The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to “stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.” To date, MADD’s work has saved nearly 300,000 lives…and counting.
Deputy Calhoun is a member of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit. During 2011, Deputy Calhoun conducted 1,599 traffic stops, issued 959 citations and arrested 94 individuals who were impaired by alcohol and or drugs. Deputy Calhoun has advanced impaired driver training including the fact he is nationally certified as a “Drug Recognition Expert.” Less than 1% of all sworn law enforcement officers across the United States have this certification.
Lieutenant Jason Villegas who supervises the Traffic Unit stated, “Deputy Calhoun has displayed a tremendous commitment to the safety of the citizens of Pinal County. There is no doubt his enforcement efforts have saved countless lives.”
During 2009, Pinal County had a total of 3,755 motor vehicle collisions. Out of those collisions, there were 86 people killed and another 1,890 people injured. Over fifty percent of the fatal collisions in Pinal County involved alcohol and or drug impaired drivers. Each year, nearly 500 people are killed on Arizona’s roadways as the result of alcohol and drug-impaired crashes – a staggering 17,000 deaths nationally each year.
Sheriff Babeu believes high visibility, zero tolerance enforcement as well as impaired driver education is the foundation of any successful effort to reduce drunk driving and one of the ways to ensure those traveling the roads of our state are safer.
During his first year in office, Sheriff Babeu created the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit. The Traffic Unit patrols our roadways works speed and DUI enforcement on motorcycles, they are the coordinating agency for the Pinal County Regional DUI Task Force and they teach driver safety and alcohol and drug impairment awareness classes throughout the county.
During 2009 in Pinal County and across the Nation, the average of fatal collisions involving alcohol and or drug impairment was fifty percent, as a result of our stepped up enforcement, during 2011 our average was only 6%. The number of drivers arrested for alcohol impaired driving has increased by 27% from 2009 to
2011 and the number of drug impaired driving arrests increased by 875%. Yes that is correct 875%.
“How much is too much? If you have to ask, you already have your answer. If you’re going to drink, be responsible and plan ahead for a safe, sober ride home”, said Sheriff Paul Babeu.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office wants to thank Director Alberto Gutier from the “Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety” for the funding and support he has provided to our office. His office has provided funding to purchase motorcycles for enforcement, a regional DUI Task Force Command Van, portable breath testing devices, radar units and other equipment our office has needed to make our Traffic Unit one of the best in the state.