Officer Tim Mitten
Community Action Officer
Phoenix Police Department
Black Mountain Precinct

The holiday season, for some it is a joyous season filled with time with family and friends, celebrations and office parties, reflection and giving but for some it is a time for hurt, anger, dissolution, regret or depression. We all must be mindful of these various things that people go through during this season. One of the many reminders or tragedies that may turn people into someone who has a tough time during the holidays is the loss of a loved one, especially through a tragedy like a DUI accident.

Despite the various prevention campaigns that have been waged over the last twenty years, the plethora of ride options like cabs, Uber, Lyft, designated drivers and more, DUI tragedies still strike.  In 2015, which are the latest AZ Governor Office of Highway Safety statistics that are available show that there were 272 Alcohol Impaired fatalities in Arizona.  The five year average for the years 2011 to 2015 show an average of 227 Alcohol Related fatalities in Arizona per year. There were 27,705 Impaired Driving arrests made in 2015 and the 5 year average from 2011 to 2015 is 30,519 arrests. The last two years do show a decline in Impaired Driving arrests but are still over 27,000 per year. Each and every one of those are preventable.

The holiday season is usually a time when many people who do not drink alcohol regularly or even at all might have some drinks and not realize they are intoxicated. The first sign of impairment is the loss of logic and ability to think clearly. This will then lead to lowered inhibitions and the desire to drink more, lose track of drinks and time which is key in knowing that you are impaired.

The below information is from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and shows the penalties for the various DUI Blood Alcohol Concentrations, and how a “standard drink” for the various types of alcohol contain different percentages of alcohol and the burn off time. Your weight and gender do matter so these are just general rules. Please also be aware that prescription medications if abused, taken improperly or state that they impact your ability to drive also could lead to a conviction for DUI. Any illegal drug if used prior to or while driving can also lead to a DUI arrest and conviction.

I wish that everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season. The officers of the Phoenix Police Department Black Mountain Precinct thank you for your continued support and are proud to be your partners in this community as we work towards improving the quality of life for everyone. If anyone has any questions or comments about this article, please feel free to contact me at tim.mitten@phoenix.gov.