DUI Patrols, Checkpoints During Labor Day Weekend 2023

by Aaron M. Black • September 01, 2023

DUI ArrestThe efforts of authorities to decrease impaired driving over the long Labor Day weekend slightly reduced the number of DUI arrests in the greater Phoenix area and around the state.

During the Labor Day weekend of 2022, authorities in Arizona arrested 471 drivers on DUI charges, which is fewer than DUI arrests in 2021 that totaled 490, reported KTAR radio news based on information provided by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety gathered from Sept. 2-5, 2022.

Misdemeanor DUI charges from breaching the baseline 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) totaled 403 drivers among the total 471 arrests made and 19 of those arrested were younger than 21.

But the more serious extreme DUI, with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 and higher, was charged 82 individuals. Aggravated DUI charges totaled 68 drivers who face a Class 4 felony.

DUI drug impairment arrests totaled 167.

These results came from traffic stops which increased in 2022 from 11,193 to 11,251, which is 58 more traffic stops than the previous year.

We will have to see if this slight reduction in DUI arrests will continue to decline during Labor Day 2023 as the DUI Task Forces in all of Arizona launches its efforts in 2023.


Checkpoints and roving DUI patrols

DUI Checkpoint SignThe task force is comprised of municipal police departments, the highway patrol, sheriff’s deputies and they have two methods to catch impaired drivers -- checkpoints and street patrols.

Authorities establish sobriety checkpoints at various locations. Officers will randomly detain drivers looking for evidence of impairment to the “slightest degree.” They will look into the car and can check the person’s license to drive for suspension, revocation or even expired licenses.

The officers must have a valid legal reason to conduct a traffic stop, such as weaving or making wide turns, driving too fast or too slowly, even driving with a burned out brake light bulb, or some other infraction provides the necessary probable cause or reasonable suspicion to detain a driver.


Impairment enforced on the water

Drinking Party on BoatAs Labor Day observation always falls on the first Monday in September and is the last weekend of summer, law enforcement is evident on Arizona’s waterways and lakes.
The officers watching the water are employed by the Arizona Game and Fish, State Park Department, police officers, county sheriff’s deputies, and the U.S. Coast Guard patrols Lake Havasu.

Sobriety checkpoints are established on the water as well. It is unlawful to operate a water craft while impaired and offenders will be charged with an OUI (Operating Under the influence).

OUI offenses are the principle reason for crashes, sinking, injuries, and deaths on Arizona’s lakes and rivers. However, unlike the roadways, it is legal to have an open alcoholic beverage container onboard a vessel.

Officers are looking for reckless behavior, speeding, causing a wake, failing to wear the required safety vest and other safety equipment, and passengers riding on the gunwales.

On the river, Arizona law considers tubes as watercraft. At tubing launching sites, officers are watching the parking lots sometimes while hidden from view looking for impaired tubers who drive away.


How to behave when detained

DUI Stop With Officer Asking For LicenseYour defense begins when the officer begins asking questions. The questions are leading and designed to convict you, such as “How much have you had to drink tonight?”
Your answer is to invoke the Fifth Amendment.

It protects you from incriminating yourself. Our constitution also guarantees that you have an attorney with you during interrogation. At the moment of arrest, the officer must recite your Miranda rights anyway, so there is nothing to lose.


Levels of DUI and OUI charges in AZ

The baseline of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious of the misdemeanor offenses. The felony range begins at a BAC of 0.15. An extreme DUI/OUI begins at 0.20 and more than 0.20 BAC is a super extreme DUI/OUI. The felony range of aggravated DUI carries much more serious jail time and higher fines.


Punishments if convicted of a DUI or OUI

A first-time Class 1 misdemeanor DUI or OUI conviction requires spending time in county jail up to a maximum of six months and a minimum of 10 days. However, the time in custody can be as short as one day with the other nine days suspended. It is possible for the entire jail sentence to be suspended on an OUI.

A DUI carries a suspended license  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.
Drivers License Suspension

Fines total a minimum of $1,500, and the courts order installing an interlocking ignition device at your own expense to prevent driving if you have had anything to drink if convicted of DUI. The court also will order you to complete an alcohol screening, education, and treatment program at your expense. Serving time in service to the community may also be part of the punishment.


DUI and OUI defenses

Common misdemeanor DUI and OUI defenses:
  • The arresting officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to detain you.
  • The field sobriety test was not performed properly.
  • The breathalyzer test result was inaccurate.
  • The blood test is invalid because the sample was tainted.
  • The arresting office failed to recite the Miranda rights.

Aaron M. Black Law for DUI Defense

Should you or someone you care for be charged with a holiday alcohol or drug DUI, it is crucial to have an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you at the earliest possible time.

From my decades long career as an aggressive DUI defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal jeopardy. That is why I am dedicated to ensuring my clients have the best defense possible.

My goal is to win a dismissal of the charges. Working toward that end, I conduct a thorough legal analysis of the state’s evidence and perform my own investigation to challenge the state’s theory of the case and establish reasonable doubt.

Should authorities have a strong case, a plea agreement is an alternative to reduce the severity of the charge. But, pursuing this avenue is the decision of the defendant.

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.

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 on a trial. Or, use the online contact form on my website.

I defend all levels of DUI charges in courts in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and 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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