Driving drowsy isn’t a crime. But it can lead to other serious vehicular offenses including DUI or reckless endangerment.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Center for Disease Control (CDC) have released reports about hazards of “drowsy driving”. Both of these are high risk behaviors that can result in serious injury or death involving auto accidents.

While drowsy driving is not a crime itself, it could lead to the commission of serious vehicular crimes such as DUI charges, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, or vehicular homicide.

Warning signs of both driving drowsy and DUI are often similar in nature. Drowsy driving can lead to DUI charges, even if a person was not in fact, impaired to the slightest degree due to intoxicating alcohol or drugs.

How to avoid Drowsy Driving

• Recognition of warning signs and prevention;
• Get adequate sleep. Drivers should ensure that they get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
• Be aware of increased risks such as commercial driving, long shifts or nightshift work;
• Seek medical attention for untreated sleep disorders;
• Do not drive while under the influence of sedating medications;
• Do not drink spirituous liquor prior to or while driving;
• Take precautions and prepare for days or nights of long distance driving such as getting extra rest and sleep before driving;
• If you are a high risk driver due to your work hours, arrange for alternative rides home with a friend or family member, bus, taxi, or other trusted and responsible person.
• If you are in a high risk group for driving get enough rest and sleep before and after your shift.
• If you are driving and unexpectedly find you are driving drowsy, pull over in a safe place will lit location; preferably a rest stop or motel if possible, to sleep until you are feeling alert enough to drive again.

Warning Signs of Driving Drowsy

• Frequent yawning;
• Frequent blinking;
• Difficulty remembering the past few miles you drove;
• Missing planned exits;
• Drifting from one’s lane;
• Hitting rumble (wake-up) strips;
• Staring or tunnel vision;
• Inability to remember recently past road signs;
• Drifting or weaving across lanes without realizing it.

DUI v. Drowsy Driving

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) researchers identified at least 100 driving cues that have been found to be associated with a Drunk Driving, or impaired. The signs or driving behaviors identified were presented and separated into four main categories:

• Weaving or drifting, and problems maintaining proper lane position;
• Speeding or difficulty braking when needed;
• Vigilance problems such inattentiveness;
• Difficulties with Judgment and decision making skills
Many of these signs are displayed by motorists who are driving while drowsy or tired. As result, a police officer could mistakenly suspect that a driver is under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs. If the officer has probable cause to conduct a DUI blood test and trace compounds of a drug defined under Arizona law, in the person’s system, they are at risk of a DUI. Further if a person had only one drink of intoxicating liquor, which did not result in driving impaired to the slightest degree, they could be mistakenly determined to be driving impaired. A non-underage 21 person will be forced to defend their charges in court, even though they were driving drowsy and not impaired due to blood or alcohol.

DUI Defense Attorney for Charges in Gilbert AZ
If you have been arrested for DUI, or any vehicular criminal offenses in Arizona, you should retain a qualified and experienced criminal attorney to defend your charges. DUI laws and penalties are among the harshest in the country. Your criminal defense lawyer will defend your charges, and protect your rights. There may be defenses you are not aware of that could lead to a dismissal of charges or other favorable outcome in your case.

Additional Resources:

• Gilbert Arizona Traffic and DUI Unit

• Gilbert AZ Criminal Court Processes

DUI and Drowsy Driving – Laws and Criminal Defense in Arizona

National Centers for Disease Control – Drowsy Driving Report January 2013

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA)

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DUI lawyer Tempe AZ.jpgTempe Police warn drivers to plan ahead.

Tempe Police Department announced this week that it will be working in cooperation with Scottsdale Police, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, and the AZ Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in a joint DUI Task Enforcement. It is scheduled to take place surrounding the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day festivities, beginning Sunday March 17, 2013.

A command post will be set up at the Tempe Fire Training Facility located 1340 E. University Drive in Tempe AZ. The major cross streets are University Drive and Dorsey Lane, between Rural Road and McClintock Drive. Mobile Patrol units will increase presence throughout Scottsdale, and Tempe neighborhoods and city streets.

