The DUI figures for the 4th of July weekend are in from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, and the results are, well, sobering:
443 people were arrested for a DUI between Friday and Sunday — 151 of which had a blood alcohol content of .15 or greater.
(To put that in perspective, with a BAC that high, you are 380 times more likely to be in a fatal crash than you are when sober.)
A total of 1,887 officers and deputies stopped 11,385 vehicles over the weekend, and about 43 percent of the time, people were slapped with a civil or speeding violation.
This marks little change from last year’s holiday weekend when 2,347 officers made 11,223 traffic stops across the state, and 552 people were arrested for a DUI — 182 people blew a .15 BAC or greater when tested.
The 4th of July is notoriously one of the deadliest times for motorists across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 happened during the holiday weekend. (Traffic fatality statistics are not yet available for this year, but you can check out this ADOT report for more details on last year.)
Do you know which state has the strictest DUI laws? According to the financial website WalletHub—which conducted a meta-analysis of past studies and metrics—the answer is Arizona. We have one of the highest mandatory minimum jail sentences for first time offenders—10 days—and a third offense is an automatic felony conviction.
It may sound draconian, but then again, 849 people lost their lives last year to fatal traffic accidents (up from 821 in 2013; 827 2011; and 759 2010)—a higher fatal crash rate than the national average.
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Let’s be honest, we were hoping to see a dramatic decrease in statistics like this because Governor Ducey officially legalized ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft a few months ago, meaning you have no excuse for drunkenly getting behind the wheel anymore. Plus, it wasn’t THAT hot this weekend, so you could have always passed out in your buddy’s backyard and probably been fine…