ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Police in the Alaskan city of Anchorage say the number of arrests on suspicion of drunken driving has increased substantially this year.
Police Lt. Dave Parker called the 2,438 driving under the influence arrests to date in 2008 "horrendous," as the figure marks an increase of nearly 25 percent compared to last year's DUI figures, The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News said Saturday.
"Now, some of those are repeat customers," Parker said, "but that is a horrendous number."
Anchorage police say the sudden increase in DUI arrests could be related to a new focus on drunken driving by authorities or increased patrol officers working longer hours on the city's streets.
Alaska authorities say similar DUI arrest increases have been recorded across the state this year with a noticeable increase in those areas where officers have been told to target any suspected drunk drivers.
"What the data shows us is where there's enforcement, there's an increase in DUI arrests," Alaska Highway Safety Office administrator Cindy Cashen told the Daily News. "Now, do we know what's going on on those roads when there isn't sufficient enforcement? We don't know."