According to a recent report, more than 400 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Arizona over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety released the statewide report showing that law enforcement made 413 arrests for DUI over the four-day period that began on March 14 and ended March 17. The total arrested exceeded 2013 St. Patrick’s Day DUI collars by an incredible 49 arrests, making this year’s total 12 percent higher than last year’s total. Furthermore, about one-quarter of the arrests were for extreme DUI which requires a higher blood alcohol content than regular DUI. People under the age of 21 accounted for 18 of the total arrests.
What Do Higher DUI Arrest Numbers Mean?
There are two ways to interpret this data: first, that more people are actually driving drunk; and second, that more arrests are being made due to greater police action.
In reality, either, neither or both could be true. There are a few factors that may argue against either interpretation, however.
First, DUI arrests have been steadily dropping across the country since the implementation of tougher DUI laws. More people that ever realize that they may be arrested, fined, jailed and spend thousands of dollars on a DUI charge and therefore elect not to drive when they have been drinking. While there may be slight bumps up in the numbers from year to year, the downward trend is relatively well-established.
On the other hand, police have been stepping up DUI saturation patrols and other forms of DUI targeting, although many agencies have had to cut officer hours due to the fact that budgets are very tight. However, law enforcement agencies tend to concentrate their patrol efforts around holiday weekends, but this may not explain such a large uptick in numbers since presumably the same relative number of police officers were on the road St. Patrick’s Day of 2013.
Therefore, it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the cause of the higher number of arrests, but it is easy to draw one conclusion: those arrested may benefit from the advice and help of a DUI attorney.
A DUI attorney like Alex Lane can help those who are arrested on charges of drinking and driving. With the help of an experienced DUI attorney, you may be able to avoid some of the penalties associated with a DUI conviction.