Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has cultivated a reputation for being tough on crime. While the possible merits of his controversial approach have long been debated, no one could argue that his tactics don’t get him coverage in the media.
He displayed his knack for getting press again a few days ago, when he dispatched a “chain gang” to clean up state land in north Scottsdale. He said that between the last day of the Phoenix Open golf tournament and the Super Bowl, he expected a rise in DUI violations.
One inmate was reportedly dressed up in a pink t-shirt with “DUI chain gang” written across it. She wore black and white striped pants and she held a large arrow on which was addressed to Super Bowl fans: “Sheriff Arpaio warns: Party too hardy and you end up here.”
The sheriff said the group that he calls a “DUI chain gang” is to remind passersby that the state of Arizona metes out real consequences to those who are caught drunk driving.
The 15 women in the group were sent to clean up near the intersection of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road because Super Bowl Sunday can result in DUI arrests similar in numbers to those on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.
According to media reports, the women have been convicted of a variety of crimes; they volunteer to be in the group.
Again, many would dispute any contention that this “chain gang” approach benefits the women involved, the passersby or the community at large. But few would dispute that a DUI arrest can result in harsh punishments.
For those arrested for drunken driving, the process of defending their rights and liberties begins with a conversation with a DUI attorney.
Source: KPTV, “Arpaio directs chain gang to work Super Bowl Sunday,” Feb. 2, 2014