PCAO seeing alarming increase in the number of Felony DUIs

(FLORENCE, AZ, April 3rd, 2023) – The Pinal County Attorney’s Office is launching a new safe driving campaign in order to help curb a concerning uptick in the number of Felony DUIs across the county.

PCAO is launching the campaign with the motto, “Drive Drunk or High, People Might Die.” This will be featured at various events, on community handouts and part of messaging going forward.

“A single impaired driver puts other families at risk and it’s not acceptable,” said County Attorney Kent Volkmer. “Given the rise we’re seeing, we are very concerned with how many people are getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t.”

In 2022, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office charged 243 Felony DUI cases. That represents a roughly 75% increase over 2021.

Already in 2023, PCAO has charged more than 115 Felony DUIs, putting us on pace to easily surpass last year’s total.

“We hope an increased focus on this issue helps people think harder about the decisions they make and decide against getting behind the wheel while impaired, whether it be alcohol, illicit drugs or even prescription medication,” Volkmer said.

Over the past several years, law enforcement has begun issuing more drug DUI citations than alcohol related.

“Please realize just one bad decision could be your last,” Volkmer said. “Or it could kill someone else.”

The Pinal County Attorney’s Office encourages everyone, especially those attending the upcoming Country Thunder Music Festival in Florence, to designate a sober driver.

A felony DUI involves one of the following factors:

1) While the person's license is suspended,  canceled, revoked, refused, or there is a DUI related restriction

2) It is the third DUI within 84 months

3) Has a person under the age of 15 in the vehicle

4) While the person is required to have an ignition interlock device installed

5) While driving the wrong way