Officials get tough on DUIs during the holiday season

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Law enforcement officers are reminding people to avoid drinking and driving this holiday season.

On Tuesday, officials gathered at the State Capitol to talk about how they'll be out in full force through the new year. They say the holiday season is the most dangerous time to be on the road. During this past Thanksgiving holiday, from Wednesday through Saturday, 420 people were arrested for DUI, up from 377 in 2017. So far in 2018, law enforcement officers in Arizona have made a combined 1.1 million traffic stops, and 21,000 of them were arrested for DUI.

As a part of the holiday statewide DUI enforcement campaign, police agencies across Arizona will amp up saturation patrols and weekend sobriety check points through the new year.

A first time offender in Arizona will be punished with jail time anywhere one day to six months, depending on the case. That's in addition to a $250 base fine that can go up to $2,500 in total fees.

The holiday season as a whole tends to be dangerous on the roadways, with New Year's Eve being the most dangerous day. So, Valley Metro buses and light rail are offering free rides on New Year's Eve, starting at 7:00 p.m.. In addition, Uber will also be offering discounts, so officials say people have no reason to drink and drive.