DUIs and the Holidays--What You Need To Know

As the holiday season kicks into full swing, it is important to know certain facts about DUI arrests during this time of year. Knowing these facts may help you avoid a DUI arrest if you are pulled over for any reason during the period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.

  • The holidays are one of the busiest times for law enforcement in terms of DUI arrests. Law enforcement agencies know that a great number of drivers will be on the highways, particularly at night and on the weekends, so they regularly set up checkpoints, saturation patrols and other increased surveillance to try to catch drunk drivers. This means that the chances of you being pulled over, particularly at night and on the weekend, are far greater during this time of year than other times of year. These patrols and checkpoints are most concentrated in populated areas but can occur anywhere, on any street.
  • Police officers do not have to prove that you have a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent to place you under arrest. There is a great deal of misunderstanding about Arizona DUI law. To make it simple, it is best to keep in mind that Arizona allows people to be charged with DUI if they are impaired "to the slightest degree." If you have an accident, for example, and there is any evidence you have been drinking at all, you may be arrested even if you do not show greater than .08 percent on a breath test. The .08 percent BAC becomes important if police officers are trying to make a per se DUI charge, meaning that they do not have to "prove" you were intoxicated. At any BAC over .08 percent, you are assumed to be impaired by the law.
  • You have rights when you are pulled over. You are not required to incriminate yourself by answering any questions or by taking any field sobriety tests. However, you do not have the right to refuse a breath or blood test. If you do, you risk losing your license. The best way to handle this situation is usually to be polite but firm and decline to answer any questions or take field sobriety tests. Simply ask the officer if he or she is placing you under arrest.

If you are arrested or charged with DUI, you may want the help of an attorney like Alex Lane in Phoenix. With years of experience, Alex Lane can help you minimize the impact of a DUI arrest.

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