Phoenix, AZ- Drunken drivers kept Arizona law enforcement officers busy over the 2012 holiday season as they netted more than 4,000 arrests for suspicion of DUI between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. And many of those arrested had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit, which is referred to as “extreme DUI” in the state.
According to the Arizona Office of Highway Safety between Nov. 24th and Jan. 1st police arrested 4,371 people for suspicion of DUI-related offenses. However the Phoenix New Times reported that the majority of those arrested had a blood alcohol level less than .151. Apparently, holiday drivers were a little less drunk than the rest of the year. Out of the over 4,000 DUI arrests, only 888 were charged with “extreme DUI.”
Though there were less “extreme DUIs” this year, there was a significant spike in alcohol-related arrests over the same period last year. Last year, law enforcement made 2,888 DUI arrests with 788 of those falling into the “extreme” category, the Phoenix Times reported.
In anticipation of increased drunken driving, law enforcement agencies across the country beef up their patrols and DUI checkpoints. Arizona’s dramatic increase in DUI arrests are tied to the estimated 2,200 officers enlisted to make the streets safe from intoxicated drivers.
But Arizona wasn’t the only state to see a spike in alcohol-related arrests, Georgia state troopers made 321 arrests during a 78 period over the New Year’s holiday, an increase from 262 arrests made the over the same period last year.
DUI arrests across the country were a mixed bag, some areas saw a drop in arrests. In Philadelphia, holiday arrests decreased over last year.
Drunk driving is a serious problem all across the country and the in the long run, the arrest-related costs are significantly higher than the cost of cab fare. So why do people still drive drunk? Perhaps, they don’t know how much will be coming out of their pockets once they have been charged.
The costs begin to rack up immediately. First you are going to have to post bail, and then hire a DUI lawyer. The average bail for DUI is between $500 and $1,000, which must be paid immediately. Add to the cost of a DUI lawyer, which can range from $1,000 to $3,000 depending of the aggressiveness of your DUI defense strategy.
While the cost of an attorney may vary, they can tell you relatively soon how much you will have to dole out for your defense, since there a few strategies you can employ to avoid a DUI conviction. If you refused to take a breathalyzer test, you can expect your legal fees to increase because these cases take longer to work through the court system.
After posting bail, you will also have to get your car out of impound, adding additional costs anywhere from an average of $50 to $200, depending on when you are able to get to the impound lot.
But the costs don’t end there. Most states require offenders attend DUI School which requires weekly attendance over at least a six month period, but could be longer according to laws in your state. That class can cost up to $300 or more. Then there is probation which requires a monthly payment, at minimum $45 during the term of your probationary period.
In the end a DUI can end up cost a driver over $10,000, far higher than a $20 dollar cab ride, so why do so many people insist on driving drunk? it just doesn’t make sense.