Articles Posted in ARIZONA DUI TOPICS

In a recent case coming out of the Supreme Court of Arizona, the defendant asked the court to reconsider his conviction for resisting arrest. According to the defendant, the trial court improperly instructed the jury regarding the law that applied to his case, and the verdict should be reversed because of the trial court’s error. Ultimately finding no error, the higher court affirmed the decision, and the defendant’s conviction remained in place.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, state troopers were on the lookout for a stolen vehicle one evening when they noticed the defendant loading items into the car they were looking for. The officers approached the defendant to arrest him, and he started running. A physical altercation ensued, but the officers were eventually able to arrest the defendant and take him to the station.

The defendant was charged with resisting arrest. He pled not guilty, his case went to trial, and the jury unanimously found him guilty.

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Recently, an Arizona court of appeals had to decide the implications of a statute that allows defendants convicted of extreme driving under the influence to be released from jail early if they install an interlock device on their car. Specifically, the statue says that defendants guilty of extreme DUI can have 31 days cut off their jail time if they install interlock devices in their vehicles. In this instance, the court had to decide what would happen with a defendant convicted of extreme DUI if she or he did not, in fact, own a car in the first place.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with aggravated and extreme aggravated driving under the influence. The defendant sold her car to pay for a lawyer, later pleading guilty to the felony. The court sentenced the defendant to 45 days in jail, adding that all but 14 of the days could be suspended if the defendant were to equip her car with an ignition interlock device for 12 months.

The defendant asked to be released early from probation, but the State pointed out she had not installed the required ignition interlock device and that she would still have to serve her full 45 days in jail. In response, the defendant argued she did not install the device because she no longer owned a car, and thus that she should not be subject to the full time in jail. The superior court decided to release the defendant early, and the State appealed.

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Quantifying the impact of alcohol upon a person has long been a goal of the scientific community, with studies dating back as early as 1874. In the contemporary legal setting, the breathalyzer test, also known as alcohol breath testing, is touted as a highly accurate and definitive tool for detecting Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). BAC is a vital measure for determining if someone is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, breathalyzer tests are not always as accurate as they are portrayed to be. Here are 10 instances where breathalyzer tests can miss the mark:

  1. Breath machines are responsive to temperature and will provide inaccurate readings if not calibrated to adjust to a change in ambient temperature.
  2. The pattern of breathing may affect the validity of a test. Holding your breath for 30 seconds could result in an increase of a BAC of .07% to .081% or more.

When is Your Consent to a DUI Breath or Chemical Test Considered Involuntary, under the State's Implied Consent Law? 

Truck-DUI-Implied-Consent-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-Mesa-AZ-21-150x150A DUI breathalyzer or chemical test is considered a protected search under the 4thAmendment of the U.S. Constitution. This means that police need a warrant with probable cause to conduct a DUI breath, blood or urine test, even under Arizona’s Implied Consent law.

There are a few exceptions to the warrant rule, one of which is voluntarily consent.  If the driver expressly consents to a breath or chemical test, the officer is not required to have a warrant.

Arizona courts have held that if a person was coerced by the officer to take the DUI test then their consent is not voluntary (State of Arizona v. Valenzuela, 2016).  An involuntary consent does not relieve police of the requirement of obtaining a warrant.

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that enhanced sentencing does not apply if the victim is fictitious.

Under Arizona’s Dangerous Crimes against Children statute (DCAC), a person convicted of a sexual crime against a child is subject to enhanced sentencing. These penalties are severe and designed to provide greater punishments to those convicted of the offenses.

The question for the Court in this case was whether or not enhanced sentencing should be imposed under A.R.S. § 13-705(P) (1), when there was no actual victim.

5 Things You Should Know about Your Rights in a Police Stop and Arrest

You cannot be arrested solely for a non-criminal traffic violation in Mesa, AZ.

However, that changes if you fail to stop or try to elude police when you are signaled to pull over. Failure to stop violates Arizona’s unlawful flight laws.

The most important thing you can do when you realize police are signaling you to stop, is to pull over safely and promptly.

Arizona’s Unconscious Clause permissible only with consent, warrant, or case-specific exigent circumstances; What happens when your rights are violated

In Arizona police are permitted to request a warrantless, non-consensual blood draw, from a DUI suspect who is unconscious under A.R.S. §28- 1321.

The blood draw may be unconstitutional if an individual’s rights are violated in the process.

Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the unconscious clause is permissible only when invoked non-routinely, under exigent circumstances that are case-specific.

4 Things Arizona Supreme Court Needs to Admit Results

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a person has the right to be protected from unlawful searches and seizures.

This protection extends to a DUI blood test.  Consequently, police need a suspect’s consent or a search warrant to obtain a blood sample for a DUI investigation.

Without the person’s consent or a search warrant, it is unlawful for the police to collect a DUI blood sample.

5 Things you need to know about Arizona DUI laws and defense

No one who drinks expects to get a DUI or be the victim of an alcohol related disaster.

It is important to remember that others on the road may be driving dangerously due to drug or alcohol impairment.

Often people who have been drinking, lose track of how much they are drinking, and have not planned for an alternative ride home or arranged for a designated driver.

Arizona Court of Appeals: Mistake of Law must be Objectively Reasonable to Avoid Suppression of Evidence obtained after the Stop

Can an Arizona Police Officer’s misreading of a clear and unambiguous law give rise to reasonable suspicion, thereby making a stop lawful?

This was a question for a recent Arizona Appeals Court to decide. In the case, the court considered whether a deputy had reasonable suspicion to stop a driver because the officer thought the rear display light on his vehicle was unlawful.

This article takes a closer look at how defense successfully challenged an unlawful police stop due to the police officer’s mistake of law with these topics:

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