2024 St. Patrick’s Day DUI Enforcement in Arizona

by Aaron M. Black • March 15, 2024

St. Patrick's Day Green BeerSt. Patrick’s Day is famous for parades, bar crawling and green beer, but party goers who consume too much and drive have a good chance at seeing red, the lights of a police patrol car.

Law enforcement agencies across the state will boost their presence on the days before and after the Sunday, March 17 holiday to catch those who make a bad choice and break the state’s DUI laws.

For example, last year in Tucson, authorities performed more than 6,800 traffic stops during the three days of celebrations. They made 273 DUI arrests; and of those, 37 were charged with an aggravated DUI, a felony, reported KOLD TV citing the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety information.

To catch St. Patrick’s holiday offenders and bolster holiday safety on our roads and highways, law enforcement increases the number of street patrols and sets up DUI checkpoints.

Rolling street patrols

Increasing the number of patrol cars near the bars in Phoenix and Scottsdale downtowns and other communities, Police must have a valid reason to make a traffic stop, not just a hunch. It may be an expired license plate, a burned out brake light, failure to signal for a turn or any other infraction.

At the traffic stop, if the officer suspects the driver is impaired or even slightly, the officer will want to conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver declines to take any of the tests, the person’s driver’s license will be suspended.DUI Checkpoint Sign

Sobriety checkpoints

DUI checkpoints direct traffic into single file with officers standing on the road randomly stopping vehicles. They question the driver, check if alcohol is on the driver’s breath and look into the vehicle with a flashlight to see if there is an open container in plain view.

A sobriety check point can also be fake. A checkpoint ahead sign is posted and police station a patrol car in plain view. If the approaching driver turns to avoid going to the checkpoint, that evasive move gives the officer the probable cause or reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop.

Consequences of a misdemeanor DUI conviction

Many of the DUI charges are misdemeanors. A first-time Class 1 misdemeanor DUI conviction requires spending time in county jail up to a maximum of six months and a minimum of 10 days. However, on a minimum DUI impaired to the slightest degree of a .08 BAC, the time in custody can be as short as one day with the other nine days suspended upon the completion of court ordered alcohol screening and education.

The license to drive is suspended for 30 days, followed by a restricted license for traveling to work or school for 60 days, before the license can be reinstated at the defendant’s expense. Newer law allows you to obtain a restricted license right away on day 1 of the suspension. However, you would be required to install the interlock and obtain SR22. This option is usually not advised.

Base fines total more than $1500, plus the cost of jail, and MVD (sometimes the court in extreme DUI cases) will require the installation of an ignition interlock device to prevent driving if the defendant had anything to drink. The court also will order alcohol screening, education and a treatment program at your expense. Serving time in service to the community may also be part of the punishment.

A second misdemeanor DUI conviction has more harsh punishments. Time in jail can range from six days to six months. Fines are boosted to a base of $3,468. The driver’s license is revoked for one year, but obtaining a restricted license to travel from home to work or school is possible after 45 days with expensive SR-22 (Social Responsibility) insurance, really a document proving insurance auto overage is in force.

Gavel & DUI Law Sign

Consequences of a felony DUI conviction

An aggravated DUI is charged as a Class 6 felony if you are arrested for being impaired by drugs or alcohol and you have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. A first time class 6 felony DUI is punishable by a minimum of 10 days in jail, but nine of those days can be suspended if the defendant finishes alcohol and drug screening classes.

Fines climb to $4,675.50 and the driver’s license can be revoked for one year, though it can be reinstated to a restricted license after 90 days. The defendant must complete a revocation packet to get the license reinstated after the revocation time is up.

The court may order probation for up to 10 years and pay a monthly probation fee which is about $65 per month.

The felon cannot own or possess a firearm, vote in elections, hold public office, or join the military. A landlord can refuse to rent the felon a place to live and employers can refuse to hire the person. A professional’s license to practice, such as a teaching credential, can be suspended or revoked.

Aaron M. Black Law Defending St. Patrick’s Day DUI charges

If you or someone you care for is facing a DUI charge from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you at the earliest possible time.

From my decades long DUI defense career, I know good people can find themselves in legal trouble for making a bad decision. That is why I am dedicated to ensure my clients have the strongest defense possible.

My goal is always to win a dismissal. I conduct a thorough legal analysis of the state’s evidence and launch my own investigation to challenge the state’s theory of the case.

At Aaron M. Black Law, you will receive personalized legal services at every step of your case. You will always be talking directly to me, and I provide encouragement and support during this difficult episode in your life. That is our DUI Concierge.

Begin your DUI defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683 at any time on any day and I will respond promptly unless I am in court or at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.

I defend DUI cases in courts throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County courts.


About the Author

Aaron Black Phoenix DUI LawyerAaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal defense matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime cases.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI Attorney and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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