Wrong-way drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol—an all-too-frequent cause of deaths on I-17 and other Arizona freeways—will automatically face felony charges under a new state law.
Two out of three wrong-way crashes are caused by impaired drivers, the governor’s office said in a statement today. The bill, signed by Governor Doug Ducey today, is part of a broader effort to curb the problem, particularly on I-17 in Phoenix.
“You’d think it was obvious by now, but to anyone out there who hasn’t gotten the memo: Booze, drugs and driving don’t mix,” Ducey said in January, when he called for the legislation. “Your actions are beyond foolish—they are lethal. And we will not tolerate it.”
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The new bill, HB 2243, will automatically charge an impaired wrong-way driver on the highway with a felony. In addition, the proposed FY 2019 budget provides funding to add resources for an enhanced Wrong-Way Driver Night Watch to improve response times to wrong-way and impaired drivers, the statement said.
Last June, Ducey called on state agencies to take other actions to help prevent wrong-way driving. One result: the installation of a thermal camera system on Interstate 17 between I-10 and Loop 101 that detects wrong-way vehicles entering the highway. The pilot project was the first in country, the governor’s office says. So far this year, the system has detected 12 wrong-way drivers. None of these incidents resulted in a vehicle reaching the primary freeway or causing a crash.
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Pool with Swim-up Snack Bar!
Upgraded Majesty model on cul-de-sac with lovely landscaping.
W St. Exupery Court, Anthem Parkside
4 BEDS + CASITA | 3.5 BATHS | 2-CAR GARAGE | 2,915 SQFT | $455,000
Upgraded Patio Home!
Master on 1st floor, premier end-lot overlooking green space! Close to school, park, shopping.
W Murfield Court, Anthem Paseo
4 BEDS | 2.5 BATHS | 2-CAR GARAGE | 1,772 SQFT | $269,000
NEW POOL and Sweeping Views!
End of quiet cul-de-sac, backyard faces east at Anthem’s edge.
N Long Landing Court, Anthem Country Club
4 BEDS + CASITA | 4.5 BATHS | 2-CAR GARAGE | 3,556 SQFT | $590,000
Stunning Backyard + RV Parking!
Spacious Wonder model on east-facing view lot with 3-car garage and paved RV Parking.
N 50th Drive, Arroyo Grande
4 BEDS + Office + Teen Room + “Attic” | 3.5 BATHS | 3-CAR GARAGE | 4,009 SQFT | $549,000
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