Articles Tagged with underage drinking

High profile recruits brought in from MCSO. Sheriff vows to stay “as long as it takes.” Tempe Police resources are stretched past their limits. Residents and students are fed up with living under the threat of increasing violence, and crime. Over the past year, there have been a number of startling and significant acts of violence, including aggravated assault and similar crimes in Tempe, at Arizona State University and areas nearby. Some of these crimes have been associated with excessive alcohol intake by students, including both perpetrators of violence and their victims.

Crime Suppression Operation Details
Alcohol related crimes including DUI, underage drinking, drug crimes disorderly conduct, Aggravated Assaults, and other criminal offenses have plagued ASU, and Tempe. Among them, the most serious crimes have ended in death. These crimes, especially violent and dangerous crimes have become so problematic that the Police Chief, Tom Ryff has requested assistance and resources from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has agreed to provide resources and to team up with Tempe Police to combat the out-of-control crime in Tempe AZ. Beginning this evening The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department will begin a “Crime Suppression Operation” But this time with the help of Deputies and Officers from MCSO. There is even talk that the campaign will last the remainder of the fall 2013 semester.

If you thought you saw a lot of police officers in the area, during last months “Safe and Sober” campaign which was said to include an historical number of officers, prepare to see a lot more than that in this sting. One can expect to see Tempe Police Officers and MCSO Deputies on many streets, sidewalks, horseback, bicycles, motorcycles, squad cars, vans, in and around bars, and parties. They will be looking to prevent violence, disorderly conduct, alcohol related offenses and to make as many arrests as possible.

The command post for the operation will be set up at the Tempe Fire Station Training Facility near the cross streets of University and Dorsey, beginning Thursday September 12, 2013. Sheriff Joe Arpaio vows to continue the sting “as long as it takes to get campus partying under control”.

Law Enforcement Focus: Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, and Violent Crimes

Aggravated Assault is a Felony and considered a violent crime against a victim. All victim crimes call are serious and call for harsh punishments if convicted in Arizona. Violent Crimes have become rampant in Tempe AZ. Assault and Aggravated Assaults involving students and Tempe residents have been alarming and on the rise. Last week, for example, a 19-year-old male student was assaulted near Apache Boulevard and Rural Road, in Tempe AZ.

A surveillance video shows that several young men encountered the student in a lobby and then three of them forced him to get into an elevator. Two of them stepped inside the elevator. The student tried to fight back, but he was brutalized. When the door opened a few floors up, a witness saw two young men standing over the victim with blood on their hands. The victim was left unconscious and ultimately needed to have his broken jaw wired shut.

The victim, believed to be a member of a fraternity on probation, was also very drunk when the police contacted him at the hospital. He couldn’t remember much about what had happened nor who had beaten him. The Tempe police department has made statements suggesting that the rise in violent activity on the ASU campus is linked to alcohol use. The fraternity to which the victim belonged was on probation because officials believe a fraternity member threw a bottle of liquor into a fire and burned two girls. One of the perpetrators in this case is also believed to be a member of a different fraternity.

The Link between Alcohol and Violence

The link between alcohol and violence is not entirely clear. However, a number of separate findings suggest that young people especially should be very conscious of how much alcohol they consume. For certain personality types at least, there is a risk of more severe violence as a result of drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there is a greater risk for violence among young adults ages 18-30 than in any other age group. Lab research dating back 15 years shows that intoxicated persons are more aggressive than sober people. While alcohol was not found to be an instigator of violence, the more drinks a male consumed in the study, the more severe the injury to himself and to others. Alcohol may be a facilitator of particularly aggressive behavior though it may not cause it.

Aggravated Assault Laws and Criminal Penalties in Arizona

The beating such as the one described in this article would likely to be charged as felony aggravated assault. While many assaults are misdemeanors, under Arizona law, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if someone “knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally” causes a serious physical injury to someone. There are a number of other specific circumstances that elevate an assault to aggravated assault, including use of a deadly weapon, causing disfigurement or impairment or a bodily organ, or committing assault while a victim is bound.

Criminal Charges of Aggravated Assault in violation of A.R.S. 13-1204 can range of charges from Class 6 felony (least severe) to Class 2 felony (most severe). A Class 6 aggravated assault conviction can lead to prison terms from 18 months to 3 years. A Class 2 aggravated assault conviction, however, can lead to a prison term of 7 to 21 years. Class, 5, 4, and 3 aggravated assault offenses are punished with terms of imprisonment between these two poles. Aside from imprisonment, a perpetrator of aggravated assault can be fined up to $150,000 and, depending on the severity of the injuries caused, victim restitution.

