To prevent against the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it has come to be known, Governor Ducey signed an executive order requiring schools close, many businesses close, and residents stay inside their homes except for certain specified reasons. The Governor’s order, referred to as “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected,” went into effect on March 30, and is scheduled to end on April 30. As of April 25, 2020, the Governor has not made any indication as to whether the order will be extended. However, for weeks now, people across Arizona have been required – for the most part – to stay at home. Not surprisingly, the stay-at-home order has had the unintended effect of significantly reducing the number of Arizona DUI arrests.
According to a recent news report, from January to April of last year, there were a total of 7,500 Arizona DUI arrests. However, for that same period during 2020, the number of DUI arrests dropped nearly 33 percent to just over 5,000. Not only that, but serious traffic accidents that require an investigation have dropped by more than 75 percent, according to the Arizona State Police.
Of course, the reduction in Arizona drunk driving arrests does not necessarily mean that there is a lack of enforcement or that law enforcement officers are cutting drivers a break. Rather, most attribute the reduction to the fact that bars and restaurants are closed and that there are fewer people on the road. Also, people are required to follow social distancing protocol, so even drinking in social settings has significantly decreased.