The increased enforcement is being funded as part of generous $7.5 million grant to police agencies throughout Arizona, by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The Governor announced last month that she is focusing on joint efforts to enforce, educate, and engineer safer roads throughout the state, and reduce fatal and serious accidents caused by impaired driving.

A majority of the funds are being allocated for DUI enforcement, patrols and checkpoints which include specialized detection equipment and vehicles. The remaining amounts will be allocated towards education and media efforts.


DUI Trends in Tempe AZ

Tempe Police reports both drunk driving and drug DUI arrests near ASU spiked upwards to 44 percent over the last two years. They reported 1,695 DUI arrests in 2011 and 2,439 coming from 2012. A large number of these arrests were made for youth or underage 21 drinking.

Another upward crime trend along with Tempe DUI charges has been the number of fake IDs confiscated by police. In 2012 approximately 1,800 fake IDs were seized from persons at local Tempe Businesses. The police expect this to decrease the number of DUI arrests in 2013.

ASU Police will be working closely with Student Judicial Affairs Office, ASU Off-Campus Student Services, and Tempe Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Drug Use to combat the problems.


Criminal Defense for Underage DUI or Underage 21 Drinking

Underage 21 drinking or Underage DUI charges are classified as criminal offenses. They can expose a person to jail terms; suspension or denial of driver’s licenses for up to two years; probation; fines, fees, substance abuse screening, education or counseling, use of Ignition Interlock Device on the vehicle you drive, and other penalties. Other consequences may result from a conviction including loss of job, suspension from organized sports, school, or adverse impacts in US residency. If you are charged with any type of DUI or criminal violation you should always consult a qualified criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty. They will discuss you matter with you and provide you with defense options. If retained, they will provide a defense, and protect your rights throughout the criminal justice process.


Additional Resources:

• Tempe DUI Task Force Command Post Location for St. Patrick’s Day Enforcement

• Tempe AZ Criminal Court

• Tempe Police Department Announcement

Arizona DUI Laws

Arizona Underage 21 Drinking and DUI Laws

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Arizona Court of Appeals rules non-impairing Marijuana ingredients qualify for DUI prosecution.

A recent Marijuana DUI dismissal was overturned in favor of the state and moved for continued prosecution in the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The main legal issue was whether or not a motorist could be prosecuted for Marijuana DUI when the only evidence revealed on a blood test was an inactive chemical compound in Marijuana. In this case, the drug compound was one that does not cause impairment, “Carboxy-THC”. This is a residual compound known to stay in a person’s blood stream for 3 to 4 weeks after Marijuana use.
The inactive or non-impairing compound was examined in contrast to the known active ingredient THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol. THC has been successfully argued in courts as one that causes driving impairment.

The lower court dismissed the case before appeal, on the basis that the motorist was not driving impaired. But the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that both the active compound and the inactive compound fall within Arizona DUI Law A.R.S. 28-1381, so the motorist could still be subject to prosecution.

The impact of this ruling is that the prosecution does not need to prove that the driver was impaired. In order to prosecute the motorist for DUI with Marijuana, as long as at least one of the two compounds can be identified in the DUI blood test evidence. Another adverse impact is that a person may have used the Marijuana legally in another state, days or weeks prior to driving in Arizona, and still be arrested for Marijuana DUI.

The Arizona Court of Appeals indicated that this ruling shall not be used to set precedent. However, this presents challenges in consistency for the courts since other cases similar to this are pending prosecution.


Arizona Drug DUI Law

Currently under Arizona law A.R.S. 28-1381 a person may be guilty of DUI under the following circumstances:
(1) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs while they are impaired to the slightest degree; or
(2) If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol was consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle; or
(3) While there is any drug defined in section A.R.S.13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.

