Nothing is scarier than spending Halloween night in jail for a DUI. Yet, every Halloween many young adults in the Phoenix and Tempe area find themselves in a jail cell come November 1st. While it may be fun to attend one of the many parties that will be filled with festive costumes and tasty beverages, be aware that those police officers on DUI patrol will not hesitate to put ghosts, goblins and other creatures behind bars if they get behind the wheel on Halloween.
Arizona is notoriously tough on DUIs and police are prepared with extra efforts on popular “party nights” and holidays like Halloween. Throughout the state, DUI patrols are increased, and you can expect to see checkpoints where hundreds of cars are stopped for random checks for anyone that may be intoxicated and behind the wheel. This is especially prevalent in college towns where young adults are enjoying their first years of freedom. This includes:
- Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University (NAU)
- Tucson, University of Arizona (U of A)
- Phoenix, Arizona State University (ASU)
Those men and women in police uniforms are not wearing costumes and their handcuffs are not props – they mean business when it comes to Halloween DUIs. If you are out and about on Halloween this year, expect that there could be serious consequences if one of these police officers catch you driving while impaired.
Arizona DUI Arrests Doubled in 2017 Over 2016
Alcohol consumption on Halloween is nothing new, but the numbers of DUI arrests on and around this holiday have increased. There is always a heightened awareness by police for this holiday, but in recent years the numbers of arrests have grown in Arizona. In 2016, there were 216 people arrested for a DUI around Halloween. Fast forward to 2017 and that number more than doubled. During a five-day special law enforcement DUI detail in Arizona, 447 people were arrested for a DUI Halloween weekend.
Not only were there more DUI arrests, but many of these people were also arrested around college areas. Plus, the average BAC for those 447 people arrested for DUI in 2017 was .154%, almost double the .08% BAC level for DUI arrest. This means many of those arrested were facing an extreme DUI charge, which is anything above .15% BAC, resulting in more severe penalties and mandatory jail time of up to 30 days. You do not need to be a mathematic wizard to understand that an average of .154% means many had higher BAC levels of .20% and faced super extreme DUIs that include longer jail sentences and higher penalties, including an interlock device and expensive fines.
Halloween DUI? Call Matthew Lopez ASAP
No one expects to find themselves in the back of a police car on Halloween night. But if it occurs, make sure one of your first calls is to Matthew Lopez. A DUI can impact your life in many different ways and the best way to fight it is with an experienced DUI attorney on your side. You do not want to wait and mull over your options for days or weeks after your arrest. The sooner that Matt can begin working on your case the better, giving him more time to begin building your defense for a favorable outcome.
There are many advantages to having a DUI attorney from the very beginning when you are charged with a DUI. The DUI process is very different than a basic traffic ticket – you may need to go to an arraignment hearing, have a separate court appearance with the Department of Licensing regarding your driver’s license and have a trial date. If you have an experienced DUI attorney like Matthew Lopez, he can walk you through the process and explain exactly what needs to be done. In some cases, he may be able to handle some court appearances for you instead of you needing to attend, taking time away from your work or school.
Many people charged with DUI try to handle this process on their own or hope for the best by using a court-appointed lawyer. Considering the possible negative outcomes if a step is missed or if you are convicted of the DUI, it is in your best interest to have a dedicated attorney on your side. Matthew Lopez has handled many DUI cases and understands the intricate legal factors that can impact the verdict and penalties for his clients. If one misstep was made by the police officers or other legal personnel, he may be able to use that evidence to have a charge dismissed or reduced.
If you find yourself facing a DUI charge this Halloween, make it less frightening by calling the team at Matthew Lopez Law right away for a free consultation. We have the experience and expertise to help you get the best outcome in your case.