Other Consequences of violent crime convictions

Legal battles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consequences of a conviction. The severity of the punishments in an aggravated assault conviction can affect you if you are a college student or any other person. A felony conviction can affect your ability to finish college and go to graduate school, reduce your employment opportunities, particularly in professions where background checks are conducted such as law and teaching, impact your ability to possess a gun, and result in significant social stigma. Felony criminal records follow a person for many years into the future. They also result in loss of some civil rights that person who otherwise enjoy such as loss of the right to vote, and the right to possess or carry a firearm. A person convicted of an aggravated assault many also be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim in the form of medical bills, or property damage. The defendant may also be sued in civil court by the victim for damages or by the victim’s family in the event the incident leads to death of the victim.

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Stakes are high for DUI, and Underage Drinking; Consequences extend beyond criminal charges.

Starting August 15, 2013 nine agencies joined to form a “Safe and sober” campaign task force. The Campaign began at the beginning of the ASU fall semester, and lasted three weeks to end on September 1, 2013, of Labor Day Weekend.

The Law Enforcement Agencies that joined together and included efforts of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Scottsdale Police Departments. The campaign included enforcement of liquor laws as well as educating the community about traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety and the dangers of youth alcohol consumption, and enforcing nuisance/party ordinances.

Within the first three days, there were 867 citations, 371 arrests, 1421 stops, and 91 total DUI arrests in violation of A.R.S. 28-1381. Of these there were a disturbing number of minor in possession of alcohol arrests (111 such arrests) in violation of A.R.S. 4-244 of Arizona criminal code. The second weekend saw 486 arrests. Over the first two weekends, there were 857 arrests, with 319 for minors in possession of alcohol. Over Labor Day weekend alone, there were 656 DUI arrests; 126 of the Labor Day arrests were for Drug DUI in violation of A.R.S. 28-1381 A (1) & (3).

Arizona Misdemeanor DUI Laws and Penalties – First Offenses

All impaired driving arrests in Arizona are serious. The average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for those charged with DUI during the campaign exceeded 0.15 percent, which means makes it even more serious. Extreme DUI charges in violation of the Arizona Extreme DUI Laws A.R.S. 28-1382 (.15 percent or greater) carries harsher penalties. Some of those arrests fell under the Arizona Super Extreme DUI laws (.20 percent or greater), and carry the most severe Misdemeanor DUI penalties. Generally DUI charges that involve higher BAC levels call for longer the incarceration terms. First Office Minimum Misdemeanor DUI penalties call for 10 consecutive day jail terms; first offense Extreme DUI sentences call for 30 consecutive day jail terms; and first time Super Extreme DUI convictions call for 45 consecutive day jail terms. Other penalties for first time DUI convictions include fines, fees, and assessments that range from $1750.00; Suspension of driver’s license for a minimum of 90 days; use of Ignition Interlock Device on the Defendant’s Vehicle 6 to 18 months once driving privileges are reinstated; participation in mandatory alcohol/substance abuse screening, counseling, or treatment, probation, or community services.

Arizona is a “Zero Tolerance” state, meaning it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to be found with any spirituous liquor in their system. Convictions for Underage 21 consumption of alcohol also results is usually a misdemeanor punished with a criminal record, a $500 fine and court costs, community service plus 2 years suspension of your driver’s license. Possession of alcohol by a minor is another charge with similar penalties. It permits a minor to be charged for being close to alcohol and having it accessible.

Underage 21 DUI penalties are particularly harsh. Unlike adult DUI charges, which are usually brought for actually being impaired to the slightest degree, or having BAC of .08 while driving, a minor may be charged for driving with just one drop of alcohol in his or her system. A Class 1 misdemeanor, under age DUIs are punishable with $1500 in fines and costs, up to 10 days in jail, loss of driver’s license for up to 2 years, and community service. Nine of the 10 days in jail can be suspended if a defendant agrees to complete an alcohol treatment program.

Collateral Consequences of DUI or Alcohol Related Convictions

Adult DUI Convictions – Consequences of any DUI convictions for adults often reach far beyond criminal sentencing and have adverse impacts on many areas of a person’s life and family. Some consequences can include loss of residency; loss of income; loss of job or ability to get a job; inability to obtain auto or health insurance; high surcharges or premiums and even non-renewal of insurance; and a criminal record that will follow them for years into the future.

Minor Consumption and Under Age 21 DUI Convictions- The consequences of a DUI or Minor Consumption conviction can reach far beyond even the devastating criminal penalties. Other consequences are social stigma, expulsion from school, and a criminal record. The last is especially serious because it means every time a minor is asked about his or her criminal record when applying for college, graduate school or a job, he or she will have to disclose the information and explain what led to the conviction for a DUI. Consequences of a conviction can also result in an athlete being suspended from athletics; loss or denial of scholarships; or financial assistance programs.

