Fewer Arizonans were arrested for DUI over St. Patrick’s Day weekend than last year

Mar 23, 2024, 7:15 AM

St. Patrick's Day Arizona...

Arizonans drank less behind the wheel this St. Patrick's Day but sped more, a new report found. (Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, left, ADOT, right)

(Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, left, ADOT, right)

PHOENIX — St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but Arizonans have one more reason to celebrate.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said the number of DUI arrests went down this year compared to 2023.

Last year, there were 273 total DUI arrests from March 16-18. This year, there were only 206 from March 16-17.

Here’s the bad part about St. Patrick’s Day Arizona DUI statistics

Everything wasn’t all sunshine and lucky charms, though. There were a few categories in which Arizonans celebrating St. Patrick’s Day failed big time compared to the past.

One of the ways partygoers failed was by raising the total number of extreme DUI cases from last year’s number.

In 2023, there were 52 extreme DUI cases. Authorities use the term extreme to refer to times when a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.15%.

This year, there were 67 extreme DUI cases.

Last year, the average known BAC was 0.149% while it was 0.151% this year.

Generally speaking, though, DUI arrests went down in Arizona

Additionally, there were only 45 DUI drug arrests from March 16-17 in 2024, while there were 49 the same time last year. There were also far fewer distracted driving citations this year.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety also said there were 37 cases of aggravated DUI during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, along with 236 DUI misdemeanors.

The numbers for March 16-17 of this year showed a decrease in both of these categories.

This year, the office said, there were 24 aggravated DUIs and 182 DUI misdemeanors.

In other words, despite an overall decrease in aggravated and misdemeanor DUIs, there was a leap in severely incapacitated drivers taking to the streets.

St. Patrick’s Day Arizona general traffic statistics

Seat belt citations fell significantly, from 135 in 2023 to 72 this year. Plus, there were fewer child restraint citations and far fewer seat belt citations than last year.

Arizonans were better about speeding this year as well. While the office said there were 136 criminal speed citations last year, there were only 114 this year.

Civil speed citations also fell from 1,990 last year to 1,302 this year.

Fewer people under the age of 21 took to the streets with alcohol in their system this year compared to the last, the office said.

Officers issued 16 under 21 liquor law citations last year while they issued only seven this year.

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Fewer Arizonans were arrested for DUI over St. Patrick’s Day weekend than last year