Arizona is one of the few states that have a real handle on their drunk driving problem. Arizona drunk drivers can be charged with many different crimes including DUI, DWI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI. Each of these charges come with their own set of penalties, but despite everything, Arizona hasn’t managed to stop all crashes in the state.
Arizona, like many other states, is currently having a problem with drugged drivers. A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility detailed how the number of fatal crashes involving drugs in 2015 surpassed the number of fatal collisions involving alcohol.
There were a few highlights in the data that dealt with both Arizona drunk drivers and drugged drivers:
- 43% of the drivers who died in crashes tested positive for drugs. That number was higher than those drivers who tested positive for alcohol
- Only 57% of the people who died in crashes were tested for drugs, but of those people, 35% of those who were tested had marijuana in their systems
The report shows that there may be an increased in drugged driving in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that drugged drivers are taking the place of drunk drivers. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association there were over 26,000 DUI arrests in 2016, and out of those only 5,000 were for drugged driving.
Alcohol is still king in Arizona, but thankfully drunk driving is easier for Arizona police to detect. They have the experience to spot, arrest, and charge their drunk drivers, but with drugged drivers the situation becomes more complex. Like most states, Arizona has hundreds of officers recognized as Drug-Recognition Experts, and until there is a method of detection for drugged driving like a breathalyzer, these officers are there to assess suspected drugged-drivers at any time.
The important thing to keep in mind is that, no matter whether you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impaired driving is impaired driving. Because of the penalty system and the expertise of the officers in the state, you don’t want to be caught in Arizona under the influence of anything when you’re behind the wheel of a car.