Officers talk about passion for life-saving DUI patrols

Officers talk about passion for life-saving DUI patrols

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Extra police are on the roads to keep you safe this holiday weekend.

DUI enforcement has been increased for Thanksgiving, as law enforcement is trying to take impaired drivers off the streets.

They started Wednesday, Nov. 22, and are continuing through Saturday night, Nov. 25.

Extra officers and resources are being deployed through the city of Tucson and Pima County. On Friday night, the DUI Task Force was comprised of law enforcement officials from the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff's Department, and Oro Valley Police Department.

"The goal of the saturation patrols is to increase the awareness of motorists regarding the dangers of impaired driving, deter those who may be impaired from driving and investigate DUI offenses to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road. These saturation patrols are an important component in the Tucson Police Department's continued effort to combat impaired driving and reduce injuries and deaths," a TPD news release said.

For six years, TPD motorcycle officer John Murphy has joined the task force briefings as a member of the unit. He said his passion has become DUI patrols.

"I've come in contact with many victims. I've actually investigated homicides. So you see the cause and effect from these sort of things," Murphy said.

On Friday night, he was among others who wanted to make a difference. The multi-agency task force has been effective, if you ask Murphy.

"We try and do it every single night, but when you have a more stressed area or something, and we're out there more visible, we hope that we can make that one person change their decision and do the right thing," he said.

He also hoped that one person would instead find another ride home, and Murphy could find a new passion project.

"It would be nice to have a day where there are no more impaired drivers so we don't have to have this task force," he told Tucson News Now. "But unfortunately, it's an issue that we still have out there in the roadway so we're out here every single time."

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