers and School Administrators through the DITEP Program (Drug Impairment Training for the Educational Professional).

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department participates in the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force and leads the state in deploying Sobriety Checkpoints. The Unit provides training to agencies statewide who are interested in also conducting Sobriety Checkpoints.  These highly publicized checkpoints are aimed at deterring impaired drivers before they operate a motor vehicle. Since September 2005, the Pima County Sheriff's Department conducted more than 200 checkpoints resulting in over 1500 total arrests. More than 135,000 vehicles passed through these checkpoints. Each motorist was given a questionnaire regarding the operation of these checkpoints. To date, over 95 percent of drivers who responded to this poll favored the use of sobriety checkpoints in the Pima County Sheriff's Department’s efforts to remove impaired motorists from Pima County roadways.


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