The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

More Than 4,300 AZ Drivers Arrested for DUI Over the Holidays

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... to get nabbed for drunken driving.

The increased traffic enforcement across the state netted a record number of DUI arrests this holiday season, according to The Arizona Republic. Officers arrested 4,371 people statewide on suspicion of DUI between Nov. 24 and Jan 1.

The figure represents a marked uptick from 2010's 3,880 arrests and 2011's 4,058 arrests. In all, 81,934 total people were stopped and 34,974 non-DUI citations were issued.

More than half of the season's DUI arrests weren't for regular old drunken driving offenses. According to authorities, 1,098 people were arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI, 450 on suspicion of aggravated DUI, and 934 on suspicion of drugged driving.

The average blood-alcohol content of those arrested was 0.15 percent. That's nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

In general, the higher your blood-alcohol content, the more severe your charges will be. That's because Arizona has a three-tiered system of DUI offenses with escalating penalties depending on the driver's BAC.

A BAC of 0.08 to 0.1499 percent will get you a regular old DUI. A BAC of 0.150 to 0.199 percent will get you an extreme DUI. Finally, a BAC of 0.20 percent or greater will get you a super extreme DUI. A super extreme DUI conviction is punishable by a minimum of 45 days in jail and up to $2,750 in fines.

While this season's figures may seem like all doom and gloom, there's a bit of good news as well. The number of designated drivers increased from 1,391 in 2010 and 1,297 in 2011 to 1,964 this holiday season. Let's hope this trend continues.

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