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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    DUI police busy over Labor Day

    Tucson Police Department officers wait outside Maloneys Tavern Saturday evening. Extra police officers were deployed for the Labor Day weekend, resulting in more than 60 DUIs being issued between Friday and Saturday alone.
    Tucson Police Department officers wait outside Maloney’s Tavern Saturday evening. Extra police officers were deployed for the Labor Day weekend, resulting in more than 60 DUIs being issued between Friday and Saturday alone.

    The University of Arizona Police Department and local police departments handed out more than 60 driving under the influence citations between Friday and Saturday alone due to Labor Day weekend, fraternity Bid Night and the UA football season opener.

    Extra police officers deployed over the weekend were a necessity, said Cmdr. Brian A. Seastone, who is in charge of emergency preparedness for the UAPD.

    “”We deployed extra officers for Friday night in particular,”” Seastone said, referencing Bid Night for fraternities. “”We had extra officers that night out as a part of our party patrol. Our staffing probably went up by about 10 or 12.””

    Additional officers were also placed on campus Saturday to accomodate the large crowd attracted by the Arizona football game Saturday night, Seastone said.

    However, the number of minor in possession citations and DUIs was not as high as last year, Seastone said. During Bid Night last year, 20 MIP citations were given out by UAPD.

    “”Friday night we did make a number of contacts for underage drinking, but overall the weekend went pretty well,”” Seastone said.

    Jason Kole, a marketing junior, said he attended his fraternity’s Bid Night and made it home without any infractions. However, the increase in police officers on campus made returning home a more nerve-racking activity, Kole said.

    “”I was nervous about the possibility of an MIP,”” Kole said. “”I got a ride back from friends. There was no way I was going to drive back myself.””

    Kole said he disagrees with the campus policy that “”your body is a container,”” which states anyone walking around campus under the influence is essentially carrying alcohol and therefore qualifies as a minor in possession.

    “”I think it’s a good idea to take out drunk drivers, but I think (the body as a container) is stupid,”” Kole said. “”You can get the same punishment for carrying a bottle as you do for walking down the street drunk.””

    A total of 61 arrests for DUIs, misdemeanors and one DUI felony were made between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights alone, according to a Southern Arizona DUI Task Force Deployment press release. The Task Force Deployment was made up of the UAPD along with several local police departments.

    The Pima County Sheriff’s Department, though present on campus both Friday and Saturday, left security and checkpoints up to the UAPD and Tucson Police Department, said Lt. Karl Woolridge of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

    “”(Pima County) never deploys on Sundays,”” Woolridge said. “”The UAPD and Tucson Police Department had campus covered.””

    Seastone said he realizes the emphasis placed on partying, drinking and college, but he still had words of warning and advice for students planning to continue these activities.

    “”We always encourage students, if you’re going out and partying, to have a designated driver,”” Seastone said. “”The laws still stand, and you need to be 21 years old to drink in this state. If you’re drinking or providing alcohol to minors, you’re also legally responsible. Drinking is an individual choice. Make an appropriate decision.””

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