Saint Patrick’s Day 2024 DUI Enforcement Results

by Aaron M. Black • March 26, 2024

The luck of the Irish was missing in action for the 206 St. Patrick’s Day celebrates who were snared by rolling patrol cars on the streets of greater Phoenix or at temporary DUI checkpoints set up in various locations in Arizona.

Luck of the Irish - Missing in Action

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety statistics reported by KTAR Radio tallied the 206 DUI arrests during the day before the holiday and on Saint Patrick’s Day itself. But DUI arrests this year were down from the 2023 holiday when 273 arrests were made over three days.

Drop of Blood Representing Blood Alcohol ContentAuthorities also made 67 extreme DUIs arrests, with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) at 0.15 percent this holiday, 15 more cases than last year.

Aggravated DUI arrests totaled 24 this year compared to 37 last year.

Extreme and aggravated DUIs are felonies.

In the misdemeanor range, with a BAC of 0.08 percent, arrests totaled 182 this year compared to 236 misdemeanor charges in 2023.

Authorities also made 45 drug DUI arrests, four fewer from the previous year.

Underage drinking and driving was significantly down from 16 cases last year to seven this year.

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.

Suspended Drivers License for DUI

Base fines total more than $1500, plus the cost of jail, and 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 also will 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 first felony DUI conviction

Those who are convicted of a first felony DUI the punishment is a minimum of 10 days in jail, but nine of those days can be suspended if the person finishes alcohol and drug screening classes if it is a class 6 felony for having a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle. However, a first time Aggravated DUI charged as a class 4 felony carries a minimum sentence of four months in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by up to ten years of probation.

Fines climb to $4,675.50 and the driver’s license can be revoked for three years. 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.


Zero tolerance policy

Arizona's 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 their metabolism works at different rates or they have developed a tolerance over time.


Car Key In IgnitionGet a DUI without driving?

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.

Aaron M. Black Law Defending St. Patrick’s Day DUI charges

If you or someone you care for was snared in a street patrol or a checkpoint while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you at the earliest possible time.

From my almost 20 year long DUI defense career, I know good people can find themselves in legal trouble for making a bad decision. That is why I am dedicated to ensure my clients have the strongest defense possible.

My goal is always to win a dismissal. I conduct a thorough legal analysis of the state’s evidence and launch my own investigation to challenge the state’s theory of the case.

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. That is our DUI Concierge.

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 or at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.

I defend all levels of DUI charges in courts 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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