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Medford falls short of DUII arrest goal

A few months ago the Mail Tribune reported that Medford police were on pace to arrest 600 DUII drivers this year. I am wondering if they were able to eclipse this number, which sounds very high to me.

— Martin G., Medford

Medford Police Chief Tim George said his department will fall short of the record of just over 600 drunken driving arrests for a year.

"We are on pace for about 530 for the year," George said. "That's a good number, but not a record."

The busy summer had the department on pace for 600 arrests of people driving under the influence of intoxicants. By November, Medford's officers had made 420 DUII arrests.

The department made 400 DUII arrests in 2010.

Other than the summer, the holiday season is the busiest time for DUIIs in Medford.

"People are out at holiday parties where typically alcohol is served," George said. "Also you just have more people in town visiting relatives and returning from college on break. More drivers usually means more DUIIs."

George noted that officers have to carefully look for DUII drivers while on patrol. They do this between emergency calls for service.

A busy December probably took away from officers' DUII patrols, George said.

"We had a spike in armed robberies and burglaries in December, which took the officers away from looking for DUIIs," he said.

The chief said the department will continue to work DUIIs in 2012.

"This is something we are committed to," George said.

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