Articles Tagged with dui stop

How to avoid additional charges, and make sure your DUI stop does not turn deadly

Recently a Mesa AZ police officer approached a vehicle and asked the driver if he had any weapons. The driver responded, affirmatively that he did in fact, have weapons in the vehicle. At that point he reached to the other side of the car and pulled a gun out of a holster from inside the vehicle. The officer apparently felt threatened, and reacted by drawing out his own sidearm. The police officer gave verbal commands for the driver to drop his weapon. The driver immediately dropped his weapon. The driver agreed to take a field sobriety test, which evidently did not go well for driver, since he was then taken to a command center to be booked for a DUI.

What went wrong that made this DUI stop potentially deadly?

Let’s take a closer look at reported events; application of the law; and tips on how to avoid criminal charges that are unrelated to driving impairment. First, there is no legal duty to voluntarily tell an officer you are carrying a gun if you are pulled over while driving in Arizona. However, you should respond affirmatively to an officer who asks. You should never pull a firearm out or at the officer or cause those to feel threatened in anyway. The driver was fortunate that the officer responded apparently with levelheadedness.

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Why Missouri v. McNeely won’t have much impact in Maricopa CountyA recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may not change Arizona DUI law, but it may bring the rest of the nation more in line with Arizona’s policies.

Phoenix AZ court’s Search Warrant Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for police to obtain a warrant via “eSearch”. According to Phoenix Police, an officer can now obtain a search warrant within minutes. So the fact that the body’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels naturally decrease over time should not compel police, to bypass a search warrant. This is because the BAC levels take hours to decline, and will not be reduced drastically within 10 minutes.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that police must obtain a warrant before forcing someone suspected of drunk driving to take a blood test. The US Supreme Court’s decision was that the mere fact that the body reduces BAC levels over time, is in and of itself not an “exigent” circumstance, and that each case should be decided based on it’s own set of facts.

On September 18, 2012, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton released the temporary restraining order on the immigration provision in SB 1070 A.R.S. 11-1051 (B). The action was pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter in June 2012.

At the center of a two year legal batter, is the provision in the law known as “Show me your papers”, and was the most controversial of Arizona’s SB1070. Under this provision a police stop must still be a lawful one. In other words, the “reasonable suspicion” that a violation of the law occurred in order to make a legal stop.

During the stop, the officer determines that there is reasonable suspicion that a person is unlawfully in the United States. If reasonable suspicion exists that the person may be in the country illegally, the officer must make a reasonable attempt to contact the USB Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency to confirm the immigration status of the detainee.

The law also requires police to verify immigration status of arrested or imprisoned persons prior to their release.

Lawful Documentation of US Residency

Under SB 1070 A.R.S. 11-1051 (B) a person is presumed to be in the United States legally if they can provide the following documentation:

• Valid Arizona Driver’s License;
• Valid Arizona Nonoperation ID License;
• Valid Tribal Enrollment cared or alternative Tribal ID;
• Valid US Federal, State, or Local Government issued ID, if the entity requires proof of legal presence to issue any of the above documents.

U.S. Presidential Executive Order Amnesty Exceptions

There are exceptions to the rules, including those afforded under the U.S. President’s Executive Order Decree on June15, 2012, which was also effective immediately. Eligible applicants will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for a work or school permit to reside in the United States.

This applies to otherwise illegal immigrants. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began accepting applications for “Deferred Actions” for the following persons:

• Those brought to the US before the age of 16; and
• Those who are under the age of 31; and
• Who have lived in the USA continuously from June 15, 2007 to June 15, 2012;
• Currently enrolled and attending school; or
• Graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school; or
• Earned a General Education Development (GED) Certificate; or
• An honorably discharged veteran of the US Coast Guard or US armed forces; or
• Have not been convicted of a felony; serious misdemeanor; three or more other misdemeanors; and
• They do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The immigration laws in Arizona and on a Federal level continue to change and face legal challenges. Police spokespersons extended their intent to “Treat all individuals with dignity and respect, which is the ethical foundation of policing”. We will continue to follow up on changing legislation.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services

SB 1070 Arizona Legislature

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