It wouldn’t be Christmas in the Valley of the Sun without the Holidays DUI task force out to arrest as many people as possible for DUI. This is not new. The Task force has been in opperation for many years. According to the anual report by the Governor’s office on highway safety, in 2011, statewide, there were 27,125 arrests for DUI. Of those, the Holiday Task Force accounted for 3200 or 11% of the total for the year. Since 2009, the Holiday arrests are actually down. According to a different report from the Governor’s office, in 2009 the Task Force made 4600 DUI arrests. In 2010, there were 2830 arrests. At the same time, the number of officers participating has risen from 6800 in 2009 to 8250 in 2011. There are 16 organized multi agency task forces per year. The Holiday TF is the largest and longest. That is the official information that some people feel they need to know. There is so much more, though. In my humble opinion, having represented thousands of accused DUI clients, the goal (unofficial) of the holiday TF is to report arrests. You will be hard pressed to find the actual conviction rate for these arrests. One reason is that the officers process an arrest that normally takes 2 hours to process, and condenses it to less than 30 minutes. The same steps must be taken, but there is a tendency to get sloppy. Let me give you some examples. First is the stop of the vehicle. I see cases this time of year where the basis for the stop is weak. Some of these cases get dismissed for this reason alone. Blood tests are also an issue. Cops draw blood from several people per night. The process is rushed and people’s blood get mixed up, or not drawn properly. Only a seasoned attorney will catch these issues and know to look for them. Also, the Courts get clogged and back logged. Prosecurors are generally more willing to plea bargain when this occurs. I will write more and update the progress during TF 2012. In the mean time, stay safe and don’t get invited to the Holiday TF party.