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Avoid a DUI at Phoenix Pride Festival

Phoenix Pride Festival is coming up on April 21-22, 2012. This is one of the largest celebrations for the LGBTQ and allied community in Arizona. In 2011, approximately 24,000 people attended the festival in Indian Steele Park in central Phoenix. The festival has booths from local LGBTQ-friendly organizations and businesses, live music, food vendors, and alcohol booths. Attendees must show a valid identification to receive a bracelet to purchase alcohol at the event. It is common for attendees to drink copious amounts of alcohol at the event and to continue celebrating into the night at various gay and lesbian bars in the valley.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, approximately 15% of the United States population abuses alcohol; however, it’s estimated that a staggering 45% of the LGBT community abuses alcohol. This high level of substance abuse may be related to the stress and discrimination that many members of the LGBT community experience. It may also be related to the fact that many public gathering places for the LGBT community are bars.

Be sure to follow these tips to have the best chance that your Pride weekend will not end with a DUI arrest.

  1. Have a designated driver. Make sure your designated driver is committed to staying sober for the entire day or at least stops drinking early enough to be sober by the end of the night. 
  2. Be sure you are completely sober before you drive. If you have any doubts about your sobriety, have a sober friend drive you home, call a cab, or take the light rail home from the festival.
  3. If you have doubts about your friend’s ability to drive, take his/her keys away. It’s better for him/her to be mad at you for one evening than for him/her to get arrested, killed, or kill someone else.
  4. If you are pulled over for suspected DUI, do not do a field sobriety test. You only have to comply with a request for a blood, breath, or urine test.
  5. If you are pulled over, do not say anything. Give the officer your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request. You have no obligation to speak, and anything you say could be used against you.
  6. If you are arrested for DUI, immediately ask to call your attorney. Do not answer any questions until you’ve spoken with your attorney. Tell the officer that you wish to use your right to remain silent. 

Remember, you can get a DUI in Arizona even if you have a blood alcohol concentration below 0.08 – you only need to have your driving impaired by alcohol or drugs.

If you have been arrested for DUI, please contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: Kevin Wong from Flickr