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.
While the COVID-19 pandemic may result in fewer arrests, those who are arrested and incarcerated face serious health risks. For weeks, civil rights lawyers and defense attorneys have been trying to bring awareness to the dangers that incarcerated individuals face during the pandemic. Indeed, according to another news report, state prisons across the country are seeing frightening rates of COVID-19. Perhaps what is most concerning is the fact that 90 percent of all newly diagnosed inmates show no symptoms of the virus. Experts believe that testing is the key to solving the problem, because once correctional facilities know who is carrying the virus, they can work to isolate them. Of course, many have called for the release of non-violent offenders. In fact, other states have granted early parole to some inmates and loosened pre-trial release criteria for those awaiting trial.
Have You Been Arrested During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for an Arizona crime during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Attorney James E. Novak for immediate assistance. Attorney Novak is a dedicated Arizona DUI defense attorney with extensive experience handling all types of Arizona drunk driving cases. From the moment he begins to work on your case, he will do everything he can to ensure that your life is impacted as little as possible by the charges, starting with trying to get you out of jail, if possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 480-413-499 to schedule a free consultation.