Winter is one of the best times to be here in the Valley because there is something great going on every weekend, from the college football championships and the Barrett Jackson car auction to the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Devoured Culinary Classic.  Phoenix, Scottsdale, and our other cities put their best feet forward, showing the world that Arizona has a whole lot more going on than hot summers.

But with the increased fun comes increased police presence and arrests.  Visitors and residents alike need to know that Arizona has the harshest DUI penalties in the nation, including license suspensions, mandatory jail for even the first offense, and required ignition interlock devices.  Multiple Valley police departments have also combined to create a DUI Task Force for the next two weeks, with increased patrols for impaired drivers.

For some people, having a .08 or higher Blood Alcohol Concentration may not make them feel “drunk,” and it is important to know what amount can put you over the legal limit.  Research has shown that alcohol tolerance, commonly considered one’s ability to “handle” alcohol, can be either genetic or developed through regular drinking.  Substance tolerance is the brain’s sensitivity to a drug–the higher one’s tolerance of that drug, the less sensitive that person is and will require more of the drug to produce the same effects.   However, those individuals who are not as sensitive to alcohol’s effects do not have a correspondingly lower blood alcohol concentration.  Three drinks in two hours in a tolerant, 130-pound female will produce the same blood alcohol concentration as a highly sensitive, 130-pound female—roughly a .08—but the two women will appear to be affected by the alcohol very differently.

As you check out those beautiful classic cars or spend a day on the greens with your friends, please enjoy yourself but make sure you have a sober driver as you head home or to the next event.  And remember: just because you feel “fine” does not mean you won’t be driving impaired.  Be safe, not under arrest for DUI!