A person driving under the influence of Marijuana could be arrested under items (1) or (3) depending on the circumstances of the Marijuana DUI. It is not a defense if the person is a qualified Medical Marijuana user.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug DUI charges Mesa, AZ

If you face any type of drug DUI charges in Arizona, you should always consult a qualified criminal attorney to discuss your case. Arizona has some of the most strict laws, and severe penalties for DUI conviction in the state. Sentencing for drug DUI charges are the same or similar to those of drunk driving. They include jail terms, suspension of driver’s license, probation, substance abuse screening and counseling; fines, fees, and assessments. Other penalties may apply. If retained an experienced criminal lawyer will protect your rights, and defend your charges. There may be defenses that you are not aware of that could lead to a dismissal of charges, or otherwise favorable outcome in your case.


Additional Resources:

Arizona Drug DUI Laws

Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1

Arizona Drugs Defined Under Criminal Code

Mesa AZ Municipal Court

Mesa AZ Police Department

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Why Disorderly Conduct Charges are often challenged and dismissed

“Disorderly Conduct” is also known as “Disturbing the Peace”. There are a number of offenses under Arizona Criminal Code A.R.S. 13-2904 that fall within the classification of Disorderly Conduct. These are among the most successfully challenged criminal offenses due to their vague and sometimes biased nature.

By law the police must have “probable cause” to make an arrest. And although they may feel that the arrests meet the standards for probable cause that a crime occurred, the charges are often disputed and unjustified. For example, police often issue charges of Disorderly Conduct when they are annoyed with a person, and no other criminal charges apply to their conduct.

Disorderly Conduct charges are often seen coupled with other criminal charges such as domestic disputes or domestic violence, assault, resisting arrest, and other serious felony criminal offenses.
Under A.R.S. 13-2904 in Arizona, a person may be guilty of disorderly conduct if they intentionally and with knowledge disturb the peace of a neighborhood, business, person, gathering, meeting, or procession. Behaviors that fall within this code include but are not limited to fighting; serious, violent or disruptive behavior; public belligerence; unreasonably loud noise music, or laughter; use of abusive or offensive language; use of offensive gestures to anyone present that will likely provoke immediate physical retaliation; refusal to obey a civil or lawful order to evacuate or disperse issued to maintain public safety in emergency; or reckless handling, display or discharge of a gun or deadly weapon.

Criminal defenses include but are not limited to violations of constitutional rights including right to free speech, and gathering peacefully; insufficient evidence; lack of eye witnesses, lack of biased witnesses; or conflicting witness testimony; justification defenses; and failure of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal offense occurred.

Most are charged as Class 1 Misdemeanor in Tempe AZ call for 30 days in jail if convicted. If the behavior involves reckless handling, display or discharge of a gun or other deadly weapon, they are charged as Class 6 Felonies. All felonies in Arizona expose a person to prison terms sentencing and other harsh penalties. Other penalties include fines, fees, assessments, costs, probation, community service, and court ordered anger management counseling.

You should always consult a criminal defense attorney if you face disorderly conduct charges in Arizona, to discuss your options for defense. Defenses may apply that can be used to challenge due to lack of evidence, and justification. But your chances of a dismissal increase substantially if you are represented by a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Additional Resources:

• Tempe Police Investigations Unit

Disorderly Conduct in Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes

Arizona Sentencing Chart 2012 – 2013

• Tempe Municipal Court

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The Mayor of Phoenix AZ recently announced plans for the largest Gun Buyback Program to be held in May 2013. It is being funded by an anonymous donation of $100,000.00.
A Gun Buyback Program is an organized jurisdictional effort to compensate gun owners in return for their guns. The goal is to take unwanted guns off the street so that they are not a threat to police officers or residents of the communities.

Here are some facts that have been released about the program:
• It will be conducted every Saturday in May, excluding Memorial Day weekend;
• Sessions will be held in various different parts of Phoenix in church parking lots or other trusted locations;
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• Anyone can drop off a weapon anonymously. City officials announced that no questions will be asked regarding the source of the firearm or it’s possessor;
• The owner will receive an unknown amount to be determined at a later date for the weapon;
• The Phoenix Police will check to see if the firearm was stolen. If so, it will be returned to the rightful owner;
• If the weapon was used in a criminal offense, it will be retained by police to be used an investigation.

