A motorist who is in an accident because of the careless actions of a reckless driver may believe the worst is behind them. They have received care for their injuries and heard that the driver got convicted of a DUI. The injured person might think that the driver will no longer be a danger to any other unsuspecting motorists but unfortunately, that is not often the case.
According to statistics gathered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 50–75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license and about one-third of all drivers arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration amended the latter statistic in March 2014, pursuant to their study showing that the number is now closer to 25%. It still means that the chances are good that a drunk driver—even after conviction for a DUI—will continue to drive.
Arizona DUI Law
Arizona arguably has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country and has three levels of DUI. Depending on the facts of the situation, a driver may be charged with a standard, aggravated, or extreme DUI, each carrying with it stricter penalties because of the more egregious nature of the charge. If a driver is convicted of a standard DUI and it is their first offense, they will face up to 10 days in jail, a fine of $1,250, potential mandatory treatment and education courses, an ignition interlock requirement on all vehicles, and possible community service.
Arizona is one of 21 states that requires ignition interlock devices for all offenses and not solely for repeat offenses. Interlock devices are becoming more widely used as they have been linked to a significant decrease in recidivism for drunk driving. Interlock devices are small devices that are directly wired to a vehicle’s ignition system. Before allowing a vehicle to start, the driver must essentially pass a breathalyzer test by blowing into the interlock device. The device will randomly require another sample after the engine has started and sound an alarm if a breath sample fails or is not provided.
Other means available under Arizona laws to decrease recidivism in DUI cases include intensive supervised probation, electronically monitored house arrest, and the authority to impound vehicles. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the last one alone has helped decrease repeat drunk driving incidents approximately 38% and DUI crashes 4%. Laws such as those in Arizona are making nationwide headlines as the federal government joins the fight to decrease occurrences of repeat DUI offenders.
In conclusion, even with the potential of facing the strict penalties pursuant to Arizona law, many drivers who have been convicted of a DUI will choose to continue to drink and drive. If a drunk driver injures you, there are many aspects of the law that you may not know. Hence, by calling the professionals at the Thompson Law Firm PLLC, you can receive the answers you need to make sure your rights are protected.