Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news:
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - The Country Thunder music festival is underway this weekend – a four-day music event in Florence – and this year, authorities are trying something new to cut down on DUIs.
Education before enforcement.
The plan is pretty simple. Let people pull themselves over for a voluntary breathalyzer test before leaving the area, and letting authorities do it for them.
The festival is four days of fun in the sun, filled with music, food and drinks. A lot of drinks.
"I love it. It's the best thing every year, the best thing I've been to every year," says Nick Hoff.
That’s why there's a strategically placed breathalyzer booth at the crossroads of the concert and the cars.
Think of it like a carnival game that comes with a message.
"I never have had a breathalyzer, so I was curious."
"I feel pretty buzzed. I would not drive the way I feel right now, but the breathalyzer says I’m way under."
"What was your number?"
"And that means?"
"That means DUI!"
The program is called "Know Your Limit," is funded by the governor's office, and is manned by Chandler Police officers.
It's a way to test your blood alcohol level before getting behind the wheel.
"You get some people who blow very low numbers and say that they would never drive because they feel buzzed or impaired, and we get some people who blow high numbers and say they don’t feel anything? So that’s the purpose of this," Chandler Police officer Sam Wagner said.
The breath test is fun, fast and free. Failing it won't get you followed, or land you behind bars.
Beyond this booth, you know the saying. Drive hammered, get nailed.
"If it’s completely voluntary, it’s smart, you know. Because people shouldn’t be driving regardless …" Zack Blessing said.
In 2021 three were 16 DUI arrests stemming from Country Thunder, which was down from the year before.
Authorities hope this booth will cut the numbers again this year.