Back in July, we noted that the number of people arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving during the Independence Day holiday was down sharply compared with 2019. At the time, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported just 193 DUI arrests over the holiday weekend. In 2019, law enforcement made 512 arrests.
We suggested then (https://www.scottsdale-duilawyer.com/blog/2020/07/arizona-dui-arrests-were-dramatically-down-over-july-4th-weekend/) that the COVID-19 pandemic was a big factor in reducing arrests. With fewer people out celebrating, there were fewer allegedly drunk drivers for police and state troopers to pull over.
New Holiday, the Same Story
Now, the next major holiday weekend has come and gone. And it looks like the pandemic has once again affected Arizona’s arrest numbers. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 519 arrests for DUI over the 2019 Labor Day weekend. This year, only 399 people spent part of the holiday weekend in jail.
What Could These Stats Mean?
Many Arizonians are still avoiding crowds due to the virus. But looking at the numbers, it appears more people took their chances over Labor Day weekend than the Fourth of July. The 2019 arrest numbers were nearly identical for both holiday periods. But for this year, the Labor Day arrests were more than 50 percent higher than over the July holiday weekend.
While this could mean that more people were out on the roads and highways over Labor Day, it could also mean that police and state troopers were stepping up enforcement. What we do know is that Arizona’s DUI laws are the same as they were before the pandemic — that is, some of the strictest in the country. A first-offense conviction for DUI can land you in jail for up to ten days and take away your driver’s license for up to one year.