James Zirpolo, San Diego Police Department’s DUI Officer of the Year, does it again, hear San Diego DUI lawyers.

Zealous San Diego DUI police Officer Jim Zirpolo again claimed the Most DUI Arrests award today given by MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, according to DUI attorneys in San Diego.

He made the most drunk driving arrests in the county last year — 205, a number down slightly from when he won the same honor 3 years ago.

Zirpolo has made about 3,000 DUI arrests in his 21 years with the San Diego Police Department, including the last 17 years in the traffic division. He was named “Top Arresting Officer” in 2009 with 227 arrests.

“I really want to make a difference, and this is one way to do that,” Jim says. “I like staying busy, so I work mainly Pacific Beach and downtown.” Duh. Smart move, Jim!

Thirty-one San Diego county/area DUI officers also won “Outstanding DUI Officer” awards, and eleven were recognized for making a Hundred or more DUI arrests last year.

A second San Diego DUI cop, John Ampol Jr., received the Christopher D. Lydon Distinguished Officer Award for his dedication to teaching DUI procedures to other DUI officers and prevention to military folks.

Daniel Fox of California District Attorneys Association, said San Diego county DUI officers make about 17,000 DUI arrests each year, and 97 percent are convicted of a DUI or alcohol-related driving offense (which presumably includes wet reckless convictions).

SDPD Jim Zirpolo issued the seat-belt citations last year that sparked a ticket-fixing probe. Last May at a checkpoint, he ticketed a driver and her passenger, Allison Worden, both county prosecutors, for not wearing seat belts. Worden allegedly tried to dissuade him, and then traffic Sgt. Kevin Friedman allegedly destroyed tickets. Friedman, who resigned last month, and Worden face misdemeanor charges of altering or destroying a citation and obstruction of justice.

Wednesday’s annual MADD luncheon took place at the Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley.

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