Memorial Day weekend in Arizona is the gateway to summer. Many Arizonans will be on the road to campsites and lakes. With thousands more drivers on the road, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be actively looking for drunk drivers.
According to numerous reports, Memorial Day weekend is also a time for increased drunk driving (much like New Year’s Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day). As such, additional patrols will be in force through funding provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and other federal agencies.
While many people already know the risks and dangers of drunk driving, impaired boating is still a prevalent issue. The reaction and motor impairments that affect people driving cars also create dangers on the water. Because of this, local sheriff’s offices will be conducting DUI patrols on lakes, and rivers throughout the region. They will focus on underage drinking and dangerous boating tactics as they try to reduce the risk of drownings due to impaired boating.
Boaters should expect increased patrols on Apache Lake, Lower Salt River, Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, as well as county parks with bodies of water.
Last summer, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office made 230 arrests for boating under the influence. This was in addition to 849 DUI arrests and 1,362 arrests for underage drinking.
Drunk driving charges in Arizona can carry serious consequences. A conviction for misdemeanor DUI can carry a fine of $1000, up to 90 days in jail and hundreds in court costs and assessments.
If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, a criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and options.
Source: ABC15.com, Sheriff’s office to patrol county parks, lakes for drunk driving, May 21, 2013