DUI’s as growing problem in Pinal, Volkmer reports

VIA AZCENTRAL| April, 4th 2023

Sasha Hupka, Arizona Republic

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer first started noticing the trend three years ago.

His office was seeing “a meteoric rise” in felony DUIs — cases where a person driving drunk or high is caught behind the wheel with a minor in the car, with a suspended license or while driving the wrong way. Felony DUIs also include situations where a driver has already received several convictions for driving while under the influence.

It made sense that the case totals would be higher than in the past. Volkmer’s county, sandwiched between Phoenix and Tucson, is one of the fastest growing in the state. It added at least 75,000 people between 2010 and 2020, per the U.S. Census Bureau — numbers many officials in the county consider an underestimate. Pinal County now has a population of about 450,000.

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