The Fourth of July is known as a time for celebrations, barbecues and fireworks. Unfortunately, the Independence Day holiday has also become notorious for DUI charges and reckless driving. While celebrating July 4th with alcohol is fine in moderation, drinking can turn dangerous when mixed with driving.
“People tend to relax their standards during long holiday weekends and end up facing an Arizona DUI as a result,” said Christopher Corso, Esq., of the Scottsdale-based law firm Corso Law Group. “They don’t think twice about driving after having a couple of beers and that can be a recipe for disaster for everyone involved.”
Safety is obviously the most important reason to not drink and drive. Considering the legal consequences is yet another. In fact, Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, meaning a DUI stop in Phoenix can easily turn into a felony DUI. And Arizona DUIs are criminal offenses punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine plus an 84 percent surcharge.
2012 DUI Stops in Arizona
According to CBS 5 News, Arizona patrol units made 11,624 drunk stops last year during the 4th of July. Out of the 11,624 stops that were made, 505 drivers were caught and 161 were considered Extreme DUI (blood alcohol levels above 0.15). Officers also arrested nine more minors in 2012, for being behind the wheel after drinking. While the 2012 statistics show a decrease in drunk driving since 2011, those numbers could be further reduced by knowledgeable drivers this year.
Esurance created the following infographic on drinking and driving in an effort to reduce the number of drunk Fourth of July drivers.
Adding alcohol to any situation impairs one’s ability to think clearly and make decisions, so think before you drink. Make this Fourth of July safe for you, and those around you.