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Drunk driving increase worries Pinal County officials

The Pinal County Attorney’s Office has launched a new safe driving campaign to curb “concerns about rising countywide felony DUI counts.”

“It is unacceptable for a single driver with a disability to endanger other family members,” Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said in a press release. “Given the increase we’re seeing, it’s very concerning how many people are behind the wheel when they shouldn’t be.”

In 2022, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office will file 243 DUI felony charges, according to a press release. This represents an increase of approximately 75% compared to 2021.

So far this year, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office has filed more than 115 felony DUI charges, with the county on pace to “lightly exceed last year’s total,” the release said.

As a result, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office is launching a new campaign with the motto, “You may die if you drive drunk or high.” The new motto will be featured at various events and community handouts and used as part of the message.

“More focus on this issue will encourage people to think more deeply about their decisions and make decisions to stop driving while disabled, whether it’s alcohol, illegal drugs or even prescription drugs. We hope that it will be useful for the future,” said Volkmer.

Over the past few years, law enforcement agencies have begun issuing charges related to drug DUIs rather than alcohol-related ones.

“Recognize that one wrong decision can be your last,” Volkmer said. “Or possibly kill other people.”

The Pinal County Attorney’s Office encourages everyone, especially those attending the Country Thunder music festival in Florence, to nominate a DUI.

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