The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

It's 5 p.m. Somewhere: Is 'Day Drinking' On the Rise?

Five o'clock is generally considered the time of day when drinking becomes socially acceptable. However, that may be a thing of the past.

According to Scottsdale law enforcement, more and more people are getting sloshed before happy hour and then hitting the road, Fox 10 News reports.

What's behind this potentially dangerous phenomenon?

In the past, needing to have a drink before the end of the work day was seen as a sign of alcoholism. "Every day at least," 28-year-old Dianne Flanary told Fox 10. "I have a drink every day before noon."

According to Scottsdale Police Officer Lee Campbell, there's been a dramatic rise in daytime DUIs in the valley. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually more dangerous to drive drunk during the day because there are more cars on the road, Campbell says.

So what's causing people to drink so early? Is it unemployment? The heat? "You're getting away with something," Doug McLenithan, general manager of Dos Gringos bar, told Fox 10. "Maybe you're doing it during the day as opposed to the night time, so maybe that's the allure to it."

With people getting hammered at all hours of the day, bars will have to be especially vigilant. Dos Gringos has become a hot spot for day drinkers, making it necessary for McLenithan to keep an eye on patrons who are drinking heavily.

Under Arizona's dram shop law, bars and restaurants can be held liable for the injuries caused by their customers in certain circumstances. In order to bring a dram shop claim, an injured victim must show that the customer was visibly intoxicated to the point that a reasonable person would notice. That means bars and restaurants should stop serving patrons as soon as they begin to show obvious signs of drunkenness like slurred speech, clumsy movements, or a belligerent attitude.

If you do plan on day drinking, call a taxi. Cab fare is small change compared to the costs that come with a DUI.

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