Drunk driving is a problem across the nation and Arizona is no exception. With a large population spread across the valley and with a sprawl design, Phoenix has its fair share of drunk driving incidents every year. Those individuals who choose to drive drunk are not only violating the law but also are risking the safety of everyone on the roads, whether it is a passenger in their vehicle, a driver in another car, or even a pedestrian crossing the street in a crosswalk. With the serious threat posed by drunk drivers, it is not surprising that so many law enforcement officials seek ways to reduce the number of intoxicated motorists.
Over the past decade, Phoenix has had an increasing number of arrests annually for driving under the influence. Some of the increase may be blamed on the overall population growth while others may be attributed to increased enforcement efforts by police. Yet many believe that there may be an increase in drinking and driving among the general population which is also contributing to these numbers.
But with all the negative news about DUIs comes potentially a small bright spot: for the first time in the last decade, the number of annual DUIs in Arizona has decreased. Police arrested approximately 29,000 drivers for operating under the influence in 2013, which is more than 3,000 fewer arrests than 2012. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, traditionally a time with a large number of drunk drivers on the road, also saw a decrease in arrests over 2012 numbers. But these numbers are still drastically higher than they were in 2004 when approximately 5,300 arrests were made.
No one has conclusively determined what is behind the decrease in numbers but enforcement efforts likely played a part. A statewide task force has been utilized to combat intoxicated drivers and has made the detection and apprehension of these individuals a priority.
While it is good news that fewer drunk drivers were found on Arizona streets last year, 29,000 arrests still breaks down to an average of nearly 80 drunk drivers per day being caught and apprehended while behind the wheel. Those drivers are a threat to public safety and a threat to themselves.
If a drunk driver has caused an accident that left you injured or your loved one killed, you should know that the laws in Phoenix may entitle you to bring a claim for your damages, including the medical bills you were forced to incur. You may be entitled to a financial settlement for your injuries and your pain and suffering.
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are here to help. If you have been victimized by another’s drunk driving, we will provide you with a free case consultation at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. We are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call and we never charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. Call us today and let us help you get the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Elderly Driver Runs Over Woman at Gas Pump, Killing Her, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 6, 2014.
Total number of DUIs in Arizona dropped in 2013, Fox 10 Phoenix/Associated Press, published January 7, 2014.