Number of DUI arrests up by at least 100% in St. Johns County

The number of DUI arrests in St. Johns County has gone up by at least 100% since last year.

That’s according to Chuck Mulligan, the spokesperson for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

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Mulligan told Action News Jax  reporter Courtney Cole he believes the rapid growth in the county has been a contributing factor in the increased number of DUI arrests.

Cole asked the Sheriff’s Office if there were certain streets where more DUI offenders were getting pulled over.

Mulligan told Cole there weren’t certain streets, per se, but the arrests were most on major roadways like such as A1A and US1 because of the high volume of daily traffic.

"I know a lot of people that have been hit or been in accidents because of DUIs. I would never do that,
Zach Jones said.

In St. Johns County, however, deputies have noticed a lot more people are doing just that.

Jones told Action News Jax he wishes people would be more careful.

"Something needs to be done, that's for sure,” Jones said.

In April and May of 2018, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says there were 71 DUI arrests.

This year from April 1st through Thursday, May 23rd, the number is already at 135.

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Mulligan told Cole he expects that number to get even higher with four full days left in the month.

"For law enforcement, there's only so much you can really do. There's only so many cops, you can only pull over so many people, it's scary,” Jones said.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says they were able to add 30 deputies to the team from 2016 to 2018.

That's allowed them to give more attention and patrol time to such issues.

People that Cole spoke to say they think more regulation at bars could help.

"They don't really check to see if they're driving. It's not really  their jobs to do that but I definitely think there's more that a lot of people could do."

"Regulate the bars and have some type of self-testing inside of the bar,” Dante Martin said.

AAA is offering a way to get you and your car home safely with its Tow to Go program.

Tow to Go is available through 6 a.m. Tuesday May 28 by calling 855-2-TOW-2-GO.