The Thanksgiving holiday brought out scores of early holiday shoppers and
party revelers for the Arizona-Arizona State football game. With many
people on the roads, law enforcement agencies across the state stepped
up their drunk driving enforcement activities. With Thanksgiving week
being one of the deadliest during the year, it is an annual ritual to
increase patrols and DUI checkpoints.
KVOA news in Tucson reported that the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force stopped
257 cars last Friday, with 34 drivers being arrested on
suspicion of DUI.
From now through the New Years' holiday, it is expected that law enforcement
will have an increased presence on Arizona roads. Motorists should also
be aware of "no refusal" strategies; programs geared towards
preventing drunk drivers from taking authorities' ability to get important
evidence to support a DUI charge.
Why are these strategies used? Under Arizona law, a driver arrested for
DUI can choose a blood test instead of a breath or urine test to measure
their blood alcohol content (BAC). While blood tests are more accurate
than breath tests, it takes a while for the test to be performed. By this
time, the driver's BAC can be lower than when they were first arrested
(or even under the legal limit); allowing the driver to avoid
Under "no refusal," judges are readily available to issue search
warrants so that on-site nurses can take blood samples. A driver cannot
refuse a search warrant.
While these strategies are touted for saving lives, they raise important
questions about whether such searches are constitutional based on how
much information is collected before a warrant is issued.
DUI task force to crack down over holidays, November 24, 2012; ABC News.com,
States turn to "no refusal" policy to fight drunk driving, December 31, 2010