For the third year in a row, Arizona police are reporting that they have made fewer drunk driving arrests than in the previous year. According to Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, DUI arrests fell from 32,174 in 2012 to 31,892 in 2013, and further in 2014 to 28,471.
Arizona is known for its tough DUI laws and stringent enforcement, with a high number of patrolling officers and more DUI checkpoints compared to some states. In the annual DUI peak season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve 2014, there were 9,685 officers assigned to DUI patrol duties. Despite an increase of officers, the overall number of DUI arrests fell, possibly indicating a trend toward a reduction of DUI offenses.
In addition to the good news about lower DUI rates, the number of sober designated drivers has more than doubled in the last year, from 6,759 in 2013 to 14,079 in 2014. Gutier proudly concluded that “people understand the consequences. We’re doing something right. I think the public understands the dangers of driving drunk.”
The good news may be mitigated by the fact that extreme DUI arrests rose from 8,212 in 2013 to 8,256 in 2014. Extreme DUI is charged when a driver has a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or more. According to new statistics, the average BAC rose from 0.151 percent in 2013 to 0.152 in 2014. This places the average BAC in the extreme DUI category. While there may be fewer drunk drivers on the road, those who are driving may be highly intoxicated, posing a danger to themselves and others.
What If I am Arrested for a DUI?
Being charged with a DUI in Arizona means that you are facing stiff penalties if convicted. The best thing you can do when charged with any crime is to immediately contact an attorney who is qualified to protect your rights and help you form a strong defense.
Hiring an attorney is a smart decision. Your defense attorney represents your rights against the machinery of the law. District attorneys have offices of staff members whose job is to prosecute you if you are charged with DUI. You deserve to have someone working for your interests.
Alex Lane is a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix who will stand up for your rights when you are charged with DUI or any other crime. Contact him today for more information.