One year of covid restrictions combined with loosening limitations at restaurants and bars makes for a power keg of excitement as St. Patrick's Day arrives. Businesses are primed to welcome back customers, and patrons are ready for a little bit of fun and reconnection. But just as there is some light at the end of the tunnel, don't let stupid mistakes and reckless behavior clip your wings. There are a lot better days ahead, and you want to be around - and free - to enjoy them.
Local law enforcement has announced stepped up enforcement. There will be extra DUI patrol out.
Arizona has some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the country. Conviction includes mandatory time in jail, suspension of your license, installation of an expensive ignition interlock device, and what are sure to be hefty legal fees. And contrary to what you might hear in the bar, there is no blood alcohol minimum for being cited for DUI. Many people think that if you are a .08 bac or lower, you cannot be cited for driving under the influence. That is wrong.
You can be citied, and convicted, of DUI even if you are under .08 bac. If you are .08, it is presumed that you are under the influence. But charges will stand if you are "impaired to the slightest degree." That leaves no room a poor decision.
It's still safest to stay home. But if you do go out, please make plans for a designated driver, call a cab, or get an Uber. The cost or hassle of getting your car in the morning is nothing compared to the severe pain and life-changing consequences that can come with driving under the influence.