We’re heading into summer and Memorial Day weekend is coming up fast. As usual, Phoenix and Maricopa County will be alive with festivities and local events to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country. With Memorial Day weekend, however, comes one of the five major DUI crackdowns of 2015, with almost 2,000 officers likely to be on the lookout for drunk drivers across the state of Arizona. As always, drink responsibly and remember that Arizona has some of the most severe DUI laws in the United States.
There’s a lot to do this 2015 Memorial Day weekend. On Friday, the Chicago Cubs visit our very own D’backs at Chase Field. Let’s hope we can build momentum on Monday’s win against the Marlins and make our home crowd proud. After the game, the campgrounds and lakes, like Lake Pleasanton Regional Park, are sure to be full and buzzing with people. If the outdoors isn’t your thing, there are surely countless backyard get-togethers, graduation celebrations, parties, and a long list of other celebrations taking place around Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
If you decide to drink this weekend, remember that Memorial Day weekend marks one the heaviest police presences of the years. And for good reason: in 2005, DUI-related accidents claimed almost 40 percent of traffic-related deaths on Memorial Day. To help take drunk drivers off the road, nearly 2,000 officers will be patrolling all weekend throughout Arizona. You can be sure that they will be targeting the areas where most of the celebrations are taking place, looking specifically for drivers under the influence.
Last year, Arizona police officers arrested almost 500 drunk drivers, including almost 150 who were cited with an Extreme DUI. While last year’s figures are down by around 30 percent, the number of deployed officers has remained constant in recent years and the risk of being caught for drunk driving is very high.
Drunk driving penalties in Arizona can be very harsh. A first-time offender faces the possibility of an automatic license suspension, a large fine, and a mandatory jail sentence. Driving with blood alcohol content greater than 0.15 percent and repeat offenses carry even greater penalties, as does drinking and driving on a suspended license.
At the Weingart Firm, we have been representing those accused of impaired driving since these task forces began. Being arrested for drinking and driving is no joke! A DUI can be expensive and life-altering, and it’s definitely not worth the dubious benefit from drunk driving. So be wise and safe this weekend, and enjoy the weather and the festivities. If you do drink, do so responsibly and never drive under the influence. However, remember, if you need us, the Weingart Firm is here to help you.
A final piece of advice: don’t take the roadside portable breath test. They will use it to impound your vehicle for 30 days!!!