“Can I see your ID?”
We’re sure that most young drinkers have experienced this routine ID check while purchasing alcohol. Although carding individuals for alcohol purchases will continue, a new law recently passed will make it easier for out-of-state millennials to purchase alcohol in Arizona.
We can’t talk about the consequences of driving under the influence without addressing the root cause of this problem. Alcohol is the most common substance that leads to impaired driving, which of course, makes any laws regarding alcohol purchases relevant to our readers here in Tempe, AZ. To explain more about this recent change and how it will affect our roads and prevalence of drunken drivers, DUI attorney Mark Weingart gives more insight into this recent change.
The House Bill 2031 now allows alcohol consumers over the age of 21 with a vertical ID to purchase alcohol. This new change overturns a law from 2014 that restricted the purchase of alcohol with a vertical ID whether the consumer was 21-years old or not. The former law made identifications issued while an individual was under the age of 21 invalid after a 30-day grace period upon turning 21.
Instead, this law forced those who are older than 21 to get a horizontal license or use another form of identification. Other forms of identification can include an armed forces ID card, valid passport or resident alien card. These forms of identification have to include a picture and date of birth. Establishments that still accepted vertical IDs would end up with some pretty hefty fines because of this 2014 law. The first offense is a $500 fine, the second is a $1,000 fine, and the third is a $1,500 fine.
The change was intended to discourage individuals from passing on their still-valid vertical IDs to minors who can use it to obtain alcohol or get into bars. With the rampant use of fake IDs in Arizona, the Legislature believed this would be a great way to combat the problem. Unfortunately, this law ended up having unintended consequences, which included alienating out-of-state individuals with vertical licenses that are still valid in their state and hurting the tourism economy.
The Phoenix Business Journal reported how this recent change can benefit the economy in Arizona. Sonny Borrelli, Arizona Senator, believes that the 2014 law turned away business and hurt the tourism economy. In an effort to boost the tourism economy again, Borrelli was the spearhead of the recently signed bill.
This recent change is aimed toward out-of-state visitors. It’s important to note that Arizona residents must still obtain a horizontal ID to get served alcohol after their 30-day grace period upon turning 21. The law allowing out-of-state vertical IDs took effect April 5, 2016.
So, the real question is how this recent change will affect our roads and the amount of DUIs here in Arizona? It’s important to look at how this change can both positively and negatively affect the prevalence of DUIs.
Obviously, increased availability of alcohol can result in an increase in DUIs. Allowing out-of-state visitors to purchase alcohol with a vertical license will allow for more drivers, who are unfamiliar with the area, out on the roads with alcohol in their systems.
On the other hand, we’d like to note that this law does not apply to Arizona residents. Arizonian millennials are still unable to purchase alcohol without a horizontal license. Thus, keeping minors from using old vertical IDs and keeping our roads safe from underage drivers under the influence. This is still a major accomplishment for the Legislature because “drivers younger than 26 cause the most auto fatalities in the United States, regardless of alcohol consumption,” according to the New York Times.
No matter what your stance is on the subject, we will have to wait to understand exactly how this will impact DUIs here in Arizona.
If you’re currently dealing with a DUI charges, don’t wait to get a skilled attorney on your side! The talented and experienced team at Weingart Firm can help work to get you the best outcome possible. Don’t delay getting help! Contact our offices today to schedule your case review!