Arizona’s Office of Highway Safety kicks off the next D-U-I Holiday enforcement period under a pall that underscores the urgency to not drink and drive. Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio confirms one of the drivers in a deadly two car crash this holiday weekend in Sun Lakes had a record for

drunk driving. But the Sheriff says lab results have yet to come back for 32 year old Secundido Fabela, who had been booked for D-U-I several times. Arpaio says, Febela died in the crash in which his car veered into oncoming traffic, killing 4 people in another car—Frank and Darlene Hooper, in their 80’s, and their son and daughter, who were in their ‘50’s, riding in the back.

Law enforcement and anti-DUI partners say the first step to preventing drunk driving tragedies is getting a getting a designated driver, taking a cab or Uber,or sleeping off the inebriation, among other things. “To those who are selfish” enough to take a chance, says Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the toll is steep for  offenders. “You literally cannot afford, your pocketbook can’t take it, your liberty can’t take it, and certainly not your personal safety and even your life can take putting any of that at risk by taking to the roadways impaired to the slightest degree.”

Corrections Department Director Charles Ryan adds,  people convicted of impaired driving spend anywhere from over a year to 8 to 10 years in prison. Others took note of the innocent lives devastated from the victim’s and defendant’s side, not to the mention the perpetrators themselves.

Police agencies all over the state will be out in force in the hunt for impaired drivers from now through New Years Day.

—Barbara Villa