Number of Arizona DUI Patrols Increases over the Holidays
Holidays give people a chance to act in a more frivolous, relaxed way. Unfortunately, this is also the time when the number of accidents on the road increases. The consumption of alcohol for occasions like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Independence Day and Thanksgiving leads to a bigger number of dangers for those who have to travel. This is one of the main reasons why in the state of Arizona DUI patrols are increased whenever festivities are awaited.
Holidays and DUIs
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is the one that announced the increase in the number of DUI patrols. In December 2017, such an increase proved to be highly needed.
Over the four-day holiday period starting at Thanksgiving, Arizona police officers made 377 DUI arrests. The number is up from 333 arrests during the same period of 2016. The total number of traffic stops also went up – from 12,168 in 2016 to 13,216 in 2017.
The news is not all bad, however. The number of sober drivers stopped during the police checks was 501 in comparison to 366 sober drivers stopped in 2016. The average BAC of arrested drivers in 2014 was 0.152 percent. In 2017, the blood alcohol concentration has gone down to an average of 0.09 percent. The number is indicative of increased awareness concerning the consequences of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Arizona’s number of extreme DUIs has also gone down from 86 in 2014 to 73 in 2017.
Whenever a holiday increase in the number of patrols occurs, Arizona doesn’t rely on the standard DUI checkpoints. Rather, the police patrols are scattered throughout local communities for the purpose of scanning key roads.
According to officials, the increased number of DUI arrest doesn’t result from having a bigger number of drunk drivers on the road. Rather, it’s a direct consequence of the bigger number of police patrols out there.
The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
All initiatives pertaining to ensuring road safety during the holidays stem from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The increased number of police patrols whenever celebrations occur has already turned into a tradition.
Federal grants provide most of the funding for the initiatives launched by the office. Such grants usually exceed one million dollars and the bulk of the sum is used to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts. Depending on the availability of funds and the extra payments that have to be made to police officers, holiday patrols could involve as many as 8,000 police officers and deputies.
Very often, local and state authorities will work alongside each other to ensure the safety of people who have to travel during a national holiday.
On Memorial Day Weekend, for example, Arizona relied on both the standard sobriety checkpoints and on saturation patrols.
A sobriety checkpoint, as the name suggests, is established at a predetermined location. Police officers have to come up with a certain sequence for doing the inspections, however (like stopping every third or fourth car). They can’t just randomly check drivers for being impaired.
As far as Arizona DUI patrols are concerned, they need reasonable suspicion to stop a driver on the road and carry out a breathalyzer test. Whenever a driver is pulled over, the officer looks for signs of impairment like swerving, speeding or committing other kinds of traffic violations. Remember to contact experienced DUI attorneys immediately if you are pulled over.
The efforts by law enforcement agencies often get support from private entities, which helps for even safer Arizona roads.
In December 2017, the American Automobile Association began offering a Holiday Safe Ride Program. Under the program, drivers who have consumed alcohol are given a free one-way tow service for a distance of up to 10 miles.