The holiday season is here! As family members are getting together to celebrate in more ways than one, it’s important to remember safety on the roads. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that 40% of traffic-related fatalities during Christmas and New Years are linked to drunk driving. 

Driving under the influence has become such an issue that many people fear driving during the holiday season. Forbes Advisor recently released statistics that show 54% of drivers expressed concern about getting into an accident when driving during this time of year. The fear isn’t unfounded — 38% of drivers say they’ve seen friends and family drive drunk after a holiday party.

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It is important for out-of-state travelers to be informed of the DUI laws in Arizona. Although DUI laws across the country send the same message to those who dare, the repercussions may differ.

Here is what locals and visitors should know about DUI laws in Arizona.

Arizona’s Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC), according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, is 0.08 %. However, a person can still be arrested if their BAC is below the legal limit.

Arizona is a Zero-Tolerance State

There is no excuse for driving intoxicated in the Grand Canyon state. This means that an Arizona officer can arrest a person even if their BAC is below 0.08 %. According to the Arizona Department Of Transportation, if a person is stopped for driving under the influence and a test shows that they have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 % or more, or if a blood alcohol or drug test result is not available, they will lose their driving privilege on the spot.

You Can Be Arrested Even If You Aren’t Driving

Did you know that a person can be arrested for a DUI even if they are not driving? The strict law in the state of Arizona states that if you are in “physical control” of a car while you are drinking you can be arrested. If a person drives to a bar to catch up with old friends for the holidays, they should take a taxi home. If after meeting up with their friends, a person decides to sit in the driver’s seat with the key in reach, this can enough to be considered a DUI.

Keep your family and friends safe this holiday season. Be sure to share information and resources regarding the DUI laws in Arizona, and if a person does not have a reliable designated driver, make sure that there is money set aside for a taxi or rideshare service to safely enjoy the winter season.


Author: David Shapiro is founder and attorney of Shapiro Law Team. Since 2017 Shapiro Law Team, formerly known as David Shapiro Law, is dedicated to helping individuals who suffered an injury due to the negligence of others.