Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. Law enforcement officers in Arizona are allowed to cite any driver who is impaired to the slightest degree, regardless of whether their BAC is above, at, or below .08.
Do IIDs Work?
Legislation approved in 2007 required many DUI offenders to install and use Ignition Interlock Devices. These devices are essentially in-car breathalyzers that prevent the car from starting if alcohol is detected on the person’s breath. Since this law’s implementation, the number of drunk driving deaths in Arizona has dropped 46 percent, according to data provided by the organization Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).
With this success, MADD has released a new three-pronged approach to minimizing drunk driving: support high-visibility law enforcement efforts, like sobriety checkpoints; push for mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices for offenders in every state; and continue to support the development of advanced in-vehicle alcohol detection technology. Though not part of its three-pronged approach, MADD does suggest funding for “Safe Ride Programs” which encourage sober ride offerings such as those run by many taxi companies on major holidays.
Light Rail Equals Fewer DUIs?
Phoenix has conveniently offered an alternative to drinking and driving with the opening of the state’s first major light-rail system. The Valley Metro light rail, which cuts an L-shape across the Valley and connects Downtown Phoenix to Sky Harbor International Airport and the main campus of Arizona State University, in Tempe, debuted in 2008. Recently the rail began running trains past the 2:00 a.m. cut-off on Friday and Saturday nights. This service has also contributed to the decline in drunk driving, as there is now a convenient alternative for those who live in the city. Valley Metro spokesperson Susan Tierney stated that the late-night weekend service is by no means peak travel time on the system. However, the transit agency does see a surge in use during major entertainment events that tend to include alcohol, like concerts or professional athletic games.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Drinking and driving is never an acceptable choice. If you have been drinking and need to go somewhere, there are alternatives to driving yourself. Certainly, a designated driver is an option, but calling a cab or taking advantage of public transportation is another choice.
However, everyone makes mistakes. If you did make the mistake of driving while under the influence, it is important to begin building your defense. Start by contacting Alex Lane, a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, AZ. With years of experience defending those facing criminal charges such as DUI, Alex Lane can help you build a solid defense and, hopefully, minimize the repercussions of a DUI charge. Call today for a free initial consultation.