Arizona Cinco de Mayo DUI arrests: Up or down in 2015?

Cinco de Mayo was celebrated a few days ago here in Phoenix, across the nation and south of the border. It’s a holiday commemorating El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). As some readers undoubtedly know, that’s the 1862 battle in which the Mexican army routed French forces.

In many quarters today, Cinco de Mayo is more than a celebration of an unexpected military victory some 150 years ago. It’s a party celebrating pride in Mexican culture, people and ethnicity. Fortunately, this year’s party resulted in fewer DUI arrests than last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.

With a coordinated, target law enforcement effort involving more than 2,000 officers across Arizona, the task force made 460 DUI arrests in the state. Last year, the same period resulted in 531 DUI arrests.

This year, the total included 156 drivers arrested on suspicions of extreme DUI. That means their BAC (blood alcohol content) was at 0.15 percent or higher. In Arizona, the legal threshold is a BAC of 0.08 percent. The average BAC of those arrested during the Cinco de Mayo crackdown was 0.16 percent — twice the legal limit.

The state of Arizona says on its website that a first extreme DUI conviction results in jail time of not less than 30 days, with no probation or suspended sentence possible. Those convicted also will be fined at least $2,500 and be required to perform community service and have at their expense an ignition interlock device installed on every vehicle they drive.

That’s a very hard-hitting penalty, as you can see. Talk to an experienced Phoenix defense lawyers about your legal options if you find yourself facing these penalties or others for drunk driving.