• All other firearms will be taken out of circulation.

More details will be released as May approaches. For more information a person can contact *Arizonans for Gun Safety at 602-547-0976.


Criminal Defense Attorney Phoenix AZ

Gun offenses are very serious crimes in Arizona. Convictions under A.R.S. 13-3102 Arizona criminal code call for harsh penalties, many of which are felonies. All firearms used in the course of conducting or fleeing from a crime are felonies, and call for aggravated sentencing of the initial crime. Felony convictions call for a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and loss of the right to possess a gun, and classify the person as a Prohibited Possessor under the Arizona gun laws.

If you have been arrested for any weapons crimes under Arizona you should always consult a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty to charges. If retained, they will protect your rights, defend your charges, and make every effort to get a good outcome in your case. There may be constitutional rights that were violated, or other defenses that may be used to resolve the matter favorably on your behalf.

*The Law Office of James Novak is a criminal defense firm serving clients in the Phoenix area. It has no affiliation with Arizonans for Gun Safety or the Phoenix Police Department.

Additional Resources:

• Phoenix Buyback Program

Arizona Gun Laws

Arizona sentencing for serious, violent or aggravated offenses

Phoenix Police Department

Phoenix Superior Court

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The correct way to confront your accuser as afforded under the 6th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Your Legal Rights to Confront Your Accuser or Witness

A defendant has many rights under the State and US Constitution. The 6th Amendment of the US Constitution affords the accused of the right to confront their accuser or witnesses against them.

Under the Arizona State Law A.R.S. 13-114 (3) a person is afforded the right to confront witnesses against them, in a criminal case, as prescribed by law.
It should go without saying, that this does not mean a person has right to physically or directly confront a person, outside of the criminal justice process. It means that a defendant has a right to confront witness against them as part of legal proceedings. This is the most commonly and effectively done through cross-examination of a witness in trial, through the defendant’s criminal defense attorney. It involves questioning the witness regarding their testimony.

If these rights are violated, it may lead to suppression of the eyewitness identification or testimony. Violation of this right may lead to suppression of the witness testimony being used as evidence against a defendant.

Challenges to Witness Testimony
The Six Amendment also protects a defendant from being found guilty of a crime, based on “hear say” testimony. Some questions regarding admittance of evidence for example “here say” testimony, the parties may negotiate or decide the matters during evidentiary hearings, or conferences. If the Prosecution and Defense are in disagreement regarding the validity of a particular witness testimony, the judge may rule on whether or not it may be admitted.

Other factors may invalidate a witness statement or prove them less than accurate, before or during trial. Validity of a testimony may be compromised due to such external factors including: influences by other people; obstruction of a witnesses view; length of time that has elapsed since the incident and the testimony; confusion; reduction of recollection of the incident by the witness; unbiased nature of the witness; lack of proper lighting to see the witness; inattention of the witness during the incident, distractions or noise surrounding the witness; stress and other circumstances. In these cases, the defense lawyer may file a motion to suppress that the invalid testimony or identification, from being admitted so that it may not be used against the defendant.

Nonetheless, other material evidence should be always be used to increase the validity of witness identification or testimony. Material evidence may include such things as photographs, surveillance video, fingerprints and DNA comparisons.


Burden of Proof

In absence of a “guilty” plea or conviction, a defendant is guilty until proven otherwise by a court of law. In order to get a conviction, the State of Arizona and Prosecution must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a defendant is guilty of committing a crime.

If the prosecution wishes to use a witness statement or identification against the defendant, their defense attorney will usually examine this identification or testimony to confirm its validity. If the witness identification or testimony raises reasonable doubt due to invalidity, it may lead to suppression of this evidence, and in some cases, a dismissal of charges.

