Law enforcement officers frequently focus their DUI enforcement efforts on long weekends and holidays under the assumption that people are more likely to drink and drive when they are out celebrating with friends and family. According to a recent news report, there were a total of 503 Arizona DUI arrests over Memorial Day weekend. Of those, 70 people were arrested for aggravated DUI and the remaining 433 were misdemeanor DUI arrests.
The article lists a few other interesting facts:
- 109 motorists were arrested for extreme DUI, with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) in excess of .15
- 149 motorists were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs
- The average BAC among all motorists arrested for DUI was .144
- 3,200 law enforcement officers were part of the enforcement effort
- This year arrests increased from 2018, when 483 people were arrested for DUI over Memorial Day weekend
- Both 2019 and 2018 showed a decrease from the 552 DUI arrests made Memorial Day weekend in 2017
While Arizona law enforcement frequently targets motorists over Memorial Day weekend, they have also been known to focus their efforts on other major drunk-driving holidays, including Thanksgiving weekend, 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, and Saint Patrick’s Day.
When police decide to step up DUI enforcement efforts, individual police officers too often go out of their way to look for and arrest drunk drivers. Even when there may not be a reason to do so. Motorists should always keep in mind the following tips when dealing with overzealous police officers looking to make an arrest:
- Do not give the officer any reason to fear for his or her safety: After stopping the car, turn it off and put your hands on the wheel. If it is dark out, consider turning the interior lights on so the officer can see inside the vehicle.
- Be careful what you say: Try not to argue with the police officers regarding the basis of the stop. At the same time, you do not need to speak unless spoken to. And avoid admitting to anything.
- Know your rights: If an officer asks you out of the car, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you (or a passenger) committed a crime. Police officers do not need a warrant to search your car after a DUI arrest, but must establish probable cause to do so.
Of course, every person, police officer, and traffic stop is different, so the above tips are just general advice and do not constitute legal advice for any particular situation or arrest. Anyone who has been arrested for an Arizona DUI should consult with a dedicated criminal defense attorney immediately.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have recently been arrested for an Arizona DUI offense, contact Attorney James E. Novak for assistance. Attorney Novak is an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling a wide range of DUI cases, including DUI checkpoints, extreme DUIs, and DUI accident cases. To learn more how Attorney Novak can help you defend against the charges you face, call 480-413-1499 to schedule a free consultation today.