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St. Patrick’s Day Tips for Avoiding DUI

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! There will be festivals and events going on all over the Phoenix metro area to celebrate this holiday. For many people, this holiday involves a significant amount of drinking. There may be even more drinking this year because the day falls on a Saturday. Here are 7 tips to prevent your holiday from ending in 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 time it’s time to go home.
  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 or call a cab.
  3. If you have doubts about your friend’s ability to drive, take his/her keys away. It’s better for your friend to be mad at you for one evening than for him/her to get arrested, killed, or kill someone else.
  4. Expect to encounter DUI checkpoints on your ride home. Any alcohol on your breath or any erratic driving will give law enforcement cause to pull you over for suspicion of DUI.
  5. If you are pulled over for suspected DUI, do not comply with a request to do a field sobriety test. You only have to comply with a request for a blood, breath, or urine test.
  6. 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 can be used against you.
  7. 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 invoke your right to remain silent. 

      Arizona acquired six mobile DUI processing vehicles this past December. These vehicles allow law enforcement officers to perform alcohol blood and breath tests in the vehicles which will allow officers to process suspected DUI offenders faster and keep more officers on patrol. Expect to see these vehicles on the roads this St. Patrick’s Day. 

In Arizona, you must consent to an alcohol blood, breath, or urine test if a law enforcement officer suspects you’re driving under the influence. Failure to comply with this test will result in an arrest and a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license, regardless of whether you were driving under the influence.

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.

Please be careful this St. Patrick’s Day. In 2010, Arizona law enforcement made 18,244 DUI arrests. There were also 5,489 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in 223 deaths and 3,724 injured persons. The majority of alcohol-related crashes and fatal alcohol-related crashes occurred on the weekends.  In March 2010, there were 18 fatal alcohol-related crashes.

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

Photo credit: Stephane Moussie from Flickr