Criminal Attorney for defense of criminal charges in Mesa AZ

Any criminal charges in Arizona can potentially be serious. You should always consult a qualified criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty to any criminal offense. Although you may have been arrested, you are still presumed innocent by law. You have the right to hire a lawyer to defend your charges. If retained, they will protect your rights; make sure you are treated fairly, and defend the charges against you. This will increase your chances of getting a favorable resolution in your case.

Additional Resources:

The 6th Amendment of the Constitution

Arizona State Legislature – Right to Witness Confrontation

Arizona State Legislature – Presumption of Innocence
Arizona Rules of Evidence – Recent Amendments

Mesa AZ Municipal Court

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If you plan to move or travel to Arizona; you should become familiar with Arizona’s strict prescription drug DUI laws.

A person may be arrested in Arizona for a DUI, if they are not driving drunk, and even if they have had no alcohol at all. Last year Drug impairments accounted for 15% of all DUI arrests in Arizona. Police attribute many of these to Prescription DUI violations. If a motorist is driving impaired due to Prescription-only medications solely or in combination with alcohol, they may be exposed to a DUI Arrest. Convictions for drug related driving impairments are generally as severe as those for alcohol related impaired driving charges.


Arizona Prescription Drug DUI Laws

A.R.S. 28-1381 – In Arizona it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle, if the person is “impaired to the slightest degree” while:

• Under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree;
• If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle;
• Due to any drug defined under A.R.S. 13-3401 or its metabolite in a person’s bodily systems.


Prescription Drug DUI Penalties

A person found guilty of driving impaired due to prescription drugs will be convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties first offense Drug DUI convictions include 10 days in jail; substance abuse education and screening; fines, fees, costs of $1250.00; 90 day driver’s license suspension; and probation; and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) one year.
A second violation, within 7 years is a Class 1Misdemeanor. Penalties include 90 days jail; $3,000.00 fines, fees, costs; license revocation for one year; probation; Ignition Interlock Device (IID); and probation.
A third DUI violation of any kind within 7 years, with two prior DUI convictions elevates a DUI to a Class 4 Felony, or Aggravated DUI to a Class 4 Felony. Penalties call for 4 months in prison for the third DUI; and 8 months for subsequent impaired driving convictions; fines, fees, costs of at least $4,000.00; driver’s license revocation for 3 years; ignition interlock device (IID) 2 years; probation or community service; and a felon criminal record.

These penalties may vary slightly, and additional penalties may apply.

Prescription Drugs Defined

A.R.S. 13-3401 (28) includes the definition of “Prescription only drug” and means;
• Any toxic or potentially harmful drug as recognized in the general medical community; and
• Is considered safe to use only under the supervision of a licensed and qualified medical practitioner;
• Limited or approved for use as new drug under Federal Rules and medical supervision; of a medical practitioner.
• Potentially harmful drugs with labeling that includes proper directions for use;
• Drugs required by the Federal Rules to include labeling with the test “Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription” or “Rx only”.


Criminal Attorney for Prescription Drug DUI defense Gilbert AZ

Arizona has some of the toughest laws and penalties for conviction in the county. If you are arrested for any type of impaired driving in Arizona due to alcohol or drugs, your future and freedom are in jeopardy. But you have the right to defend their charges, and by law are innocent until proven guilty. You should consult a criminal defense attorney, regarding your matter before deciding to plead “guilty”. If retained, a qualified legal advocate will protect your rights and defend your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of that could lead to a case dismissal, reduction of charges, or mitigation in sentencing.


Additional Resources:

Arizona Prescription Drug Definition

Arizona DUI Laws

• Gilbert AZ Police DUI Enforcement Units

• Criminal Court Gilbert AZ

• Arizona MADD.org

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“Use of Prescription Medication an Epidemic and DUI hazard”

The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes use of prescription medication as an epidemic and the fastest-growing drug problem in the Country. It is said that more teens are using prescription medicine than cocaine, meth and Ecstasy combined.

