[ NEWS ]








By Bryon Wells
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 6, 1998

Spring Fling DUI arrests down in 'quiet' year

The Southern Arizona DUI Task Force arrested 35 people on drunken driving charges out of a total of 175 stops during its operation around Spring Fling Saturday and Sunday nights, making for a relatively calm celebration, police said.

Sgt. Ed Slechta, co-chairman of the Task Force, called this a relatively quiet event compared to the previous four Spring Flings that the multi-agency task force has covered.

Slechta attributed the relatively low arrest rate to the fact that there were 46 designated drivers noticed during the weekend stops.

The Task Force was comprised of officers from the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff's Department, University of Arizona Police Department, Oro Valley Police Department and state Department of Public Safety.

Slechta said police were deployed around a five-mile radius of campus to look for the tell-tale signs of drunken drivers, such as excessively fast or slow speed and "serpentine" weaving within the 12-foot-wide traffic lanes.

"They're looking for people who get themselves liquored up and come to Spring Fling to cause problems," Slechta said.

Slechta said two of the 35 arrests were UA students, and that the average blood alcohol level of those arrested had gone down to .13 percent from the .18 percent observed in 1997. Names of the people arrested were not available.

Twenty-five of the arrests were on misdemeanor drunk-driving charges, Slechta said, and the only major incident the Task Force encountered was far from the UA, where a South Tucson police officer's patrol car was struck by a drunken driver.

University police Cmdr. Brian Seastone called this year's Spring Fling "very quiet," adding that there were no arrests inside the event grounds as of yesterday afternoon.

(LAST_STORY)  - (Wildcat Chat)  - (NEXT_SECTION)