December 2012 Archives

December 28, 2012

"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

Continue reading " DUI Targeted Patrols and Command Centers Replace Checkpoints " »

December 18, 2012

Combined Resources Creates Larger Valley-wide DUI Task Force December 2012


This year Phoenix AZ, East Valley, and West Valley are combining DUI Task Force Efforts to create one large task force, for better efficiency and safety.

The Special DUI Task Force will be in place for the rest of month of December 2012. A central Command Post will be set up at Devonshire Community Center. It is located at the intersections of E. Devonshire Ave and 28th Street, in Phoenix AZ. Police will also set up DUI Field Vans, with Preliminary Breath Test Units, throughout the valley.


DUI Charges

DUI charges represented the largest number of crimes in Arizona in 2011. A total of 35,505 arrests were made or 14% of all crimes committed in Arizona last year. In an effort to decrease incidents of drunk driving or Drug DUI, Maricopa County police have actively sought out DUI motorists with DUI Sobriety Checkpoints set throughout 2012. This year, they increased their presence and safety checkpoints around holidays, events, and times where high volumes of traffic were expected.

DUI Laws

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws and penalties in the country. A first-time DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Under A.R.S. 28-2831 it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while:

• Driving "impaired to the slightest degree" due to any alcohol or drugs;

• If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle.

In Arizona the legal limit for alcohol or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%. However, a person may be guilty of DUI even if their BAC was below 0.08%, if due to alcohol or drugs they were driving "impaired to the slightest degree".

Before making an arrest, the police will conduct an investigation to determine if they have probable cause for a DUI arrest. This may include Field testing, breath testing, and or blood testing.

DUI Penalties

First-time non-extreme DUI conviction will result in the following penalties:

• 10 jail sentence;
• Suspension of driver's license for 90 days;
• Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on vehicle following reinstatement of driving privileges;
• Fines, fees, costs and assessments of at least $1,200.00;
• Probation;
• Alcohol/drug abuse education and counseling which will reduce jail time to 24 hours if successfully completed;

The higher the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level found in a person's system, the higher the penalties.

Laws and sentencing are more severe for repeat offenses. If a person is found guilty of a third DUI within 7 years, even if the prior DUI charges occurred in another state, they will be convicted of an Aggravated DUI which is a Class 4 Felony. Penalties for Felony DUI call for:

• 4 months in prison;
• Fines, fees, and assessments of S4,000.00;
• Driving privileges revoked for 3 years;
• 24 months of IID after reinstatement of license;
• Parole;
• Drug and Alcohol counseling and treatment;
• Community Service
• Felony criminal record


Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI Charges in Phoenix AZ

If you face DUI charges of any kind you should always consult a DUI Attorney before pleading guilty or appearing in court. Even though you were arrested, you have the right to retain an attorney and defend your charges. Your legal advocate will protect your rights; provide a defense; and work to resolve your matter as favorably as possible.

Additional Resources:

Arizona DUI Laws

Arizona Department of Public Services (DPS) - 2011 Crime Statistics

Phoenix Police Department

City of Phoenix - Municipal Court

Continue reading "Super DUI Task Force Created: East & West Valley Join Phoenix for Greater DUI Enforcement" »

December 11, 2012

Super Extreme and Drug DUI laws and penalties apply to all motorists driving in Arizona

A criminal superior court judge in Northern Arizona was arrested on Super Extreme DUI charges, Sunday morning, December 9, 2012. He was stopped by police after swerving into oncoming traffic.

It was reported in the media that his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level exceeded the Super Extreme limit which is 0.20%. The suspect allegedly admitted to being under the influence of prescription drugs. The Judge was not at his bench on Monday, and the court reported that was allegedly assigned to non-judicial duties due to a personal matter.

In Arizona it is illegal to drive "Impaired to the Slightest Degree" due to alcohol or drugs. Prescription drugs, especially for pain, often have adverse impacts on driving. When drugs and alcohol are combined, they can prove to be particularly impairing on a motorist's ability to drive.

A mistake in judgment can easily result in a criminal offense. A DUI conviction can result in harsh criminal penalties including jail, driver's license suspension, and other civil penalties, as well as other consequences. If you will be driving in Arizona, you should understand the side effects of any drugs you take; and be familiar with Arizona DUI laws and consequences of a conviction.

Arizona Drug DUI Laws

A.R.S. 28-1381. (A). Under Arizona law it is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle, "impaired to the slightest degree", while under the influence of:

• Alcohol;
• Drug, or toxic substance (including over-the-counter, prescription, other legal or illegal drugs; or
• Any combination of liquor, and drugs

First offense drug DUI charges are treated are very similar to those of an alcohol DUI with a BAC of 0.08%, and categorized as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties for conviction include:

• 10 days jail;
• Fines, fees, costs of $1,200.00
• Installation of Court ordered Ignition Interlock Device on vehicle for at least 6 months;
• Drug/Substance abuse screening, counseling or treatment which if completed, will reduce jail term;
• Suspension of Driver's License for 90 days;
• Probation and/or
• Community Service



Super Extreme DUI laws in Arizona


A.R.S. 28-1381. (A)(2)(B). A motorist driving with an Alcohol BAC of 0.20 or more will be found guilty of Super Extreme DUI. A super Extreme DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor;

If a person is found to be driving with a BAC of 0.20 they will also be cited with "Impaired to the Slightest Degree"; 0.08% BAC DUI; 015% or more Extreme DUI and 0.20% Super Extreme DUI for up to 4 citations in one stop.

Penalties for a first offense Super Extreme DUI include

• 45 days in jail;
• Fines, fees, costs of $2,500.00
• Drug/Substance abuse screening, counseling or treatment which if completed, will reduce jail term;
• Installation of Court ordered Ignition Interlock Device on vehicle for at least 18 months;
• Suspension of Driver's License for at least 90 days;
• Probation and/or
• Community Service



Criminal Defense Attorney for Super Extreme DUI charges Gilbert AZ

Penalties for DUI if convicted will usually result in other life altering consequences such as termination or suspension of job. It is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney before going to court to discuss your matter, and options for defense. The penalties for any DUI in Arizona are some of the toughest in the country. You should never plead "Guilty" without being represented by an effective criminal defense lawyer. There may be defenses you are not aware of, that can lead to a dismissal, reduction or charges, or a reduction of harsh penalties. They will guide you through all phases of the criminal justice process; protect your rights; defend your charges; and work to get the most favorable resolution to your case.


Additional Resources:

Drug DUI and Super Extreme DUI laws

Gilbert AZ Police Department

Alcohol/Substance Abuse Counseling and Treatment Providers

Arizona Department of Health Services - Behavior Health Resource Links


Continue reading "Felony DUI Judge arrested for Super Extreme DUI " »