Labor Day 2022 Arizona’s DUI Impaired Offenders Targeted
Authorities will again be out in force during Labor Day weekend to catch impaired and distracted drivers by launching checkpoints and increasing road patrols in key locations.
During the Labor Day weekend in 2021 authorities arrested a total of 670 motorists allegedly impaired by alcohol or drugs, with the drug arrests accounting for 180 of the total number, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and reported by 12 News.
In 2021, the first year of Arizona’s law forbidding motorist to use their smart phones for texting while driving, police cited 108 drivers for that offense, which is punished by a $75 minimum fine and subsequent violations increase the fine to $150 and up to $250.
Drivers who are texting are not paying attention to the road and traffic are causing crashes.
In 2020 with Covid lockdowns in force, authorities made 399 DUI arrests compared to 2019 with 519 DUI arrests.
Authorities are expecting an increase in DUI arrests for 2022 and they are preparing for it.
Roving patrols and checkpointsPolice agencies in Greater Phoenix and throughout Arizona will increase the number of traffic officers for the holiday weekend and one of the tactics they use is patrolling areas where bars are located watching for patrons who are impaired.
Officers trained to detect impairment by drugs will also be part of the weekend enforcement.
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.
Authorities will also 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.
These sobriety checkpoint officers do not need to have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion to detain a driver because officers randomly choose what vehicles to stop. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that these check points do not violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which protects the population from unlawful searches and seizures.
Impairment enforced on the waterAs Labor Day, which celebrates the American labor movement and workers on the first Monday in September, is the last weekend of the summer season, law enforcement also 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, sinkings, injuries, and deaths on Arizona’s lakes and rivers, and that is why law enforcement keeps a close watch on the water. 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 tubists who drive away impaired.
How to behave if detainedYour 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, spoken politely, is to invoke the Fifth Amendment, which protects you from incriminating yourself. The constitution also guarantees that you have an attorney with you during interrogation.
It may seem intimidating for some people to respond to an officer this way; but consider that at the point of arrest, the officer must recite your Miranda rights which says you have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney. So why not begin the stop without answering an officer’s questions.
Levels of DUI and OUI chargesThe baseline of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious of the misdemeanor offenses. An extreme DUI or OUI begins at .15. More than 0.20 BAC is a super extreme DUI or OUI. The extreme range carries much more serious jail time and higher fines.
Punishments if convictedA 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. With a .08 BAC OUI it is possible to have all of the jail suspended.
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. An OUI conviction does not result in a license suspension.
If convicted, base fines and fees will start at $1500 plus you must pay for your jail visit. One day in jail is now $500. If convicted of a DUI, the MVD will order the interlock to be installed in your vehicle. An OUI does not require the interlock. 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.
Should an impaired holiday celebrant cause property damage or injure or kill someone, prosecutors can file other serious charges such as manslaughter and the victim’s survivors can sue for wrongful death and financial damages in civil court.
DUI Defenses / OUI defensesThese are common misdemeanor DUI defenses and OUI defenses:
- The arresting officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you.
- The field sobriety test was not performed correctly.
- The breathalyzer test result was inaccurate because the device was out of calibration.
- 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 and OUI defenseShould you or someone you know be charged or are under investigation for a DUI or an OUI, it is imperative that you have an experienced DUI/OUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you. In my long career as an aggressive DUI/OUI defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal trouble and that is why I ensure they have the best defense possible.
I will scrutinize the state’s evidence and the personnel records of the investigators involved 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 at every stage of your case.
Begin your DUI/OUI defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683 at any time, on any day, 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 and OUI cases throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County Justice, municipal and City Courts.
About the Author
Aaron 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 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.