Week of September 23 | Safe and Sober
Produced by Courtland Jeffrey Reporter Riis Valcho Edited by Courtland Jeffrey Camera Daniel Santa Cruz, Dominick DiFurio, Sean Logan Executive Producer Erin O'Connor
Coinciding with the start of the ASU fall semester in August, the Tempe Police Department launched Operation Safe and Sober to deal underage drinking and "targeting criminal behavior”associated with heavy drinking. Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff personally reached out to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for assistance because of the MCSO's DUI Enforcement Task Force and history of stopping underage drinking around the county.
The Sheriff said he wants students to have a good time while they are in college, but not to end up in jail for poor decisions with alcohol or drugs.
Canvasing a 2-mile radius around the campus, Tempe police, with help from eight other local law enforcement agencies, arrested 66 people for extreme DUI (.15 Blood Alcohol Concentration), 7 people for super extreme DUI (.20 Blood Alcohol Concentration) and 67 drug-related DUI arrests in the first phase of the operation ending on August 31. A second phase was launched September 12 and concluded September 14. The total arrests for both phases was 1,772.
Tempe Police have not released a date for a third phase to the alcohol "suppression sweeps," but are placing more officers around the Tempe campus due to four sexual assaults, which have recently occurred in the same zone as Operation Safe and sober.