St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and with this holiday often comes boozy celebrations. As a result, Phoenix residents will notice increased police presence on the lookout for motorists who are speeding, driving under the influence, or committing other traffic violations leading up to March 17.
Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day DUI incidents throughout Arizona are all too common. KTAR News reported that there were 349, 358, and 366 DUI arrests over St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. While those numbers decreased significantly last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have eased just enough that DUI arrests are expected to rise again this St. Paddy’s Day.
The best way to avoid being arrested for DUI is to drink or consume substances like recently-legalized recreational marijuana responsibly. However, if you are pulled over by law enforcement this St. Patrick’s Day, it’s crucial that you behave appropriately. If you do find yourself stopped by police after a night of celebrating, don’t press your luck—contact a Phoenix DUI attorney as soon as possible.
NOTE: Lerner and Rowe Law Group does not encourage or condone drinking and driving. Please be responsible and call a cab or other rideshare service if you have been drinking. You can be arrested for DUI for being impaired to the slightest degree.
Do’s and Don’ts If You’re Pulled Over on St. Patrick’s Day
DO pull over as safely and as smoothly as possible. This will set the tone for the rest of your encounter with the police. If you stop suddenly or pull over in an unsafe location, the police officer may make assumptions about your mental status or coordination. This type of behavior can support an allegation that you were driving under the influence.
DON’T make sudden movements or gestures. The officer will be observing your behavior closely for signs of impairment by drugs or alcohol from the moment you’re pulled over. Movements or gestures that can be interpreted as erratic could be used against you in a DUI case. Seeming tired or sluggish can also be seen as suspect behavior.
DO act politely and show courtesy. Law enforcement officers are people, too. Treating them as such will get you a lot further than cursing, misbehaving, or noncompliance will.
DON’T answer any potentially damaging or incriminating questions. When pulled over by the police on suspicion of a St. Patrick’s Day DUI, provide your name, license, and registration information. Beyond that, our DUI lawyers recommend that you do not answer any further questions before speaking with an experienced attorney.
DO use common sense. It can be extremely nerve-wracking to be pulled over, especially if you’re innocent, but if you keep your cool, it will be a much smoother process in the long run.
DON’T lie. Be honest with any statements you make to the police. Being caught in a lie can make things worse for you in court. When in doubt, exercise your Miranda rights and remain silent.
DO exercise your right to decline field sobriety tests like such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk-and-turn test, or the one-leg stand, since these can be affected negatively by a variety of factors that may not be related in any way to alcohol consumption or drug ingestion. However, it is not generally advisable to refuse chemical tests such as breathalyzer or blood tests, as doing so will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for one year.
Know Your Options After a St. Patrick’s Day DUI
Arizona’s zero tolerance policy means that even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit of 0.08, you can still be arrested and charged if an officer has good reason to believe you were impaired. If you’ve been arrested for DUI this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t try to fight the charges on your own.
For experienced and successful legal representation, contact an Arizona criminal defense lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Law Group. Our Phoenix DUI lawyers are available 24/7 by phone at 602-667-7777. You can also reach us online via LiveChat or by filling out this simple and confidential form. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans to make getting the legal advice you need easy and accessible. Talk to us today!