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Many popular holidays involve drinking, but St. Patrick’s Day is one holiday where the number of drunk drivers on the road usually increases. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 40 percent of all crash fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day weekend involve drunk drivers.
Last year in Arizona, there were approximately 250 DUI arrests on St. Patrick’s Day. For this reason, law enforcement officials say that Arizonans can expect an increase in DUI enforcement during this year’s celebrations.
To help reduce the dangerously high levels of alcohol-related accidents, Arizona law enforcement will be gearing up for up St. Patrick’s Day with increased DUI patrols and greater numbers of officers on the lookout for overzealous partiers. Drivers can anticipate increased police presence, as well as numerous DUI checkpoints to help reduce the number of dangerous drivers on the road.
If you plan on celebrating the green holiday with a beer or two before heading home, you should know that the DUI consequences in Arizona are some of the harshest in the country. First time offenders who have been caught drinking and driving could face the possibility of ten days in jail, community service, fines, mandatory alcohol education, and the installation of an ignition interlock. Additionally, a DUI conviction can also cause a dramatic increase in car insurance premiums.
Serving Repeat DUI Offenders
Generally speaking, you will not be responsible for the actions of other adults. however, if you serve alcohol to someone with a history of DUI violations or accidents, and his or her intoxication contributes to an injury to another person, then you could be responsible for part or all of the damages. If you know that one of your guests is a habitual drunk driving offender, then do not take any chances and be sure to arrange alternative transportation for that guest.
Serving People Younger Than 21
The legal age for alcohol consumption is 21. If you serve alcohol to a person who is younger than 21, and his or her intoxication contributes to an injury to another person, then you could be liable for the damages.
Regardless of the age or history of the guests you have for your party, always be sure to help guests find safe transportation home if you are planning to host a St. Patrick’s Day party. You can designate a sober driver, help guests install rideshare apps like Uber, or call one of the numerous taxi companies in Arizona. If you are serving alcohol, there simply is no room for error. Keep your neighborhood safe by being responsible and following these tips:
• Always have a designated driver who will not be drinking.
• Be aware of your limits and take no chances with driving after you have been drinking.
• Be aware that driving after even one drink can cause impaired driving.
• If you are serving alcohol, do no serve underage partiers and be sure your guests are not driving after they have been drinking.
• Have numbers for taxi cabs and Uber available and ready to call for partiers.
• Have non-alcoholic beverages and snacks ready to combat the effects of alcohol and to help prevent partiers from drinking excessively.
• Educate yourself as to how many drinks it takes to become intoxicated and what intoxication can look like in those who drink. Be aware that even though your guest may have only had one or two drinks, certain medications can cause a person to become intoxicated more quickly. If they look like they have had too much, always call them a ride home or arrange alternate transportation.
• If you are tempted to drive home after a party, regardless of how short the drive is, just don’t do it!
Before you get behind the wheel after drinking, you should know that a DUI conviction could change your life forever. Luckily, drivers in the Arizona area have the Weingart Firm to provide excellent services. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, you should not delay. Our aggressive and skilled attorneys have many years of experience in DUI law, and will work to help you fix your situation. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation.