Recently in DUI Checkpoints Category

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" »

September 4, 2012

Phoenix DUI Lawyer.jpgThe Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety released arrest statistics resulting from the DUI task forces staged throughout the Labor Day weekend. At least 564 persons were arrested for DUI as of Tuesday September 4, 2012.

Types of DUI arrests included:

• 472 Alcohol DUI charges;
• 92 Drug DUI charges;
• 154 Underage 21 DUI offense



Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels for Alcohol DUI:

• 30% Extreme DUI which is 0.15% or greater;
• 70% "Impaired to the Slightest Degree: or over 0.08% but not greater than 0.15%

Classifications of DUI - DWI Charges

• 449 were Misdemeanor DUI charges;
• 40 were Aggravated (Felony) DUI charges*

*In Arizona under ARS § 28-1383 an Aggravated DUI charges one that involves at least one of more of the following circumstances:

• DUI while the motorist is on driving on a suspended, cancelled, revoked or otherwise invalid driver's license;
• A repeat DUI offense with 2 prior DUI convictions within 84 months;
• A DUI offense while the motorist has a passenger under age 15 years old in the vehicle.
• DUI with auto accident causing serious bodily harm to another person;
• Manslaughter - DUI involving a fatal accident

DUI - DWI Penalties

Convictions for Misdemeanor DUI call for 10 days jail; suspension of driver's license for 90 days; Ignition interlock Device (IID) on vehicle; fines; fees; drug or alcohol education, screening and treatment; probation.

In addition, DUI convictions involving higher BAC levels call for longer jail terms; higher fines and fees; use of IID for longer length of time; suspension of licenses for longer term.

Aggravated DUI Sentencing may result in prison terms of 4 to 8 months; fines, fees and assessments of up to $4,000; revocation of license; IIG use for 1 to 2 years; as well as other penalties mentioned above.

DUI Defense Attorney Phoenix AZ

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will discuss your matter with you confidentially, and provide you with defense options. They will protect your rights; defend your charges; guide you through the criminal justice process; and work to get you the best possible resolution in your case. There may be defenses you are not aware of that may lead to a dismissal of charges; reduction of sentencing; avoidance of harsh prison sentencing and other favorable outcomes in you matter.


Additional Resources:

A.R.S. Misdemeanor DUI:

A.R.S. Aggravated DUI

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety

Continue reading "Phoenix AZ DUI Task Force: DUI Arrests Statistics Labor Day Weekend 2012 " »

August 22, 2012

Drunk Driving Phoenix AZ Car Keys Alcohol.jpgWith 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


Continue reading " Tempe DUI Task Force Labor Day: Alcohol, Drug, and DUI Basics " »

May 5, 2010

Arizona Marijuana, Drug, Prescription Medication, Drunk Drivers, Impaired, and Unimpaired Drivers Beware

10 Survival Tips - Arizona DUI Sobriety Checkpoints

Phoenix DUI Lawyer

It's prime time for Arizona DUI sobriety checkpoints and Arizona DUI roadblocks. Even unimpaired Arizona drivers are subject to Arizona DUI Roadblocks and AZ DUI Sobriety Checkpoints. But do you want to take that chance even if you are not impaired? In Arizona, the police will be stopping vehicles according to a random mathematical formula decided in advance by police force management or other local jurisdictional authority to stop drivers and find Phoenix DUI or Phoenix drug DUI drivers. If you find yourself stopped at an Arizona DUI sobriety checkpoint, you will be asked to produce your driver's license and registration. The police are trained to look for cues of drivers suspected of Arizona DUI or Arizona Drug DUI. They will watch to see if you are fumbling to find the documents, observe if you are displaying nervousness or suspect behavior, as would a person drunk driving or impaired by a drug or medication. They may ask you to step out of your vehicle or pull you out of the line of traffic to investigate further. They may decide to have DUI drug testing done for Drug DUI or a breath test for DUI with alcohol. You should know that an Arizona DUI or Drug DUI received at an Maricopa County Arizona DUI checkpoint is just as severe as an Arizona DUI or Arizona Drug DUI charge given at an independent stop. The punishments if convicted are just as harsh and Arizona some of the most severe DUI penalties in the country. Therefore, you have received an Arizona DUI or Arizona Drug DUI you should consult a Phoenix Arizona DUI Lawyer, or Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible regarding your defense.

Here three of twelve guidelines adopted by Arizona, and offered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), regarding DUI checkpoint stops. These three guidelines can work to a driver's advantage to help them avoid, Arizona Drug DUI or Arizona DUI at an Arizona DUI checkpoint completely:
• The public should be aggressively informed of sobriety checkpoints with ample warning so drivers can avoid them completely.
• Police presence should be obvious when approaching a checkpoint.
• Drivers should be sufficiently warned of an upcoming checkpoint

Here are some tips to prepare for a 2010 Arizona DUI sobriety checkpoints:

1. The best way to avoid being stopped at a Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler or other City in Maricopa County Arizona DUI checkpoint is to find out in advance where the planned Arizona DUI roadblocks will be. Some resources to obtain notice include your local newspaper, radio, TV and the internet. Many AZ DUI checkpoint announcements are posted on local state, county, city, and government websites. Posting on social networks such as Twitter.com, has become increasingly popular. Others are using Text Messaging, iPhones, Smart Phones, and other technological resources to keep each other informed.

2. If you will be driving, know in advance, know exactly where your license and registration are located and make sure they are accessible.

3. Try to stay calm (easier said than done).

4. Do not joke around with the police or passengers in the vehicle with you. In fact, it would be a good idea to alert the passengers that you are approaching a Phoenix DUI Sobriety checkpoint; and that you would appreciate their silence and respect through the process. It's your future and freedom at stake, (unless they are or have been drinking under the age of 21.) Recognize that the police officer is just doing his or her job. Be polite, courteous and respectful.

5. Do not complain about being stopped at the Arizona DUI Checkpoint.

6. Produce your license and registration as requested timely and without question.

7. Do not offer information as to where you are going or where you have been.

8. Do not offer information about having had any alcohol or drugs recently or in the past.

9. Do not offer information about any medical conditions you may have, drug, or medications you have taken or have in your possession. That may encourage them to embark on a Drug DUI and may cue them to suspect you of a drug DUI.

10. Do not allow passengers to have or carry opened alcoholic beverage containers in your vehicle. Let them know your rules in advance of leaving for your destination. Simply explain that you do not wish to transport opened alcohol containers, drugs, or drug paraphernalia in your vehicle. It's not easy to say to a friend, especially in light of peer pressure. But it's your responsibility as the driver to enforce your rules. Ultimately it is your responsibility. You will be the one stopped by the police. You will be the one first investigated and most likely held responsible, and charged with DUI, Drug DUI, Drug or drug paraphernalia use or possession.

Continue reading "2010 - Arizona DUI Checkpoints" »

March 29, 2010

DUI Checkpoint stops are unique compared to an Arizona DUI stops made by individual police officers who observed you behind the wheel of a vehicle in absence of a DUI Roadblock. With regard to an AZ DUI checkpoint stop, your Arizona DUI Defense Attorney will argue that the Arizona Prosecution bears the burden to prove
the checkpoint itself and checkpoint protocol used complied with the federal and local laws and guidelines.

Thus the burden of proof weighs heavily on the police officer and law enforcement agency to prove compliance from beginning to end for checkpoint stops based on National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines and Local Procedures adapted by the State, City or other local area you were stopped.

In contrast, for an individual to be stopped by a police officer while they are driving or have the potential to drive being behind the wheel of an auto, there must be suspicion of DUI, for the stop to be valid. In absence of a DUI Checkpoint situation, prosecution need only to prove that the stop itself was valid, due to suspicion that the driver may be impaired due to alcohol or drugs.

In an AZ DUI Checkpoint stop, the Federal Guidelines require vehicles to be stopped based upon the selection of a mathematical formula of sorts such as stopping every second, or third vehicle. This is done to deter police misconduct such as racial profiling.

Checkpoints must minimize the average time each motorist is detained. This means the
officer can't just ask you to step out of your car without reason to suspect you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. In other words, there must be noticeable signs of impairment . If such signs do not exist, you must be allowed to drive on.

If the officer decides that you display signs of impairment, you will be redirected from the vehicles in line at the DUI roadblock to a separate area where they will continue further investigation of DUI. From this point, it is not much different than a regular Arizona DUI stop by a police officer.

If you were stopped at an Arizona DUI Checkpoint, and charged with DUI in Arizona, you should retain the services of an experienced Arizona DUI defense Attorney. After gathering and examining of all the evidence, they will determine if your constitutional rights were violated; make sure you were not unlawfully searched; and determine if the checkpoint complied with the Federal, state, and local laws and procedures relating to DUI Checkpoints. If violations exist, your Arizona DUI Lawyer may be able to suppress evidence, or even in some cases get a dismissal.

Continue reading "Arizona DUI charges: Defenses for AZ DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Stops" »

March 28, 2010

Thousands of Arizona DUI Arrests occur each year at Arizona DUI Sobriety Checkpoints,
(also known as AZ DUI Road blocks, and Roadside safety checks). Top Arizona DUI Defense Attorneys will tell you that the primary purpose for them is for law enforcement to catch drivers driving impaired under the influence of alcohol or drugs Arizona is one of 38 states who conduct these Sobriety Checkpoints as allowed by the Arizona Authority, Law, and Constitution. Each state is responsible for creating its own set of procedures.

However, 12 guidelines are offered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):

1) The public should be aggressively informed of sobriety checkpoints with ample warning so they can avoid them completely.

2) Police presence should be obvious when approaching a checkpoint.

3) Drivers should be sufficiently warned of an upcoming checkpoint.

4) The logistics of chemical testing must allow expeditious transport of suspects to a chemical testing site.

5) They must be part of an ongoing program to deter drunk driving.

6) They should have support of the judicial system, for example a District, County or State Prosecutors' Offices.

7) The selection of the checkpoints must be done in the interest of public safety and chosen for a specific objective (an unusual number of drunk driving accidents that area).

8) Any change in the original planning of a checkpoint must be well documented.

9) Detection and investigation techniques must be well-planned and standardized. These must be performed by qualified law enforcement. Investigation must take place without impeding the flow of traffic.

10) There must be established procedures for how to properly operate a checkpoint.

11) Feedback should be requested from citizens who are stopped to help determine if the program is effective.

12) Trained Police Officers must do all the DUI investigating.

The best way to avoid being stopped at an Arizona DUI checkpoint, is to find out in advance where the planned roadblocks will be. Some resources to obtain notice include your local newspaper, radio, TV and the internet. Many AZ DUI checkpoint announcements are posted on local state, county, city, and government websites. Posting on social networks such as Twitter.com has become increasingly popular.

Continue reading "AZ DUI Checkpoints: 12 Facts About AZ Sobriety Checkpoints! " »