Staying Informed Means Staying Safe and Out of Jail
Labor Day was created to pay tribute to all workers who have contributed to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our great nation. In Arizona, Labor Day enthusiasts pay tribute through backyard barbeques and swim parties, salt river tubing, and boating at one of Arizona’s recreational lakes. For many, Labor Day is the last big blowout before students, parents and summer enthusiasts have to buckle-down and get back to work. If you are planning to have a weekend of fun in the sun, this article will help you plan for a safe and jail free holiday. Some of those not-so-fun summer memories could occur due to the fact that, according to Sergeant Tim Kvochick of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, “it’s the last holiday of the summer, it’s like the last hurrah.” Because it is the last hurrah of summer, many let their guard down. However, you can rest assured that law enforcement agencies throughout the state will not let their guard down. Sgt. Kvochick states that they write a lot of citations and make a lot of arrests during this holiday weekend. Common citations and arrests to look out for include: impaired driving, speeding and seat belt violations, open container violations, operating a boat under the influence, unsafe boating, disorderly conduct, and urinating in public.
Have a Designated Driver, Take a Taxi or the Light Rail
If you are planning a party with family and friends, tubing down the Salt River, boating at Bartlett or other lakes around Arizona, or attending a Diamondback’s game make sure you have a plan for both the party and after the party — designate a sober and responsible person not just for the driving but to keep you on the right side of the law, call a friend, take a taxi, and/or use the light rail if all else fails. In the past, as part of the Department of Public Safety’s “Operation Safe Passage” campaign, officers have set up DUI checkpoints all over the state for Labor Day Weekend enthusiasts. In the metro area, officers have been known to post themselves every two miles, and in the surrounding areas, every 10. To teach people to drive safely even if they don’t see a patrol car, some of these posted officers drive unmarked vehicles.
Know your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer
If you are contacted by a police officer, be courteous but be informed as to what you are required to do. If you are being contacted for any criminal offense, you must provide your name and/or identification if an officer requests that information. Otherwise, it is imperative that you remain silent and always ask to speak to an attorney before you make any admissions against your interest. If you have been drinking and driving or boating under the influence, remain silent, do not do roadside or boatside field sobriety tests or drug recognition examinations, and always ask to speak with an attorney before you agree to a blood test, blow into an approved and admissible breath testing device, and/or provide your urine. Many attorneys offer around the clock advice seven days a week.
Historically Labor Day has a lot of arrests
On Labor Day last year, there were 389 DUI charges as part of the long-running “Drive Hammered: Get Nailed” task force, which started in 2010. In addition, Arizona is notorious for having the harshest DUI laws in the country. Since Labor Day is the last holiday of the summer, everyone wants to get in one last ride down the Salt River, one last trip to the lake, or one last BBQ, which makes criminal citations and arrests much more common. Drinking is a very common activity whether it be on the salt river and lakes, or at your backyard BBQ as it is refreshing to enjoy a nice cold one while floating downstream, boating in the blazing hot sun or just working on your tan. Notwithstanding, drinking can lessen your inhibitions, increase risk-taking, and make you impaired for driving even if you don’t feel the effects. These lessened inhibitions and increased risk taking behaviors make it imperative to not only have a designated driver but also to have a responsible sober person to help keep you on the right side of the law. Rest assured, law enforcement will be present in large numbers and will be on the lookout for any signs that your driving ability is impaired, or for behaviors that call into question public safety and welfare.
If you find yourself in any situation with the law, call an attorney immediately. Labor Day should be a day to relax, spend time with family and friends, and celebrate your contribution to our great nation. Castillo Law wishes you a happy, safe, and jail free Labor Day weekend!
Stay tuned on our blog for upcoming articles on common hunting violations…