Arizona DUI Information

Arizona DUI Information

Posted by on in Arizona DUI Information

 

underage dui defenseAccording to statistics, licensed drivers under 21 years of age are responsible for 17 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes, though they only constitute about 10 percent of the driving population.

Underage Drinking—Why Such High Percentages?

A common problem among underage drinkers is binge drinking. This has given rise to high levels of blood alcohol content (BAC) in the victims of underage DUI accidents. These levels can be up to five times over the legal limit, averaging at .40 BAC. Underage drinkers are also more likely to be reckless, speeding and not wearing seat belts. This greatly contributes to DUI-related fatalities in the underage population.

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aggravated dui arizonaAn aggravated DUI is a serious charge and can be classified as a Class 4 Felony or a Class 6 Felony, depending on the circumstances.

Aggravated DUI Felony Charges

An aggravated DUI at the Class 4 Felony level can be charged against any individual when that person is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and has a suspended or revoked license, two prior DUI convictions within seven years, and/or has an Ignition Interlock Device on his or her vehicle.

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fatal dui arizonaAccording to recent reports, Delbert Fred Brechler, 46, of Kingman, has been indicted as a result of killing an individual while allegedly driving drunk. Brechler was said to have been speeding and zigzagging around vehicles on Highway 66 just prior to the crash. According to witnesses, his 1988 Volvo struck a pickup truck from behind, causing the truck to hit a median and flip, smashing in part of the roof.

The driver of the truck, Cody Raymond, 17, was removed from the truck and taken to a Kingman hospital where he died. Raymond’s vehicle also held a passenger who, while injured, was not severely hurt.

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sobriety checkpointsDriving under the influence of alcohol is a completely avoidable problem that results in a high number of arrests, injuries and, sadly, deaths. The average DUI conviction can run you $20,000, even for first-time offenders. With the approach of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, drunk drivers and law enforcement will be out in higher numbers.

Arizona Sobriety Checkpoints

Though not all states allow the use of sobriety or DUI checkpoints, Arizona does.

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july 4th duiThe recent July Fourth holiday weekend saw a sharp increase in drunk driving-related arrests in Arizona this year compared with 2013.

An Increase in DUI Arrests

Reports reveal that the number of arrests for drunk driving over the July Fourth weekend increased about 27 percent from 412 arrests in 2013 to 534 arrests in 2014. Arrests for driving under the influence of drugs was also up this year from 53 arrests in 2013 to 92 in 2014. Underaged DUI arrests were also up this year compared to last year at 28 compared to 22. However, underage liquor-law citations fell 51 percent from 113 in 2013 to 55 this year.

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dui-drug-lawDriving under the influence does not always mean driving under the influence of alcohol. An individual can also be arrested for a DUI while driving under the influence of a drug. A drug DUI is just as serious as an alcohol DUI, and can carry similar penalties. Furthermore, some drugs can have a much more overpowering effect on the driver than alcohol, so some drug DUIs are actually more dangerous than alcohol DUIs.

Arizona Revised Statutes 28-1381

Arizona law states that if an individual is operating a vehicle “while under the influence of any drug, vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, and any combination of alcohol and drugs and they are impaired to the slightest degree,” they can be arrested and convicted for a drug DUI offense. They can also be arrested “if any controlled substance is found in their body.” This is different than the standard for alcohol, in which a prosecutor usually tries to show at least a .08 percent blood alcohol content.

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BUISchool is out and summer has begun, so many people are heading for the water. With the hot Arizona sun beating down, nothing is more fun than floating on a boat at the lake. Every year an estimated 74 million people that take to the waterways of America to feed their passion for sun and water. Boating can be designated include motor boating, jet skiing, motorized rafting, canoe trips, sailing, kayaking, paddle sports, scenic floats, tubing and whitewater rafting. Every day, people enjoy the sun and water from some type of boating craft, and many of these people like to combine alcohol with their activities. Unfortunately, boating under the influence or "BUI" can have some serious and unintended consequences.

Boating While Intoxicated: Arizona Law Is Clear

Many basic rules of the road are also applicable to boating. Drinking and driving is one example of a law that has transitioned from the highways to the waterways. In many states it is against the law to drink alcohol and drive a boat, and Arizona is no exception.   Many law enforcement agencies are partnering with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to get impaired drivers off the roads and waterways. Law enforcement agencies will not only be patrolling the streets but will have officers out on the lakes and rivers in order to identify impaired boat operators.

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DUI public opinionOne of the things that troubles many people when they are convicted of DUI, besides the high fines and possible jail time, is the worry about public opinion, particularly what family and friends may think. In fact, besides cost, public opinion may be the biggest concern most people have when it comes to a DUI. This is particularly true if the driver has injured someone else as a result of his or her actions.

Public Opinion on DUI Has Changed

In the past, people more or less accepted someone having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel. However, that has changed. Better education about the possible risks and effects of DUI have made people far less tolerant to this behavior. However, many people still continue to drive under the influence, despite knowing that they could be pulled over and arrested or, worse still, cause an accident.

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John L SheltonJohn L. Shelton, 26, of Prescott Valley, Arizona, has been charged with several counts of DUI after driving in the wrong direction on Fain Road. According to the Department of Public Safety, Shelton was reportedly driving under the influence at approximately 3:30 PM. An onlooker trailed Shelton as he pulled into the subdivision. The onlooker asserts that Shelton was speeding and disregarded stop signs. Shelton left his vehicle at the intersection of Tonopah and Superstition and fled the scene. Prescott Valley Police were located in the vicinity and discovered Shelton concealing himself in bushes close to a residence. Shelton was transported to Camp Verde jail.

DUI Can Lead To Other Charges

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) over 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2011. MADD also states that males are more likely than females to drive drunk. Alcohol symptoms can appear within 10 minutes and effects can include slurred speech, motor impairment, confusion, car crashes, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

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drive thru duiA 34-year-old Kingman man was arrested recently for allegedly smashing his car into another vehicle at a fast-food drive-thru then leaving the scene of the Stockton Hill Road restaurant crash, according to reports. Joseph Eugene Rasumussen was arrested at another restaurant on Beverly Avenue a short time later. He allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .248 percent, more than three times the legal Arizona limit.

Rasmussen was said to have resisted arrest and wound up with two felony counts of aggravated DUI, including extreme DUI; a charge of aggravated assault; a charge of criminal damage and a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest.

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fatal arizona duiAccording to recent reports, Michelle Ayers, 33, of Phoenix, Arizona, was involved in a car accident in which a man was killed. She allegedly rear-ended another car that veered off the road and hit a tree and wall. Christopher James Kutcher, 47, was killed as a result of the impact.

Ayers suffered minimal wounds and was taken to John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital, where she was questioned by officials. Police observed that her physical and verbal characteristics seemed to indicate use of alcohol. She then confessed she had been drinking. Blood tests retrieved by officials indicated that her blood-alcohol level was 0.31 percent, almost four times above the legal limit. After being arrested, Ayers was detained on bond.

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fourth of july duiArizona is known for its strict DUI laws and enforcement, and the Fourth of July is a great time to remind ourselves of the possible penalties for drinking and driving. Even first time offenders can receive severe penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. With the approaching Fourth of July holiday weekend, more Arizona law enforcement will be out on the roads, patrolling and setting up checkpoints, to catch DUI offenders.

DUI First Time Penalties

Those who have been convicted of a non-injury involved DUI for the first time will face less serious penalties as repeat offenders or those who have harmed another. Generally, a first-time offender may receive up to 10 days in prison, a fine of at least $250, and a license suspension of 90 days to one full year.

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felony dui arizonaA San Tan Valley resident is facing numerous charges stemming from driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a recent report.

Kathleen Fleetwood, 65, was taken into custody at the Pinal County jail. Fleetwood allegedly steered her vehicle into a construction area, knocking one vehicle on its side and striking a construction employee. The victim was hurled in the air and fell, enduring severe injuries. The employee was transported to a hospital by a medical helicopter.

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DUI-Checkpoint3Arizona is famous for its strict DUI laws and enforcement. However, police are not allowed to stop drivers for DUI without probable cause. There is one big exception to this rule; DUI checkpoints.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Arizona?

Arizona law allows police to set up temporary sobriety checkpoints where they can legally stop drivers with no probable cause, and potentially test and arrest drivers for driving under the influence. Though the law allows for these checkpoints, there are certain rules that must be followed.

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08BACThe question sometimes comes up: can I be charged with DUI with a blood alcohol content of less than .08? The answer to that question is: it depends. Depending on the circumstances, a prosecutor could well decide to pursue a DUI case even if your blood alcohol content does not read .08.

No matter what the circumstances of your DUI arrest, Douglas Schwab, an attorney in Phoenix, can help you with your Arizona DUI charges. Douglas Schwab has years of experience in dealing with DUI and can help you decide how to deal with your charges in the most productive way.

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breathalyzerThere have been many people who have been surprised to learn that you can be arrested for and even charged with DUI in Arizona even if your blood alcohol does not measure .08 percent. The .08 number has become so ingrained in everyone's imagination that many people believe that a police officer will simply let you go if he or she gives you a side-of-the-road breath test and it registers .7999. This is not true and has caused several people to make poor choices when it comes to how to handle a DUI stop.

DUI stops are always serious. There is never a time that it is inappropriate to call a seasoned DUI attorney to help you. In fact, calling a DUI attorney should be your first reaction to being pulled over by a police officer for drunk driving. Douglas Schwab, a DUI defense attorney in Phoenix, can help you understand the nature of drunk driving charges and your options for dealing with them.

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DUI-Checkpoint-memorial-dayThere were quite a few law enforcement agencies out in full force over the Memorial Day holiday, a trend that promises to continue throughout the summer season. Law enforcement agencies say that they are targeting drunk drivers in special efforts to get them off the roads, according to a recent report. Checkpoints and patrols were set up to catch those who may have been on the road after drinking on Memorial Day and will continue throughout the summer.

Memorial Day—Kick Off To Summer and DUI Spike

Memorial Day is not only the kick off to the summer season but also the time when DUI arrests tend to spike. Memorial Day of 2013 saw 23 DUI arrests and 14 underage alcohol consumption arrests in Mesa alone, according to police reports. Mesa police pulled over or checked a total of 1,841 drivers during the special Memorial Day DUI patrol. Mesa police and other law enforcement agencies have expressed hope that their efforts to warn the public about the dangers of DUI are have an impact on those who might think twice about drinking and driving.

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huffing aerosolsAccording to police, Alyse Kingston, 18, of Prescott, Arizona, has been arrested following allegations that she was “huffing” aerosols before driving her vehicle into a home. Kingston was driving when the vehicle veered away from the street and hit the home’s living room. The residence was empty at the time the crash occurred, and fortunately Kingston and her passenger in the vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

Kingston communicated to the police that she had no recollection of what had had taken place, and officers suspected that her actions occurred as a result of the effect of an unidentified substance. Authorities believe that Kingston had huffed an aerosol cleaner not long before the accident. Kingston was taken into custody for aggravated DUI, among other charges.

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yumaduiThe Yuma County Sheriff's Office was part of an ongoing safety campaign including Memorial Day Weekend DUI enforcement details, according to a recent report. The effort focused on identifying, stopping and arresting drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs through increased patrols in Yuma County and specific targeting of areas that have traditionally seen high levels of DUI arrests and accidents.

Aggressive Enforcement Leads to Increased Arrests

Yuma County has been notably aggressive in enforcing Arizona's .08 percent blood alcohol content limit for drivers. An arrest in Arizona for DUI can lead to immediate license suspension and other penalties, and Yuma County has let drivers know without a doubt that law enforcement will implement these punishments whenever they are able to do so.

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dui-checkpointFrom Memorial Day until Labor Day, summer holidays give people the chance to relax, grill, and, perhaps, enjoy a drink. However, to counter any excesses in celebration, Arizona law enforcement will be out in full force at all major holidays. Not only were patrol increased for Memorial Day weekend, but law enforcement will also be looking for impaired drivers on July 4th and throughout the summer weekends.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety is coordinating a statewide effort to crack down on impaired driving with check points and increased patrols on Arizona highways and roads over holiday throughout the year, just as they did with the recent Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day crackdowns.

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kids and duiA new study shows that children killed in a DUI crash are most likely to die from an accident caused by the driver of the car in which they are riding. In many cases, kids are not buckled in, leading to ejection or severe trauma from being thrown into a windshield or other part of the vehicle. In a surprising number of these crashes, the impaired drivers, often the parents of the children, survived.

The study analyzed traffic deaths from 2000 to 2010. In that time period, more than 2,300 children under the age of 15 were killed in drunk driving crashes. Two-thirds of those were riding in the same care as the driver who was drinking. California and Texas had the highest numbers of child deaths but smaller states actually had higher rates of death among children.

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arizona duiMemorial Day weekend is officially over. Many consider the holiday weekend the kickoff to summer, while others focus only on honoring the fallen heroes who have protected our nation. Most people combine the two and focus on both honoring military heroes and having fun with the first of the season's barbecues.

Unfortunately, Memorial Day is also a time when many people incur DUIs. Most Phoenix and Arizona police departments step up their DUI patrols and try to make sure that they keep the roads safe by arresting larger numbers of drunk drivers. Of course, this may also mean that you have been pulled over and arrested even if you did not have much to drink.

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Lonnie Morris chandler police duiSometimes DUI arrests are made involving people who would seem to be above reproach. That was certainly the case when 53-year-old Lonnie Morris was arrested for off-duty impaired driving, according to recent reports. Morris has been with the Chandler Police Department for more than 19 years and has probably made many DUI arrests himself.

The officer was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated after he was arrested. He has been suspended from the police department awaiting the results of the lab tests. Pending this outcome, the officer will remain off duty, although it is unclear from reports if he is keeping his pay while suspended.

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arizona dui attorneysArizona is not even in the Top 5 Toughest DUI States, according to a recent article. However, that does not mean that Arizona DUI penalties are not much stricter than those in other parts of the country. In addition, drunk drivers may be pulled over more frequently in Arizona due to concentrated efforts and spending on the part of the state to identify DUI threats.

The Five Toughest DUI States

According to a recent article, the five toughest DUI states are:

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aaa-tipsy-towThe American Automobile Association or AAA has always been known as an organization that helps drivers, but the Arizona chapter is taking this service a step further with the "Tipsy Tow" in an effort to reduce DUIs. According to a recent report, AAA officials noted that the average DUI conviction can cost motorists up to $10,000 between fines and insurance premium increases. Therefore, AAA is offering this service to help drivers avoid the problems associated with a DUI charge.

Statewide enforcement over the first weekend in May 2014 leading up to Cinco de Mayo saw nearly 300 DUI arrests across the state, including 85 arrests for extreme DUI, as well as 40 DUI drug arrests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that alcohol-related crashes are up by seven percent across the state and are up more than four percent nationwide.

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cottonwood crashduiA crash in the parking lot of a Cottonwood bar resulted in DUI charges for a 37-year-old Cornville man, according to police reports. Leonel Hernandez was allegedly asked to leave the bar due to his extreme intoxication. Witnesses stated that he got into a Blue Chevrolet pickup truck and gunned the engine, causing the tires to squeal on the pavement as he attempted to leave. Putting the truck in reverse, Hernandez slammed into a parked car in which two people were sitting, pushing that car into another vehicle. The truck and both vehicles were damaged in the crash.

Hernandez attempted to leave the scene but was stopped by a bouncer. He also tried to exit the vehicle and run away on foot, but the bouncer was able to detain him. Upon arrival, officers reported that Hernandez exhibited some symptoms of drunkenness including bloodshot eyes, staggering when walking and being unable to complete a field sobriety test. A breath test resulted in a reading of .20 BAC, about two-and-one-half times the legal limit for driving in Arizona.

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dui checkpointMemorial Day traditionally kicks off the summer with parties, barbecues and, of course, drinking. The Camp Verde Marshal's Office, the Cottonwood Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety are planning to be out in full force on May 23 and 24 as part of an effort to stop drunk drivers and possibly prevent accidents, according to a recent report.

The DUI Task Force is part of the initiative funded by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety that is directed at reducing the number of drunk driving crashes and arrests. The police will use a combination of saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during both day and night hours to try to spot and stop drunk drivers.

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metabolite testing arizonaIn a victory for those who might be charged with DUI, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that motorists with secondary metabolites of marijuana in their blood cannot be charged on that basis alone. The underlying issue was whether the presence of metabolites proved impairment, a position the court seemed unwilling to take.

Prosecutors argued that any trace of marijuana in a driver's bloodstream indicated that he or she was driving under the influence, a direct shot at those possessing a medical marijuana card. Advocates of the use of medical marijuana, which was passed by popular vote in 2010, have long argued that metabolites can exist for weeks after use and that their presence was not equivalent to a high blood alcohol level in determining impairment.

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schwab cottonwood rolloverA 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after he rolled over his older model Chevy pickup near the Chase Bank in Cottonwood, according to police sources. Christoph Rose was arrested after police were called to the scene to find his truck overturned in front of the old Pizza Hut on South Main Street.

Rose was apparently turning right out of the Food City parking lost when he somehow lost control of the old truck he was driving. He then hit a guy wire and rolled the truck over into the street.

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schwab cocino countyA certain intersection in Coconino County has come to the attention of authorities lately due to the high number of accidents involving injury or death at this particular spot. County officials have decided to ramp up the patrols for this area in hope that a more visible police presence will reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.

Public works engineers examined the area of the accidents as well as data gathered from the crashes to determine why this particular intersection has such a high rate of injuries and fatalities. Officials found the accidents were due primarily to: driver error, individuals traveling at a higher rate of speed than the posted limits, drunk or impaired drivers and driver inattention.

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schwab alcohol for minorsMost of us know that giving liquor to minors is illegal and could result in both civil and criminal penalties if a minor leaves our premises and gets into an accident. In most cases, criminal charges are made against an individual if he or she sells or gives alcohol to someone under the age of 21. Arizona law specifically prohibits the following activities:

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schwab cinco de mayoCinco de Mayo is a popular holiday, often celebrated in the United States by consuming large amounts of alcohol. It is also a popular time for drivers to be pulled over and potentially arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to a recent report, Arizona saw fewer Cinco de Mayo DUI arrests in 2014 than in 2013. Statewide numbers show that there were 500 DUI arrests between May 1st and May 5th. During the Cinco de Mayo period of May 1st through May 5th, stops were conducted by more than 450 officers. These stops brought officers into contact with 3,500 more people than the previous year. Despite this increase in contacts, there was a slight decrease in overall arrests compared to 2013. 2013 saw 525 arrests in the same time period for DUIs, including those that involved having a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or more while operating a vehicle. The report cites the average blood-alcohol level this year as .146 percent, slightly lower than the .15 percent average in 2013.

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schwab field sobriety testsDouglas Schwab, a DUI defense attorney in Phoenix, has potential clients ask one question frequently: What should I do if I am pulled over for DUI?

There is no simple answer to this question because the correct response to being pulled over for a DUI depends on the circumstances. While you should never drink and drive, it is not strictly illegal to drive after having a drink if you are over 21. If you are under 21, drinking is always illegal. Therefore, if you are over 21 and have had a beer or two, it does not necessarily follow that the police will be able to charge you with DUI. A DUI charge means that the officer considers you impaired, often because he or she has observed some behavior such as weaving or crashing that leads to this conclusion. This does not mean, however, that you cannot be stopped and even detained if the officer simply smells alcohol on your breath. What it does mean is that you may be arrested even if the police later decide not to charge you based on the results of your breath, blood or urine test.

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Schwab fake duiPhoenix Fire and Police emergency crews went to Mountain Pointe High School to simulate a DUI car crash in the hopes of showing students the potential consequences of drunk driving, according to a recent report.

The student body gathered to watch the mock crash while students from the drama department acted out the events in an outdoor performance. Visual and dramatic reenactments included firefighters and police responding to the scene, extricating victims from vehicles, testing for DUI and even bagging and transporting a DOA "patient" from the crash site.

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schwab cop dies in jail cellA man who used to work as a police officer for the city of Tempe, Arizona, was found dead in his jail cell recently, according to recent reports.

Garrett Michael Peterson, 31, led police on a high-speed chase last December and was arrested. Just days after being released, he slammed head-on into a semi truck while allegedly driving under the influence.

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schwab dui killed daughterA 30-year-old man will be charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with an accident that killed his five-year-old daughter and injured three other children. Authorities report the man was driving a Ford Explorer with his daughter and three other children in the vehicle when he allegedly ran through an intersection, continued through a parking lot and crashed the vehicle into an embankment, killing his daughter and injuring the other children. The man was hospitalized with broken bones. Authorities also discovered that he did not have a valid driver’s license and had other outstanding traffic-related warrants.

What Happens When Someone Dies In A DUI Crash?

The state of Arizona does not usually differentiate between vehicular and other types of manslaughter. However, if the state believes the driver recklessly caused the death of another, prosecutors may amend a typical manslaughter charge to vehicular manslaughter. Arizona considers manslaughter to be a Class 2 “Dangerous” Felony which can potentially carry a sentence between four years and ten years in prison.

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Aschwab truck drives into lake man who drove his pickup truck into a lake in Phoenix is facing DUI charges over the incident, according to a recent report. The Phoenix man apparently drove his truck into a lake located behind a large apartment complex on Biltmore Drive. The vehicle sank a total of 16 feet into the lake while the driver attempted to flee on foot.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers were able to follow the driver's wet footprints to find him. He had suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being arrested on DUI charges. The dive team was called in to ensure that no one else was in the vehicle, and a large crane was used to hoist the submerged truck out of the water.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_schwab_18_yr_old_death_drinking.jpgCollege campuses are notorious for drinking parties and games. While the majority of students may drink responsibly, there will always be a few that do not. There will always be parties that start out as a fun get together and turn into tragedy. One recent party at Arizona State University was labeled an "all-you-can-drink" party. This party required participants to pay a fee for entry; upon payment, the participants were granted permission to drink all they could handle. Parties like this can get out of control very quickly, many students cannot handle the amount of alcohol they have consumed. Tragically, the result in this case was the death of an ASU student who attended the "all-you-can-drink" party.

According to police reports, the 18-year-old ASU student went to an all-you-can-drink fraternity party, got drunk and fell 10 stories to her death. Video footage from different locations shows the young woman stumbling into the building and standing on the railing just before her fall.

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university arizona police departmentAuthorities are reporting that the University of Arizona police officer charged with DUI after crashing a patrol car is returning to court in Pima County to face four charges connected with the accident. Although Sgt. John McGrath is still suspended with pay, he could lose his job if he is convicted of any of the charges.

Prosecutors contend that McGrath crashed is patrol car into a concrete wall on the frontage road near Interstate 10 and Speedway. His blood alcohol level allegedly measured two-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was charged with super extreme DUI as well as other criminal charges related to the accident.

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Patrick Maloney granted clemencyIn a rather unexpected move, Governor Jan Brewer granted clemency to a man who has spent 50 years in prison for allegedly killing his mother and stepfather in 1964. Patrick Maloney was 16 years old at the time of the killings and is now 65. He has spent the large majority of his life in prison for the killings, but will be released on March 20 on terms of parole.

Maloney was originally sentenced to life with no chance of parole. By reducing his sentence to 45 years to life, Brewer made it possible for him to be paroled. There was no explanation for the governor's decision, although a spokesman said it was not based on time already served for the crime. A state board had recommended the decision four years prior to Brewer's announcement.

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arizona wildcats riotIt was not Arizona's finest hour when police officers responded with force to "riots" after the University of Arizona's basketball team lost to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight playoff game. According to reports, 15 people were arrested for misdemeanors including unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct. Only one of those arrested was kept in jail while the other 14 were cited and released. It is unclear if those who were arrested were University students.

At least eight police squads, some equipped with batons, firearms and masks, stood at the main gate square at the beginning of the game. Air units were also in the area and could be heard flying overhead.

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sierra vista police duiThe Sierra Vista Police Department is being rewarded with three new vehicles for their ongoing efforts to prevent DUI accidents, according to a recent report. The vehicles include a motorcycle, an SUV and a van. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety hopes that the addition of the van will help the police department prevent more DUI accidents. The van contains rolling "checkpoint" equipment so that officers can conduct sobriety tests on the spot in rural areas.

The motorcycle and SUV are the result of a grant that pays for new vehicles for small police departments. Both of these vehicles will be used in daily traffic enforcement that includes targeting both impaired and aggressive drivers.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_schwab_dui_in_flight.jpgDo you want to be able to get your favorite craft beer while flying high in the sky? Well wait no more! In response to changing consumer tastes, US Airlines announced the company will be making specialty beers such as Sam Adams available for purchase for $5 to $7 a can.

Typically, inflight alcohol sales have been predominantly liquors and wines with sales reaching up to $38 million. Craft beer is becoming increasingly popular with drinkers who are growing weary of the mass market beers. The craft beer industry had nationwide sales of $14.3 billion during 2013, and this move will not only increase those sales but will also create brand awareness.

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what to do duiDouglas Schwab represents many Arizona DUI clients each year, and it seems the same questions continue to occur every time. Should I cooperate with arresting officers and give my blood voluntarily? Should I perform field sobriety tests? If it is my first DUI, should I save the money I would spend on a DUI attorney and pay my fines instead?

Here are some of the answers to some of the most common DUI questions. You can find out more answers by talking to Douglas Schwab about your case.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_schwab_dui_minors_involved.jpgThere is an entire section of the Arizona criminal code devoted to the subject of minors and alcohol. With very few exceptions, Arizona prohibits the sale or distribution of alcohol to those under 21. The two exceptions allowed by law are alcohol given to minors for religious or medicinal purposes, and even these exceptions are strictly controlled.

DUI and Minors: A Serious Situation

There are also several special conditions that can cause a person to be charged with a crime involving minors and alcohol, such as drinking and driving with a minor the vehicle. In Arizona, a person commits a Class 6 felony when he or she drives drunk with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. This means that if you are convicted of DUI and a child under 15 was in the car with you, you could face up to one year in prison even with a clean record. If you have other felony convictions, you could spend up to 4.5 years in jail and pay up to $150,000 in fines.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Arizona_dui_defense_douglasaschwab.jpgWhile many DUI cases result in fines, jail time or other penalties, there are also DUI cases that are dismissed every day due to lack of evidence or other problems. In order to understand how you can be arrested for DUI but then have your charges dismissed, it is important to understand how the criminal justice system works in general. It is also important to remember that one of the biggest components of the criminal justice system is the criminal defense attorney, the person who represents your rights and protects you from violations of those rights. Douglas Schwab is ready to help you fight for your rights if you are charged with a DUI in Arizona.

The Criminal Justice Process

When you are stopped by a police officer who suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol, there are a series of events that will take place very quickly. These events are relatively predictable in most cases but they represent the majority of the groundwork that will be laid to determine what happens with the rest of your case. A single mistake by the police during this crucial time could result in a dismissal of your charges.

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dui home detention AZMore and more people are being given home detention in lieu of jail time as Maricopa County continues to increase the price charged per prisoner to house those who are convicted of DUI and other non-violent crimes, according to a recent report.

By 2015, there will be an increase of 3.7 percent to $81.85 per day per inmate to house prisoners in Maricopa County jails. This represents a 45 percent increase from 2006, when the daily rate was $56.23.

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stephen greene super extreme duiIf you are pulled over for DUI, you are already facing the possibility of several serious criminal charges. Making matters worse by running from law enforcement is never advisable. Unfortunately, many drivers panic and simply floor the accelerator in an effort to escape law enforcement officials, especially if they believe they will be charged with DUI.

This may have been the case with a Mohave County man who was arrested on felony charges of unlawful flight after he ran from police who tried to pull him over. According to police reports, Stephen Paige Green, 63, of Kingman, was approached by law enforcement after Mohave County officers received a call about a possibly impaired driver in the vicinity of Marshall Drive and Thompson Avenue. Deputies observed a white SUV driving without lights on Gordon Drive and attempted to pull the vehicle over. The driver allegedly refused to stop and ran from the officers, who were able to apprehend him in the vicinity of Stockton Hill Road and College Drive with the help of Kingman Police.

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dui apartment crashA Chandler, Arizona, family is thankful to be alive after an allegedly drunk driver crashed into their apartment in the wee hours of the morning in a pickup truck, according to police reports. The incident took place near Ray Road and Arizona Avenue when an unidentified driver plowed into the side of a studio apartment, caving in the wall and burying the pickup truck halfway into the building.

Two people were asleep in the apartment when the crash happened but incredibly neither was badly harmed. Both were taken to a local hospital but were treated and released with only minor injuries. One of them, Angelina Romo, said she feels lucky to be alive and was grateful she was asleep on the couch and not in the bedroom where the impact took place.

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dump truckA man who collided with a parked dump truck filled with gravel while fleeing from police was caught and charged with DUI as well as failure to yield and other crimes, according to authorities.

The crash took place on 19th Avenue near the entrance to Interstate 17. A driver failed to yield to officers who ordered him to pull over at 15th Avenue and Roeser Road. The driver fled the scene, but police did not pursue. The driver drove a short distance before crashing into a dump truck filled with gravel on 19th Avenue, prompting an arrest by officers from the Phoenix Police Department who came on the accident scene shortly after the crash.

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Mark Grace DUIMark Grace has been fortunate in that the Arizona Diamondbacks have stuck by him throughout many problems and personal issues. A recent investigative report examined how Grace has "fallen from grace" and how the Diamondbacks have supported him, even through two drunken driving arrests. Some fans have applauded the team's support of one of its own, while others decry the support of a man who has broken the law not once but twice.

Mark Grace's story includes a four-month stint in the Maricopa County Tent City jail after being arrested for drunk driving in 2011 and 2012. He lost his broadcasting job and lost face with many of his fans during this time. However, the career .303 hitter kept his job as a rookie hitting instructor and was even named hitting coach for the Hillsboro Hops.

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super extreme dui arizonaArizona’s super extreme DUI laws were passed in an effort to address the growing problem of drivers with very high blood alcohol content levels. A recent northwest Arizona arrest highlights this issue as a man was arrested with a blood alcohol level of three times the legal limit.

Stephen Paige Greene, 63, was arrested for super extreme DUI and felony unlawful flight from a police vehicle after the Kingman man allegedly attempted to elude officers during a chase. Police were called on reports of an impaired driver and spotted the white sport-utility vehicle in Mohave County.

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waste-management-phoenix-openThe weekend of the Super Bowl was also the weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a popular golf tournament attended by hundreds in the area and considered by some to be more “cocktail party” than competition. The combination of these two sporting events may equate to the perfect storm for DUI arrests.

Authorities were not shy about posting their plans for Super Bowl weekend. According to a statement issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, DUI patrols were stepped up on Super Bowl Sunday, and local patrols were watching for golf tournament participants who may have had too much to drink.