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Assault and related victim crimes carry the most severe penalties of all crimes in Arizona

Violent crimes continue to plague Tempe AZ, especially on, and near Arizona State University (ASU). Tempe Police reported #911 and other calls for help had increased by 97 percent in 2012 over 2011, and arrests in criminal incidents continue to rise in 2013.
Incident reports and service calls for criminal violations in and around ASU are taxing Tempe and ASU Police resources.

Police report that the type of crimes that have increased include violent crimes, assaults, binge drinking, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, and criminal property damage. At least two deaths this year were reportedly linked to violence between fraternity rivals, while many others were seriously injured. Many of these are crimes against victims and carry the harshest sentencing of any crimes in Arizona.
Tempe officials are proposing ordinance changes making it easier to crack down on off-campus parties, while local police agencies seek out and making arrests for underage drinking laws, assaults, and other violent crimes.

Assault Crimes may be charged as Misdemeanors under A.R.S. 13-1203 or Aggravated Felonies A.R.S. 13-1204, depending on circumstances and nature of the offenses.
A person may be found guilty of misdemeanor assault in Arizona if they do one of the following:

(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injure someone else’s body;
(2) Intentionally give someone else a reason to fear they will be harmed;
(3) Knowingly touch another person in order to provoke, injure or insult the person.

Misdemeanor assault may be punished with up to one year in prison and maximum fines of $2,500. You may also have to pay restitution to the victim.

A prosecutor may elevate a misdemeanor assault to an aggravated (felony) assault charge in eleven different circumstances. Felony aggravated assault carries significantly greater penalties than misdemeanor assault. For example, felony aggravated assault may be punished with 15 years of imprisonment, as well as the stigma of a felony conviction, loss of a professional license, ineligibility to own or possess a firearm and many other harsh consequences.

A few of the eleven circumstances in which a defendant who is 18 years old or older may be charged with aggravated assault include those where he: causes “serious bodily harm”, uses a weapon or dangerous instrument, enters a private home with the intent of committing the assault, assaults someone who is 15 years old or younger, or assaults people of certain professions while they are working (including teachers, nurses, prison officials, fire department members, and paramedics).

Felony aggravated assault may also be charged if someone commits one of the forms of simple assault described above and also intentionally or knowingly prevents “the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth either manually or through the use of an instrument”, and a domestic relationship exists. In other words, this special type of aggravated assault can be charged against someone who attempts to strangle a domestic partner.

A few weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on a case involving both simple assault and aggravated assault. In the case, a couple was arguing via text messages. When the male partner came home, he grabbed the woman, knocked her head, and squeezed her neck. Later he pressed his arm against her throat and told her to leave.

The male partner was charged with aggravated assault for strangling her, simple assault for knocking her head, and also for trying to stop her breathing a second time. The jury convicted him of the first and last charge. He was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

The defendant appealed on the grounds that the charge of aggravated assault related to strangulation was unconstitutionally vague (among other reasons). He claimed that nobody in Arizona could know what the statute meant by “normal” breathing or circulation and he referred to the state’s own expert who testified that it was difficult to say what “normal” breathing was, even in medicine.

The defendant also argued that his due process rights were violated because all three forms of simple assault were included within the aggravated assault charge. He further argued that the jury should have been instructed as to which type of assault he had committed.

The appellate court explained that even though “normal” is a relative term, it is not unconstitutionally vague. Plainly read, the statute prohibits stopping another person’s normal or typical breathing. The court also explained that this type of aggravated assault is a unique offense, not just another variation on the eleven circumstances that turn simple assault into felony aggravated assault. Ultimately the court affirmed the defendant’s sentence.

In many cases, these crimes have been serious and resulted in felony charges. Penalties are severe if convicted. Criminal penalties can include jail or long term prison sentencing; large fines, fees, assessments; restitution; counseling, probation, or community services, victim restitution, and other court ordered penalties. But the consequences are much broader than criminal penalties. A student may be suspended or expelled from school or athletic teams, lose scholarships, residency status as a US Citizen, termination from their job or lose opportunities for future employment, become ineligible for school loans, and have a criminal record, lose driving privileges, and lose other rights that they currently enjoy.

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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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With Labor Day 2012 fast approaching and ASU back in session, police are increasing presence in and around East Valley Cities.

DUI Task Forces will be set up again this weekend on Mill Ave, in Tempe AZ. Police will also be organizing Traffic, Pedestrian, and Bike Safety checks.

The DUI Task Force officers will be looking for persons engaging in underage drinking; and binge drinking. They will also be seeking out motorist who are driving “impaired to the slightest degree” due to alcohol or drugs.

