DUI Enforcement Rolls Out For Halloween 2023 in Arizona

by Aaron M. Black • October 26, 2023

Municipalities in the Valley of the Sun will not be ghost towns on Halloween 2023 with events scattered during October. Authorities will again run street patrols and sobriety checkpoints to catch drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Don't Get A DUI On Halloween

That enforcement message seems to be gaining traction. Halloween related DUI arrests have a downward trend of about 20 percent fewer arrests in 2022 compared to DUI arrests in 2021. Halloween DUI enforcement in 2022 authorities beefed up their presence and made 264 arrests state-wide between Oct. 29 and 31, reported KTAR Radio with statistics from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Of those arrests, 223 were for misdemeanor DUIs. The more serious aggravated DUI arrests totaled 41. Extreme DUI arrests totaled 56 drivers who allegedly tested at 0.15 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) and more. Arizona’s legal limit is 0.08

On average, however, the impairment level increased from 0.152 BAC in 2021 to 0.161 BAC in 2022.

Those who were impaired by drugs decreased from 104 arrests in 2021 to 76 arrests in 2022. Note: Prescription drug impairment is also illegal.

These drivers were snared by fewer officers on duty in 2022 than in 2021. More than 1,000 officers participated in sobriety checkpoints and traffic stops.


Sobriety checkpoints in Arizona

DUI Checkpoint SignLaw officers randomly detain vehicles so they can judge if the driver is impaired, such as detecting alcohol on the driver’s breath, and looking into the vehicle, hunting for an open container or the smell of marijuana.

Checkpoints often surprise motorists, so if a car abruptly reverses its direction to avoid the checkpoint, authorities are ready for that. Unseen is a waiting squad car to stop that vehicle. The fact that the driver attempted to avoid the checkpoint gives authorities reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

These checkpoints do not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, protecting us from illegal searches and seizures of property. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1990 ruled in a 6-3 decision that sobriety checkpoints are legal because officers are randomly stopping vehicles. Most vehicles entering the checkpoint are waived through. There is no specific pattern in which vehicles are detained.


Rolling Stops

Law enforcement is also increasing roadway patrols, making rolling stops of drivers who are suspected of impaired driving. Rolling stops happen every day, but on Halloween and other holidays, the number of officers and patrol cars are significantly increased.

An officer must have the legal authority to make a traffic stop, which is more than just a hunch. The criteria are as mundane as a failing to signal to make a turn and as worrisome as weaving across the lane lines.

At these stops the driver will be asked to submit to a field sobriety test. Drivers who refuse to perform the tests will have their license suspended.

Consequences of a misdemeanor DUI conviction

Most 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.

Base fines total over $1500, plus the cost of jail, and the 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 will also 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.

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 while transporting Halloween trick-or-treaters younger than 15.

Don't Drive Your Kids Around On Halloween And Get A Felony DUI

A first 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.


For DUI Defense Use Aaron M. Black Law

Should you or a loved one be arrested for a DUI offense celebrating Halloween, it is imperative that you be promptly represented by an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself. In my long career as an aggressive DUI defense attorney, I know that good people can make a mistake and find themselves in legal difficulty. That is why I work diligently to construct the best DUI defense possible while providing support and encouragement. That’s our DUI Concierge approach to your legal challenges.

I will scrutinize the state’s evidence for errors, omissions and the personnel records of the arresting officer looking for inconsistencies and errors. I also will work to develop information and evidence that is favorable to your case.

At Aaron M. Black Law you will receive personalized legal services. You will always be talking directly to me, never an assistant.

Begin your Halloween DUI defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683 and I will respond promptly unless I am in court on at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.
I defend DUI charges in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County Superior 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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