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female chain gang arizonaArizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is famous—or notorious, depending your perspective—for his tough stance on crime. Super Bowl Sunday, Sheriff Joe struck again, dispatching an all-female chain gang to clean up the streets of trash wearing traditional black-and-white-striped garb.

Calling the group a “DUI chain gang,” Arpaio says that he wants to remind the public of the consequences of drinking and driving. He noted that 15 women will be assigned the job of cleaning up trash from the state trust land near Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in the northern section of Scottsdale. He also noted that the women volunteer to be part of the chain gang.

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Arizona traffic stopIt is very possible that if you are pulled over and a police officer suspects you are drinking and driving you will be asked to perform field sobriety tests and answer questions. While it is easy to think in terms of “cooperating” with the police like a good citizen, the ugly truth is that anything you say or do will probably wind up being used against you. Therefore, it is usually better not to “cooperate” with the police to the extent of giving them material to use against you at trial.

Favorite Tricks the Police Will Use

Here are a list of things that the police will often say or do when they pull someone over for DUI. Read this list carefully so that you will have some idea of what you may expect from the police if you are ever pulled over for drunk driving.

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lake havasu drug bustReports indicate that two drug dealers were indicted, along with 16 other people, in Mohave County by a Grand Jury recently. The two men, Dale Clement, 55, and Ralph Sizemore, 35, each received eight counts based on two separate investigations into alleged drug activity.

Clement was arrested following a months-long investigation by Lake Havasu City law enforcement and detectives from the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team as well as other officials. Clement is alleged to have sold methamphetamine in several buys and was finally arrested at his home on Maricopa Avenue. After he was taken into custody, police served three search warrants on his home and a storage unit on Sweetwater Avenue. They seized approximately 11 ounces of meth, a boat and various electronics from the locations. Clement was indicted on four counts of drug sales, two counts of paraphernalia possession and weapons misconduct.

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Justin LaClereA former Phoenix Police Department officer’s testimony was completely disregarded by a jury in a DUI case, leading to a not guilty verdict for the accused woman. Officer Justin LaClere, 32, who resigned from the force after a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl from Scottsdale, was arrested for sex with a minor after the DUI trial.

The Whole Story: DUI vs. Credibility

This complicated matter began when Michelle Thomas was riding in the back seat of a vehicle while her husband was driving. LaClere allegedly pulled the husband over for failure to stay in his own lane. At the time, he left the vehicle running while he performed field sobriety tests on the husband. Thomas remained in the back seat, unable to get out of the car due to the fact that the child safety locks were on.

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blood alcohol contentOne of the hardest things for many people to understand is the fact that, in Arizona, you can be charged and even convicted of DUI without having a .08 percent blood alcohol content. Most people have become so used to the “.08 cutoff” that they simply assume that if your BAC is less than .08 percent you will walk away from a DUI charge. This is not true; in fact, there are several cases in which you can be charged with a DUI with a blood alcohol content of well less than .08 percent. For example:

  • Bus drivers and commercial truck drivers. The cutoff for a per se DUI charge for those operating a vehicle on a commercial license is .04 percent rather than .08 percent.
  • Under 21 drivers. Anyone under 21 can be charged with DUI with any measureable amount of alcohol in the bloodstream under Arizona’s “Zero Tolerance” law.
  • Impairment without blood alcohol per se levels. If you cause an accident or commit some type of dangerous driving error, it is possible that the police will pursue an impairment conviction without a supporting blood alcohol level.
  • Using drugs. Any use of marijuana, narcotics or other drugs can result in an impairment charge.
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first time dui interlockBeing arrested for DUI is always stressful and can be intimidating. However, some people believe that a first-time DUI will not result in serious penalties. Nothing could be further from the truth: in fact, Arizona has some of the toughest first-time DUI penalties in the nation. If possible, you want to avoid any DUI conviction, but if you cannot completely avoid a conviction you want to minimize your penalties to the greatest extent possible.

What Does DUI Mean in Arizona?

Arizona law provides for any adult who is operating a vehicle while “mentally or physically” impaired to be charged with DUI. Many people assume that this means you must have a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, but this is not true. The .08 percent mark is simply the legal cutoff for “per se” impairment, meaning that the police do not have to prove you were impaired; the court will simply assume that you were.

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arizona implied consentThose who have been arrested for DUI sometimes ask if they are required to submit to a blood alcohol test or if they can be forced to do so. In Arizona, the answer is yes.

What Do Arizona’s DUI Laws Allow Police To Do?

Under Arizona law, the police must have probable cause to pull over and arrest someone for DUI. In the case of sobriety checkpoints, the courts have upheld that the police can test or submit someone for testing based on observation even though the police did not technically “pull over” the vehicle. Police observation of suspicious behavior is generally understood to mean slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or a smell of alcohol or to be based on the person’s behavior and demeanor.

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Bridger KimballThe recent plea by a Maricopa City Council member to DUI has prompted a closer look at the plea system in place that may allow suspects to plead to lesser charges pending the outcome of blood alcohol tests. Bridger Kimball was arrested while driving home from a friend’s house in Chandler, but officers could not obtain an accurate reading on his blood alcohol level through breath tests. His blood was drawn and sent to the crime lab for analysis.

In the meantime, Kimball was allowed to plead to a Class 1 misdemeanor DUI before the blood test results were returned. It turned out that his BAC was .285, nearly three-and-one-half times the legal limit of .8. Under Arizona law, Kimball should have received at least 45 days in jail and at least $3,000 in fines as well as losing his license for a minimum of 90 days and being required to install an ignition interlock device, none of which happened in this case. Instead, Kimball received the same punishment as a first-time DUI offender with a blood alcohol percentage of around .08.

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dui pedestrian accidentA Tempe, Arizona, Wal-Mart parking lot was the scene of an accident involving a pedestrian and an allegedly drunk driver and illustrates the reality of pedestrian DUI cases in this state.

The series of accidents began when a 31-year-old woman was allegedly driving under the influence and collided with a car turning onto Rural Road from Southern Avenue. The impact caused the vehicle to spin out and strike a third car. The woman then allegedly fled the scene, driving quickly through a Wal-Mart parking lot. There, she collided with yet another vehicle, causing that car to spin and strike a woman who was exiting the store at the time. Her car also hit several other cars in the parking lot.

