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It’s Open Season!

Well, Arizona, we survived that blustering winter storm earlier this week, so it’s time to get back out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! The Phoenix Open, the PGA’s most entertaining tournament, is here to provide fun for serious aficionados and fans for a day. Whether you’re looking forward to the Bird’s Nest concerts at night or you’re hoping to see a fan throw an orange* while Bubba Watson is on the greens (he doesn’t like the course, well, someone can change that!) or you’re intrigued by the ace golfing robot “Tiger Woods,” it’s an event that Scottsdale looks forward to each year. Golf not your thing? Gather your friends to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday afternoon and enjoy the best excuse to spend four hours watching tv, eating Cheetos, and devising commercial-related drinking games.

Before the fun starts, make sure you have a plan to get yourself, your friends, and your family home safely. We mentioned it last week, but we can’t say it too many times: law enforcement will be increasing their patrols for impaired drivers, and the DUI task force will be out now through Sunday night. If you’re heading to the Open, the Scottsdale Police Department is encouraging those who have been drinking to test themselves before they get behind the wheel. So if you test yourself and you’re “under the limit,” you should be good, right? Maybe. But maybe not.

First, it’s important to understand that the tests the police will administer to volunteers are not the same tests that are administered when someone has been arrested for DUI. These hand-held portable breath testing (“PBT”) devices are not calibrated internally and externally like the larger ones used at the police stations, and that is why the PBT results cannot be used as evidence in a trial. They are also limited in what they can do. For example, if you just finished your drink minutes before, the PBT may return an artificially high number due to the alcohol still lingering in your mouth—the larger intoxilyzer should not do this. Also, it may return an artificially low result based off of other factors. The PBT only gives you an estimate, so it’s important to use this tool along with others: how are you feeling? how many drinks have you had? how long have you been drinking? have you eaten anything? Those should all be factored into the equation. If there’s even a question that you could be impaired or above the limit, play it safe and have a sober driver take you home!

We hope that you enjoy yourself this weekend regardless of what you’re doing, but please be safe and drive sober!

*The Law Offices of Mark D. DuBiel does not promote or condone the throwing of oranges onto golf courses during tournaments.