There are some who are opposed to Arizona’s tough stance on drunk driving and buzzed driving. Typically, the argument is not that there should be no laws against driving under the influence, but that Arizona’s laws are too strict. They charge a driver with a DUI if they show any signs of impairment to the slightest degree. The decision is based on numerous factors that judge whether a driver is able to safely manage a vehicle.
Many people believe that if their blood alcohol content is below 0.08%, they are not at all impaired. One or two drinks may not be sufficient for a person to get intoxicated, but it can be more than enough for them to be impaired and be guilty of buzzed driving. Many states, including Arizona, are now stepping up their messages to the public that “buzzed driving is drunk driving.”
Epidemic of Buzzed Driving
According to the Ad Council, in 2012, crashes resulting from alcohol impairment killed 10,322 people. The studies show that there was a misperception among motorists. Public service announcements (PSA) are directed at drivers who are over the legal blood alcohol limit, as compared with someone who is just buzzed after having a few drinks. This led to a new PSA campaign that highlighted the dangers of buzzed driving by showing that it is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
The research studies bolster PSAs across the country, which show that driving with a blood alcohol concentration of even 0.01% increases the likelihood of the driver being at fault for a car accident to 47%. One such study in California found that accident investigators were placing more blame on drivers who have alcohol in their system. This equates to buzzed driving. And the amount of fault increases proportionally to the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.
In Arizona, law enforcement officers have reinforced the buzzed driving message since the introduction of DUI laws. As some states are beginning to look to lowering the legal alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05 or below, Arizona is poised to show the country that it is ahead of the curve. Arizona’s “impaired to the slightest degree” obviates the necessity of arguing about lowering the legal limit as it effectively reinforces the idea that any amount of any substance that causes a driver to be less than 100% while operating a motor vehicle is sufficient for a DUI.
In conclusion, Arizona’s DUI laws are tough for a good reason: to protect citizens from the harm of a reckless and negligent driver. If you or a loved one gets injuries in a car accident, the lawyers at the Thompson Law Firm, PLLC can help. Regardless of whether the negligent driver was under or over the limit, our professionals can guide you through the court system and get you the help you and your family need.