Basic DUI Laws in Arizona

• The legal limit in Arizona is 0.08% or greater (A.R.S. §28.1381.A. 2);
• A motorist may be charged for DUI if they are under the influence of drug or alcohol and found to be driving “impaired to the slightest degree” (A.R.S. §28.1381.A).
• The higher the Blood Alcohol Content BAC, the more severe the penalties;
• Sentencing for first time Misdemeanor DUI charges will result in Mandatory Jail Terms, Ignition, Interlock device, and driver’s license suspension;

Under Age 21 Drinking Laws

• The legal drinking age is 21 in Arizona: (ARS § 4-244(34);
Underage 21 Drinking DUI convictions in Arizona are subject to “Zero Tolerance” laws. Motorists convicted of driving under the age of 21 with any alcohol or drugs will be exposed to criminal penalties which include: Jail terms; Ignition Interlock Device on Vehicle; 2 years driver’s license suspension or denial; Probation or Community Service; Alcohol/Drug screening and treatment.

“Binge Drinking”
Binge Drinking is the Number 1 cause of Alcohol Poisoning. It is also the number one cause of drunk driving and resulting DUI and DUI with Auto Accidents. Binge drinking is defined as having 4 to 5 alcoholic drinks or “shots” within a short time span. It can result in serious illnesses, acute and long term disease and even death. It is the result of the body’s inability to metabolize the alcohol as fast as it is ingested. It takes a least an hour, for the liver to metabolize one drink. Other factors are taken into account for metabolic speed including body weight; food ingested with the alcohol; other medications; medical conditions; alcohol tolerance level and other factors. So in a binge drinking situation, the alcohol or “shots” ingested may just begin to shock the body which feels it effects long after the last drink, once they have left the bar.
Criminal Defense Attorney Tempe AZ

If you were arrested for DUI it is important that you consult an experienced criminal attorney to discuss your case and defense options. The laws and penalties are some of the harshest in the country. With so much at stake, you should always retain qualified legal representation for any alcohol or drug related criminal offense. If retained, your lawyer will protect your rights, defend your charges, and provide an effective defense that can preserve your future and freedom.

Resources:

National Centers for Disease Control

Arizona Revised Statutes – AZ Legislature

Arizona Department of Public Safety

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On June 8, 2012, the US Department of Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey results. According to Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Summaries 2011 report, Arizona topped the nation at #1 with 26.5% for high school students who engaged and alcohol “binge drinking”. Arizona dropped to the number #2 spot for with 43.8 % of high school students admitting to current use of alcohol (just shy of Louisiana at 44.4%.)

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is consuming 4 to 5 alcoholic beverages, or “shots” in a row, within a short period of time. One drink is considered a 12 ounce bottle of beer; 3 to 5 oz. of wine; or 1 to 1.5 oz. of 80-86 proof liquor. If any of these or any combination of these are consumed within a short time for example within one or two hours, a person is considered to be binge drinking.

Hazards of minor consumption of Alcohol and Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is the number one cause of alcohol poisoning which can cause serious injury, disease, liver failure, and even fatality. Other hazards include DUI and/or serious and fatal auto collisions if a person is a passenger in the vehicle of another driver who is driving drunk.

Underage DUI and Minor Consumption Zero Tolerance Laws
Arizona is considered to be a “0” tolerance state, meaning it is unlawful for a person to be found with any amount of alcohol in their body, whether they are impaired or not. There are a few exceptions under safe supervised conditions such as religious exercises, or medicinal purposes.
A.R.S. § 4-244. 41. It is unlawful to drinking spirituous liquor under age 21;
A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (1). It is unlawful to drive if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” due to drugs or alcohol;
A.R.S. § 28-1381 A. (2). If the person is under twenty-one years of age, with spirituous liquor in the person’s body;
A.R.S. § 4-244. 34. It is unlawful for a person under age 21 years of age to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle if any amount of liquor has been consumed and found in a person’s body;
A.R.S. § 28-1381 B (1) is against the law to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater;
A.R.S. § 4- 241. It is unlawful for a person to buy, sell, give, or distribute liquor to a person under age 21.

Penalties for Underage Minor Consumption and Underage DUI Charges Tempe AZ

• 2 year driver’s license suspension or denial;
• Jail Term;
• Probation;
• Fines up to $500.00;
• Community Service;
• Alcohol education and counseling;
• Installation of ignition interlock device on vehicle

Minor Consumption – Underage DUI charges defense Tempe AZ

If you face charges for minor consumption or underage DUI, you should consult a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty. There may be defenses you are not aware of that can help you save your driving privileges, avoid jail, or other favorable outcome in your case.

Resource Links:

http://goo.gl/ry4Yr
http://goo.gl/6MHYu

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