Final numbers are still being tallied from police agencies throughout Arizona. But preliminary statistics for 2012 indicate Drug DUI arrests are expected to jump from 11% in 2011 up 14% in 2012 of all DUI arrests in Arizona.
Officials attribute this to increased funding for specialized police drug detection and impairment training such as Arizona’s Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program. Police Agencies are now using state of the art equipment, and are well trained for Drug DUI enforcement. For example, Gilbert AZ Police Department, is equipped with mobile DUI enforcement vans; unmarked vehicles; special DUI motor cycle enforcement units; granted allowances for overtime; and training and certification to police officers in phlebotomy DUI processing.

Other contributing factors for the increase in Drug DUI arrests are frequency of use and access to prescription drugs by adults, and youths.

At this juncture, there are no published statistics as to how many of the Drug DUI arrests were Marijuana related. So no assumptions can be made as to whether or not legalization of Medical Marijuana in Arizona contributed to the increased Drug DUI Arrests.

Arizona Drug DUI Laws

Under A.R.S. 28-1381 in addition to alcohol DUI laws, it is also unlawful to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in Arizona, if a person is impaired to the slightest degree due to the influence of any drug; vapor releasing toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances. This includes legal, or illegal drugs, or Medical Marijuana. It also includes drugs obtained with a valid prescription or any over-the-counter drugs. This means that a person can be cited for DUI if they have had no spirituous liquor at all, but are driving impaired to being under the influence of a drug.

A first or second DUI with no aggravated factors in Arizona is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This includes drug related DUI charges. Penalties are generally the same or similar as sentencing for alcohol related DUI charges. If convicted penalties call for 10 day jail terms; mandatory substance abuse counseling; fines, fees, and other harsh penalties. Jail terms may be reduced to 24 hours, upon successful treatment of an alcohol or substance abuse program.


Criminal Defense Attorney Gilbert AZ

Motorists are not aware that a drug may impair their ability to driver. But in Arizona, it is not a defense for a motorist to claim that a driver was aware that drug had the potential to impair their driving or not. If you have been arrested for any type of DUI, your future and freedom are in jeopardy. You should a qualified consult a criminal defense attorney who defends charges in the city where you received the citation, to discuss your matter, and defense options.

Additional Resources:

Arizona State Legislature – Drug DUI Laws

• Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Annual 2011 DUI Enforcement Statistics

Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety 2012 DUI Enforcement statistics (preliminary to 12/27/12)

Drug Abuse in Arizona – Office for Children, Youth and Families

National Center for Disease Control – Prescription Drug Abuse

• Gilbert Police Traffic Unit

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DUI Task Forces Saturate the State

There was hardly a city in the valley this holiday weekend, not saturated by police patrols. As the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) warned, they were “everywhere”.
Following the New Year’s holiday 2013, the police reported making 4,371 DUI arrests between November 23, 2012 to January 1, 2013, representing a 7.16% increase over this time last year, and 12% from the year before.
Of the total 4, 371 total impaired driving arrests, it was reported that 1,098 were for Extreme DUI (0.15% or higher BAC), which constitutes over 25% of all impaired driving arrests.

Drug related impaired driving arrests totaled 934 which represented 21.3% of the total.
Aggravated DUI (Felony) totaled 450 or 10.2% of all impaired driving arrests.

The average DUI Blood Alcohol Content level was 0.15% the Extreme DUI, with the legal limit being 0.08%.

This year the state pooled their Law Enforcement resources to create a super DUI task force for the Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve holidays. The large valley-wide DUI task force was 2,247 officers strong from 70 Police Agencies.

The state reported that overall DUI arrests for 2012 totaled 27,710.

In 2011 a total of 18,916 impaired driving arrests resulted from DUI task forces reported by Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (AZGOHS).