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arizona duiFor the first time in a decade, the total number of DUIs in Arizona is lower than the year before.  In 2013, there were slightly more than 29,000 DUI arrests across the state, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.  This represents a drop of about 3,000 total arrests from 2012’s numbers.  Almost 4,000 of these arrests occurred in the period between November 25 and December 31.

While this may seem like encouraging news, a closer look at the other statistics surrounding these numbers tells a slightly different story.  DUI remains a big problem for Arizona drivers, and those who are arrested for this crime face ever-more-stringent penalties.

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arizona drivers licenseOne of the most crippling effects of a DUI conviction is the loss of a driver's license.  Unfortunately, most people do experience at least a temporary license suspension in the wake of a DUI, but there are also cases in which people are allowed at least provisional use of their license and others in which the license is reinstated completely after a brief period of time.  What happens to your driver's license depends on the circumstances of your DUI and the ultimate resolution of your case.  This is one reason why hiring a DUI attorney makes sense.  A DUI attorney like Douglas Schwab may be able to help you avoid losing your license altogether or hasten the time when your license is reinstated.

What Happens To My License If I Am Charged With DUI?

What happens to your driver's license in Arizona depends on the circumstances of your DUI.  If your blood alcohol test results show more than .08 percent, it is likely that your license will be suspended for a period of time.  While the most common term is 90 days, many people become eligible for a provision reinstatement of their driver's license after 30 days if the DUI is their first.  Subsequent DUIs normally result in longer suspension periods.

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immigration criminal lawImmigration continues to be a hot topic in Arizona, and programs aimed at decriminalizing immigrants often meet with resistance from various facets of the population.  However, many people do not understand that some immigrants become criminals without actually being violent or even intending to break the law.

Douglas Schwab, a criminal defense attorney, offers help to anyone who is charged with a crime.

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vandalism tresspass evadingSometimes, our best efforts turn out to have a different effect than the one we intend.  When a number of buildings in Thatcher were tagged with graffiti, it turned out that the miscreant was not a gang member or a vandal but a young man who wanted to do something in his grandfather's memory.

James Spurgeon, 31, was living in Holladay, Utah, when his grandfather passed away.  He visited Thatcher and spray-painted the phrase "Abner, gone but not forgotten, 1924-2012" on several buildings.  His blood alcohol content at the time was measured at .157.  He attempted to evade capture by the police by fleeing but was apprehended close to the scene of the crime.  After his arrest, officers found other locations that had been similarly marked.

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arizona dui courtLawyers who represent those charged with DUI have many stories of clients who have made matters infinitely worse in court by saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.  If you are charged with a crime, what you say can be used against you, so it is important to know how to conduct yourself to minimize the effects of a DUI charge.

This is one of the biggest reasons to hire a DUI attorney.  Douglas Schwab represents those who have been charged with driving under the influence and helps them fight these charges and minimize the consequences of a DUI.

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holidy drinkingThe holiday season for DUIs now stretches from "Blackout Wednesday," the day before Thanksgiving, through New Year's Day, according to data from several organizations.  Binge drinking and drunk driving peak around this time of year and, as a result, police officers are out in full force to arrest those who get behind the wheel after drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that around 725 people will be killed every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's in drunk driving accidents throughout the United States.  This number is between two and three times higher than all other days of the year.

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Arizona Drivers License duiIn the first rush of a DUI charge, most people are worried about staying out of jail and paying off the heavy fines that could be incurred.  When the dust settles, and the DUI has been dispatched, there may be lingering problems that are not obvious during the first few weeks of excitement surrounding a DUI charge.

For example, when a person first hears that he or she will lose the privilege of driving for a few months, it may not seem like a big deal.  However, having to get up every morning and bum a ride to work with friends or family can cause all sorts of friction and problems after a very short period of time.  Unfortunately, losing your license to drive for some period of time is almost inevitable with an Arizona DUI conviction.

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survive a duiThere are many people who will be quick to tell you that people who are charged with DUI "deserves what they get."  This judgmental attitude is not surprising when you consider the focus on the horrifying effects of DUI accidents and their impact on the innocent.  Certainly, stopping DUIs should be everyone's goal, but in the meantime, those who are accused often suffer terrible trauma without being able to talk to anyone about it.

DUI is a secret sort of crime.  Most people who get one do not want to talk about it.  They certainly do not want their friends and relatives to know about it.  Unfortunately, in the Information Age, it is likely that evidence is already up in abundance on the Internet.  The fact is that someone, somewhere may find out about the DUI, and if one person knows others may also learn about it.

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08 bacOne of the most dangerous misconceptions about DUI in Arizona is that anyone who registered a blood or breath alcohol content of .08 percent is automatically guilty of a DUI, and anyone who registers lower than that is automatically innocent.  This misconception has caused countless people to lose the opportunity to defend themselves against a DUI charge only to find out that their strategy is based on false logic.  A DUI attorney should always be consulted before entering any pleas to any type of DUI case or any time a person is charged with this crime.

What Does Per Se Intoxication Mean?

The confusion about the .08 percent blood alcohol content "limit" may arise from a misunderstanding of what the law says about driving while intoxicated.  .08 percent BAC has been established as the level at which a prosecutor no longer needs to prove that an individual is impaired by alcohol.  It is assumed that anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is impaired, freeing the prosecution to focus on the other aspects of the case. 

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second offense duiWhen you were in college, you got a DUI and pled guilty.  You did community service and paid a fine, eventually got your license back and moved on with your life.  You were only 21 years old, and you were in school.  It seemed smart back then to simply take the punishment and move on.

Today, you are 28 years old with a successful job and are starting a family.  That 21-year-old has little to do with your current life; in fact, you hardly ever think about that old DUI.  Then, one evening, your work colleagues invite you to a bar to celebrate a co-worker's retirement.  You have a few beers and head home.  On the way, you encounter a roadblock and are stopped and asked to submit to field sobriety tests.  You are then given a blood test which shows that you have a BAC of .08.

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drinks impairmentDo you know when you are too drunk to drive? Chances are that you believe you can tell when you can beat a DUI charge, and the chances are that you are wrong. If you drink any alcohol at all and drive, there is a danger that you can be charged with DUI. DUI defense attorney Douglas Schwab offers some tips for avoiding the trap of overconfidence and the subsequent DUI charges that may follow.

But I Don't Feel Drunk!

