We always feel fortunate to report good news regarding drunk driving in Arizona. According to a recent CBS 5 News report, there were fewer DUI arrests across the state in 2012 compared to 2011.
Preliminary statistics released by the governor's office indicate that 28,104 drunk driving arrests were made last year, compared to 32,441 in 2011. The reduction is significant considering that law enforcement agencies made 801,968 traffic stops in 2012 - up from 632,464 stops in 2011.
While there were no reports on what was behind the changes, we can only speculate that Arizona drivers are responding to continuing efforts to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving. This includes public safety campaigns through television, radio and print advertising that tout how much money a drunk driving conviction could cost someone, as well as campaigns that identify "buzzed" driving as drunk driving.
Fewer drunk driving arrests also indicate that more people are taking responsibility for how they consume alcohol and are choosing to use designated drivers and taxi cabs instead of taking the risk of being stopped by police.
Nevertheless, more than 28,000 people are learning the lesson that a drunk driving arrest can lead to significant consequences. Penalties for first time DUI's include 10 days in jail, suspension of your driver's license, $500 assessments for both the prison construction and public safety equipment funds, as well as installation of an ignition interlock device in your car.
If you have been charged with a DUI, having a Phoenix DUI attorney is prudent move to avoid these harsh penalties and the collateral consequences that come with them.
Source: KPHO.com, Arizona DUI arrests down in 2012, January 4, 2013