Articles Tagged with drunk driving laws

Tempe 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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Establishing driver impairment is the most challenging element of a DUI
Elements of a DUI

There are three elements of a DUI charge in Arizona. Establishing impairment is the third, and most difficult to confirm. First, the facts need to establish that the motorist must be driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle. Second, the police must determine if a motorist is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Third, the police must establish that a person’s ability to drive was “Impaired to the slightest degree” or more as a result of drugs, alcohol or any combination of drugs and alcohol.

Driving “Impairment” Defined

The Arizona Department of Public Safety defines a “driver impairment” resulting from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol as:

“A reduction in the performance of critical driving tasks”
To determine if the motorist is experiencing a reduction of performance, the police are required to follow certain procedures and protocol. The officer will need to have “probable cause” to believe the driver is impaired due to drugs or alcohol.

Determining Driver Impairment

Determining an impairment of a driver is less fact oriented and less objective than determining their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level. BAC levels can be obtained through use of a breathalyzer test or a chemical test such as DUI blood test.

Here are some tools the police will use to determine if a driver is impaired:

1. The motorist driving behaviors prior to the stop;
2. Police observations of the motorist at the time of, and following the stop;
3. Mannerisms and responses of the motorist to questions asked by the officer;
4. Ability of the motorist to follow instructions;
5. Statements or admittance made by motorist to police;
6. Passenger or objective witness statements;
7. DUI Roadside Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) developed by NHTSA:
a. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Eye Test
b. On-Leg Stand Test;
c. Walk-and-Turn Test
These factors, particularly the DUI Roadside Testing FSTs are often challenged; considered biased and police opinionated, by the defense. This is because the police explain the test; provide instructions; administer the tests, and then grade the tests.

Arizona DUI Laws

Under Arizona law A.R.S. §28.1381, a motorist may be arrested for DUI, if they are driving below the legal limit of 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC); or if they are under the influence of drugs, and are “impaired to the slightest degree”. Criminal Charges will be brought as a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Criminal Defense Firm for DUI charges Tempe AZ

You should always consult a criminal defense attorney if you were arrested for any type of DUI charges. The penalties are harsh for convictions, even for firs time Drug DUI and DUI “Impaired to the slightest degree”. Sentencing is the same as those for DUI in excess of the legal limit of 0.08% BAC, but before 0.15%. Penalties include jail term of 10 days; driver’s license suspension for 90 days; use of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicles; alcohol or drug screening and education; probation; fines, fees, and assessment costs. You will need a qualified and experienced legal advocate to defend your charges, make sure your rights are protected, and work to resolve the charges with a favorable outcome.

Additional Resources:

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Arizona State Legislature – Revised Statutes

Maricopa County Superior Court – Criminal Case Information

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