On March 11, 2020, the spread of coronavirus was upgraded by the World Health Organization from a global health emergency to a pandemic. Many businesses were forced to close entirely, but most stay-at-home orders included special provisions for bars and restaurants. In Arizona, bars and restaurants are only allowed to serve food through pick up, delivery, or drive-through. For the time being, they can serve alcoholic beverages to-go, but patrons can’t enjoy their beverages on-site. Police officers are also pulling over and arresting less people as jails and prisons are breeding grounds for the coronavirus.
Since drinking at a bar is no longer allowed, it is reasonable to expect to see a drop in DUI arrests. This holds true for most of the country- criminal incidents have decreased drastically nationwide, as much as 92% in some jurisdictions. Jail bookings have decreased over 40%. States that rely heavily on tourism, such as Hawaii, are reporting even sharper decreases in DUI arrests. However, some areas’ DUI rates aren’t even remaining the same, but increasing.
In Michigan, Ottowa County has reported a slight increase in intoxicated driving incidents compared to the same time last year. Cape Coral in Florida, a state making headlines recently for its lax quarantine measures, has also reported an increase in DUIs, 50% of which were drug DUIs.
While DUI increases are only being seen in particular areas, domestic violence calls have spiked nationwide. In Tucson, there has been a 9% increase in domestic violence calls since the pandemic began. Other cities and counties have been reporting even higher rates of domestic violence. The overall increase is estimated to be between 10-30% nationwide. There has also been an uptick in noise complaints.
Just because there is a pandemic doesn’t mean there aren’t laws to follow. On the flip side, if you have been charged with a crime, you can still seek legal counsel. Legal services were declared essential services in Arizona, so our office is still open for business. We offer free consultations by phone so you can discuss your case from the comfort and safety of your own home. Call today to discuss your options with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney.