Hundreds Cited For DUI During 2023 July 4th Weekend

by Aaron M. Black • August 22, 2023

4th of July CelebrationLaw enforcement’s active measures in Arizona to take impaired drivers off the road on the Fourth of July weekend proved successful and it is a repeat of the previous year, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and reported by KTAR radio.

This year, 493 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving compared to 2022 when 494 drivers were arrested for DUI.

Of those arrested this year, 94 drivers tested at the more serious extreme DUI, which is charged when the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) reached 0.15 percent and higher. A base DUI is 0.08 BAC. Extreme DUI arrests this year included 19 more extreme cases over the previous year.

All of the DUI arrests were the result of law enforcement’s making contact with drivers during a rolling stop or at one of the many checkpoints set up around the state from July 1 to July 4. These two measures resulted in law enforcement speaking with 10,603 drivers, which is an increase of 1,651 contacts over the same period in 2022.

This year, 2,408 officers and deputies were on duty compared to last year when 1,901 officers and deputies were serving, an increase of 507.

Law officers patrolling the streets must have a probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired before making a traffic stop. They cannot act on a hunch that a driver is impaired. They are, however, allowed to stop a vehicle if it has a burned out brake light or some other malfunction.

DUI Checkpoint SignAt sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement does not need probable cause or reasonable suspicion to detain vehicles because they randomly select vehicles to stop or they can stop all vehicles lined up at the checkpoint for valid driver’s licenses. Checkpoints do not violate the Fourth Amendment guarding against unlawful searches and seizures.

Drivers who see a sobriety checkpoint ahead and turn around to avoid it are giving law enforcement the probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.


Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

A first-time Class 1 misdemeanor DUI requires a minimum of 10 days in jail but nine of those days can be suspended if the defendant successfully completes a drug or alcohol class. In some cases home detention may be possible after serving just one day in county jail.

The court may order that all vehicles available to the defendant be fitted with a device that prevents the engine from starting if the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath.
Fines and surcharges total $1,510.50.

The license to drive can be 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. A conviction adds eight points against the license and taking out SR-22 (safety responsibility) insurance which is a certificate to prove that the defendant has auto insurance. A first-time DUI will make auto insurance rates more expensive.

The court may require the defendant to serve community restitution, and may order a term of probation for up to five years and paying probation fees is a possibility.


Extreme DUI Penalties

An extreme DUI is driving with a BAC at .015 to .020.

The penalty for a first time conviction is a minimum of 30 straight days in county jail but 21 of those days may be suspended if an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed on the vehicle for one year. A work furlough release after 48 hours in custody is available if the defendant is eligible.

A convicted defendant may be eligible for a continuous alcohol monitoring program or home detention after serving 20 percent of the initial term of incarceration.

Fines can total $2,760.50.

The license to drive is suspended for 30 days followed by a 60 day restricted license to drive to work or school.


Common DUI Defenses

If you are caught in one of these patrols or checkpoints, you may still have a successful defense. Here are common DUI defenses:
  • Your defense begins at the traffic stop. You have the protection of the Fifth Amendment to remain silent and the Sixth Amendment to have an attorney during questioning. Anything you do say will be used against you. The officer must advise you of these “Miranda rights” at the moment of arrest, so why not politely invoke them at the start.
  • The arresting officer did not have the necessary probable cause or reasonable suspicion, which cannot simply be a hunch, to stop you.
  • The officer will want to conduct a field sobriety test such as balancing on one foot. Refusing to take these tests will result in a suspension of your license. It can be that a physical ailment caused the driver to fail one or more of these tests.
  • The officer did not correctly perform the field sobriety test in some way.
  • The breathalyzer test result was inaccurate because the machine was out of calibration.
  • A blood test, if performed, was faulty because the sample was tainted, resulting from improper handling or storage.

Aaron M. Black Law for DUI Defense

Should you or someone you care for be charged or are under investigation for a DUI, it is imperative that you have a highly qualified DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you at the earliest possible time. In my decade’s long career as an aggressive DUI defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal trouble for a mistake in judgment and that is why I ensure all my clients have the best defense possible.

Aaron M. Black Law, a Phoenix DUI Attorney, provides personalized legal services. You will always be talking directly to me at every stage of your DUI case.

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

I defend all levels of DUI cases throughout Arizona, including the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale, as well as 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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