Phoenix Area Law Enforcement Rolls Out DUI Patrols for Halloween

by Aaron M. Black • October 27, 2021

Trick-or-treaters across Arizona and in greater Phoenix can face real dangers from Halloween party goers who get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Although Halloween poses fewer DUI arrests here than other holidays, law enforcement remains vigilant in protecting young candy seekers canvasing neighborhoods in the dark. It is also true that parents tag along with the kids and they can be in danger, too.

Trick or Treaters on Halloween

In holidays it is routine that law enforcement agencies set up sobriety checkpoints and rolling patrols hunting for impaired drivers. In past years Halloween Weekend DUI Patrols have targeted up to six locations in Phoenix.

With Halloween in 2021 falling on a Sunday, celebrations will also encompass Friday and Saturday evenings. Many public and private parties, including bar crawls in Scottsdale, Tempe and other cities, haunted houses and other attractions are planned at various locations throughout the Valley.

Zero tolerance policy

Arizona’s DUI law sets a baseline blood-alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08 percent, but drivers who are just “slightly impaired” even with a BAC that is less than the baseline will face a DUI charge using Arizona’s zero tolerance policy. This law, Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381(A)(1), allows an investigating officer to determine if the suspect is slightly impaired or not.

People process their alcoholic and drug consumption at different rates because they have developed a tolerance over time or their metabolism works at different rates.

Get a DUI without driving

Someone who is impaired leaving a Halloween party gets into the car and passes out. That person was legally in “actual physical control” of the vehicle if the ignition key was readily accessible, such as in the ignition or in a person’s pocket or purse.

Consequences of a misdemeanor DUI conviction

Most DUI charges are misdemeanors covering the BAC level range. Aggravated factors in DUI cases makes the charge a felony.

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, the time in custody can be as short as one day with the other nine days 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.

Fines total $1,250, and the court orders installing an interlocking ignition device at your own expense to prevent driving if you’ve had anything to drink. 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.

A second misdemeanor DUI conviction has more harsh punishments. Time in jail can range from six days to six months. Fines are boosted to $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 coverage is in force.

Consequences of a felony DUI conviction in Arizona

A DUI is charged as a Class 6 felony if the impaired driver is transporting Halloween trick-or-treaters younger than 15. A first felony DUI is punishable by 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.

A felony conviction will remain on the public record for life. 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.

Drug impairment testing

Should an impaired Halloween celebrant cause property damage or injure or kill someone, the state can file other very serious charges such as manslaughter and the victim’s survivors can sue for wrongful death financial damages in civil court.

Researchers are working to develop a device that tests for certain drugs including marijuana. And note that prescription drug impairment is also illegal.

Legal Defenses for DUI charges in Phoenix

A DUI arrest does not mean a conviction is in your future. The prosecution under law has the burden of proving its DUI case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor will lay out its evidence for the jury and its arguments.

The defense will conduct its own investigation of the state’s evidence, the police procedures the state used in order to establish a reasonable doubt, along with establishing mitigating factors or evidence favorable to the defendant that investigators overlooked.

In some DUI cases, it may be possible to enter into a plea agreement for a lesser charge in return for a guilty or no contest plea.

These are the common DUI defenses:
  • The arresting officer did not have the necessary probable cause or a reasonable suspicion to conduct the traffic stop;
  • The officer did not properly administer a portion of the field sobriety test or failed to consider the detainee’s physical history, preventing the proper execution of the officer’s instructions;
  • The officer did not recite the Miranda Rights to remain silent or to have an attorney present at the interrogation;
  • The breathalyzer test result was flawed because the machine was not properly calibrated and produced an incorrect result;
  • If blood was drawn, the sample was tainted because of improper storage or human error.

Use Phoenix Attorney Aaron M. Black for DUI defense cases in Phoenix

I have a strong record of aggressively defending people who are charged with a DUI offense, and I know good people can make a mistake and deserve the best defense possible to keep harm from their door on Halloween.

In using me to develop your DUI defense strategy, you will be talking directly to me throughout the case. You will never be marshalled off to an assistant. It is a common complaint that people do not have close contact with their attorney, but that does not happen at Aaron M. Black Law.

Launch your defense by calling 480-729-1683 at any time day or night, weekends or holidays, and I will respond promptly unless I am at trial or in court. Or use my online contact form.

I defend DUI charges in federal, state, municipal, and justice courts in and adjacent to Maricopa County.


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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