Cinco de Mayo is a holiday often associated with fun and parties – and that usually includes drinking, too. With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, this year’s celebration is likely to be a big one. May 5 is also a holiday when police will be out in force to catch drivers who they believe are intoxicated.
Although a DUI lawyer may be able to help you if you get in trouble, the best course of action is to avoid drinking and driving in the first place. Find out more about how a DUI can affect you, plus ways to prevent a Cinco de Mayo DUI from the Arizona criminal defense attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Law Group.
Arizona Is a Zero Tolerance State for DUI
Arizona is what is known as a zero tolerance state. In Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout the entire state, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence, even if you are only impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol. That means that even with a blood alcohol (BAC) level lower than the legal limit (0.08%, or 0.04% for commercial drivers), you can still be convicted of a DUI.
In Arizona, the penalties for a DUI conviction may include mandatory jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and a suspension of your driver’s license. Because of Arizona’s tough penalties for a DUI conviction, it’s important you contact a Phoenix DUI attorney to discuss your options if you’ve been charged.
Underage Drinkers WILL Get Charged With a DUI
The legal drinking age in Arizona is 21 years of age. If you’re under 21, do not drink and drive on Cinco de Mayo, or any other day for that matter. Underage drinking and driving is not without legal consequences, and any BAC reading over 0% constitutes a DUI. While a juvenile DUI lawyer can represent you in court if you find yourself facing an underage drinking charge, the best course of action is to refrain from drinking any alcohol if you are under 21.
How to Avoid Getting a DUI Altogether
You can avoid getting a Cinco de Mayo DUI if you:
- Stay home and party with friends. That way, you can simply relax and have fun without worrying about whether or not you’re breaking the law or putting others in danger.
- Appoint a designated driver. Have one person among your group of friends agree to be the designated driver. Many establishments offer free or reduced cost nonalcoholic drinks to designated drivers in recognition of the service they’re performing.
- Arrange for alternate transportation. Take a cab, rideshare service, or other public transportation on Cinco de Mayo so that you won’t be tempted to risk driving home after the party.
- Don’t let friends drive drunk. If you see a friend who is intoxicated and they’re about to drive drunk, do everything in your power to stop them. Take the keys away and make arrangements for their transportation home, such as including them in your designated-driver ride, calling a cab, or simply staying put.
Know the Signs of an Impaired Driver
When on DUI patrol, law enforcement officers are looking for any reason to stop your vehicle to conduct a DUI investigation. The following are typical driving behaviors law enforcement associates with impaired driving:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Erratic “stop and start” driving
- Sudden braking for no apparent reason
- Missing stop signs or ignoring traffic lights
- Driving without headlights at night
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
Getting a DUI Charge Dismissed
Nobody wants to face the harsh penalties of a DUI conviction. However, getting a DUI charge dismissed or reduced can be difficult. The best hope for dismissal is to consult an experienced DUI attorney to review your case for legal and factual issues that may support getting the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
For example, if your lawyer can argue to get key evidence suppressed (i.e. a constitutional violation), the prosecutor will likely have no other option except to dismiss the DUI charge.
Having a DUI Charge Reduced
If you are looking to have a DUI charge reduced in Arizona, there are a number of factors to consider. Legal issues and factual issues of the case will be considered along with blood and breathalyzer tests. To zero in on the relevant issues, a DUI lawyer will need to do a thorough review of the police reports, evidence, and the scientific testing. A common reduction is to have the charge reduced to reckless driving.
Charged with a Cinco de Mayo DUI?
If you do end up being pulled over and charged with a Cinco de Mayo DUI during this year’s festivities, please contact an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Law Group as soon as possible. You can give us a call at 602-667-7777. Our DUI lawyers are prepared to take on your case and give you the aggressive DUI defense you deserve.
Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but we are available 24/7 to take your call or chat with you online via our convenient LiveChat service. We also offer free consultations and affordable payment plans.