The beer is flowing at Goodyear Ballpark and HoHoKam Stadium. Baseball fans are enjoying watching the Diamondbacks, the Padres and the Royals play around town during spring training, while refreshing themselves with a brew under the famed Arizona sunshine.
The Cactus league attracts baseball fans from all over the country. And that’s the problem: not all of the visitors are aware of how serious Arizona is about drunk driving.
An East Valley DUI lawyer reports a spike in the number of prospective clients that have been calling his office, having been slapped with an impaired driving charge.
Apparently police are aware that a good number of spectators are overdoing the beer and then driving, and they have made themselves available for DUI arrests. Cubs fans in particular seem to be the most often targeted.
For the ones arrested, it’s no joke. Arizona was one of the first states to adopt a DUI law that requires that all offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above to install an ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
And if, as an out-of-stater, you think you can ditch the interlock as soon as you leave Arizona, think again. Arizona is a member of the Interstate Compact, which was formed to keep drivers from avoiding licensing punishments by crossing state lines. There’s a 90% chance that your state will honor Arizona’s interlock laws.
In addition to interlocks, Arizona imposes fines and jail time, and requires alcohol screening and/or treatment – for a first offense.
So enjoy the Cactus League, but designate a driver or take public transportation after the game. Because Arizona cops play hardball.