Many are attributing this increase to the fact that there was a higher police presence and DUI task forces demployed throughout Arizona during the year. The AZGOHS provided grants and funding for Cities and Counties. With this, it enabled law enforcement agencies to increase their presence; work overtime, and make more police stops in 2012.

The Arizona Republic reported that there were 787,946 police stops from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013. It is unclear how many of those stops were for suspicion of DUI.

Criminal Defense Firm Gilbert AZ

A DUI conviction can have devastating impacts on your life. The laws and penalties in Arizona are among the toughest in the Country, even for first offenders. DUI convictions call for jail terms; fines, fees, and assessments; impound of your vehicle; ignition interlock device on your vehicle; and drug or alcohol counseling. Felony DUI charges call for prison terms and other increased penalties. And it doesn’t stop there. For some it can mean loss of their job or future job opportunities, deportation, and other adverse impacts that can last a lifetime.

If you were arrested for any type of DUI, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney well before your first court appearance. You should retain a qualified and effective DUI lawyer who can protect your rights and defend your charges.

There may be defenses that you are not aware of, that may enable you to obtain a favorable resolution in your case. Even though you were arrested, you still have the right to retain an attorney and defend your charges. You should always invoke your rights to this due process under law.

*Statistics updated January 4, 2012
Additional Resources

• DUI Arrest Statistics by Calendar Year AZGOHS

• Gilbert Police DUI Units

• Gilbert Municipal Court

State Legislature – Arizona DUI Laws
Arizona Republic

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“We are going big” says AZ DPS in preparation for intense week of DUI enforcement

A DUI may result in an arrest, jail time, but you can also wind up costing a person their job. That’s just a few consequences of a DUI conviction. Arizona calls for tough criminal penalties; civil penalties such as loss of driver’s license; and other consequences.
The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (AGOHS) announced it has organized 12 task forces for what it considers to be an intense week of DUI through January 1, 2013.

The DUI task forces 40 – 100 strong include 70 law enforcement agencies valley-wide, and working with Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The goals this year include focusing on both drivers impaired due to alcohol or drugs, especially extreme DUI arrests. The AGOHS reported that Extreme DUI arrests increased statewide 12% from 2011 to 2012. Total DUI arrests have increased over 14% overall from November during this from this time last year to December 27, 2012.

AZ DPS, Director Alberto Gutier, reported to local media sources that instead of employing DUI task forces, that officers would be out tar employs the DUI checkpoint method, in geo-targeted patrols throughout the valley. He indicated that they want to send the message that they are everywhere verses one particular checkpoint.

Arizona DUI Laws

In Arizona it is unlawful to drive “impaired to the slightest degree” due to alcohol or drugs under the legal limit of 0.08% due to alcohol or intoxicating drugs.

A person may also be arrested for DUI if they are driving over the legal limit with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08% person.

Driver’s with BAC limits of 0.15% or more will be charged with Extreme DUI; and BAC limits that exceed 0.20% or more will be charged with Super Extreme DUI under Arizona Law. Higher the BAC limits call for harsh sentencing including longer jail terms.
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The legal drinking age in Arizona is 21, and a motorist under the age of 21 found to have any alcohol in their system, will be arrested, whether or not that driver is impaired.
DUI charges generally brought as Misdemeanors unless Aggravated Factors exist. If Aggravated Factors are present, the charges will be prosecuted as Felonies. These factors include a third DUI with two prior DUI convictions with 84 months; driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs with a child passenger under the age of 15 years old; driving impaired with an invalid driver’s license; or one that involves a serious or fatal auto accident.

DUI Defense Attorney, Chandler AZ

If you face drunk or impaired driving charges, your future and freedom are in jeopardy. You should consult a criminal defense attorney regarding your matter, before your first court appearance. If retained, they will protect your rights; and defend your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of that could lead to case dismissal, or otherwise favorable outcome in your case.


Additional Resources:

Arizona Statewide DUI Enforcement Statistics 2012

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

State Legislature – Extreme DUI Laws

Chandler Police Department

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