One of the most common statements heard after an unsuccessful attempt to pass a Breathalyzer test is, "But I don't feel drunk!" Many people are truly shocked when they see their BAC on the screen. In fact, many people believe the Breathalyzer is wrong rather than believe that they could be impaired.

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marijuana duiThe recent turnover in the law regarding the possession of marijuana for medical purposes has caused an uproar in DUI circles.  Judges are scrambling to figure out how to fairly assess the use of marijuana for the purposes of DUI convictions that will withstand the test of higher courts.   As more people are arrested and charged with DUI from marijuana use, the question will only become more complicated.  Douglas Schwab provides DUI defense representation for those who are charged with driving under the influence of any substance.

The Problem With Marijuana

The real problem with marijuana is that there is no reliable test for how often or how much marijuana someone has smoked.  The only way to know for sure that someone has used it recently is to do a urine test within 48 hours.  Even then, the urine test often does not show a concentration that can be reliably said to indicate "intoxication."  A blood test is usually used to identify those who have smoked marijuana, but the blood residue could be weeks old.  Someone who smoked marijuana four weeks previous to his or her arrest is obviously not still intoxicated, but can be charged with a DUI all the same under current practice.

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dui guilty pleaIf you receive a DUI charge, especially a first-time charge, you may be asked to plead guilty in exchange for a "lighter" sentence.  You may be told that if you plead guilty to your first DUI that you will avoid most of the penalties that can occur if you are convicted.  However, what the authorities may not tell you is that pleading guilty to a DUI can result in more serious penalties down the road if you are ever in trouble again, even for things not related to a DUI.

Douglas Schwab is ready to speak to you about your DUI and help you decide if a guilty plea is the right course of action in your case.  Some people can benefit from not pleading guilty to a DUI, while for others it is the best option.  A DUI defense attorney can help you decide on the right resolution to your own particular case.

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reality dui convictionYou may believe that your first DUI conviction is not serious enough to warrant hiring an attorney.  It may seem that by pleading guilty to this DUI you can quickly put the incident behind you, pay a fine and move on with your life.  Unfortunately, many people find out that this is not true after it is too late.

Even a first-time DUI conviction can have long-term consequences.  Some of the problems you may face as the result of a DUI conviction are:

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arizona dui interlockIf you have recently received a DUI conviction, you may have been required to install and use an ignition interlock device as part of your sentencing.  What is an IID and why are you required to have one?  More importantly, how does this device affect your driving privileges?

What An Ignition Interlock Device Does

An ignition interlock device or IID is a device that keeps your car from starting until you take a breath test by blowing into a device on the dashboard.  This device measures your breath alcohol concentration and if you have been drinking will not allow your car to start.

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arizona dui blood drawProsecutors in Scottsdale argued that a judge should not have dismissed DUI cases that involved questionable handling of blood samples by a particular lab, according to news sources.

Scottsdale Judge Jerry Bernstein recently barred prosecutors from using blood evidence in 11 aggravated DUI cases.  Judge Bernstein made his ruling after DUI defense attorneys showed that the lab used to test the blood was operating with faulty equipment and that the lab workers did not meet the scientific standards set by the state.

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dui roadblockYou are coming home late one night from a party or football game when suddenly you see cars stopped ahead and police officers with light bars blazing.  Your first thought may be that there was an accident, but soon you notice that each car is being subjected to screening.  It is a roadblock, and the officers are probably checking for drunk drivers as well as license and registration.

You think back quickly to the beers you consumed during the game.  Are you over the limit?  What should you do when you pull up to the roadblock?  Can you legally refuse a field sobriety test?  These are all questions that may run through your mind.  Here are some tips on what to do if you are faced with a roadblock and how to minimize your exposure to a possible DUI charge.

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madd dui enforcer of the yearMothers Against Drunk Driving is a powerful organization that has been instrumental in having many laws passed throughout the nation that have affected the way DUI cases are handled.  MADD has widespread public support and often honors police officers and lawmakers it considers supportive of the organization’s goals.

Recently, a Navajo County sheriff’s deputy was honored with the 2013 DUI Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.  According to reports, Asher Davis received the award from MADD AZ founder Stan Marks for his work in making DUI arrests including 46 blood draws in the past year.  Davis is a qualified phlebotomist and is certified to draw blood for DUI sampling.

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tempe pd safe and soberThe Tempe Police Department has begun Phase Two of its Safe & Sober campaign and kicked off the event with 58 DUI arrests in a three-day period.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, targeting alcohol-related crimes of all types of the Arizona State University campus has been the focus of this phase of the campaign.  To that end, patrols were increased and stops were frequent for DUI checks.  The average BAC of those arrested in the latest sweep was .138, nearly twice the legal limit.  Thirteen drivers were arrested for extreme DUI and six for super extreme DUI.

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carmen garcia conspiracyCarmen Lynn Fisher Garcia, a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, has been arrested on charges of conspiracy based on more than 250 criminal acts allegedly committed by her husband, Angel Lopez Garcia, from his prison cell.

According to reports, authorities allege that the Garcias operated a large criminal organization with the wife and attorney facilitating the illegal actions from her position outside the prison.  Four other individuals were also indicated as part of the conspiracy.  The charges include money laundering and solicitation to commit murder.

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University of Arizona DUIA student who was stopped by University of Arizona police was arrested for DUI after he accidentally rolled down the wrong window when talking to the officer.

Police allegedly pulled the student over for initially swerving into the far left lane then jerking the vehicle back into the right lane.  When an officer approached the student’s car, the student rolled down the window in the backseat rather than his own window.  Realizing his error, the student finally found the correct button to roll down the driver’s window. 

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super extreme dui arizonaArizona recognizes different levels of driving under the influence of alcohol. A person whose blood alcohol level is barely .08 is treated differently under the law than someone with a BAC of .24. This is because higher levels of DUI represent a far greater risk to the driver and to others than lower levels.

Blood alcohol percentage increases are not linear. This means that a person who has a blood alcohol content of .16 is not “twice as drunk” as a person with a BAC of .08. Instead, that person might be ten times as drunk or, more specifically, his impairment might be ten times greater. It is almost impossible to predict exactly how alcohol will affect individuals at different levels, but it is generally recognized that those with BACs of .15 or greater pose a much more significant risk to the public than those with lower BACs.

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dui rolloverAs a man’s recent experiences show, being the victim of a serious accident will not prevent authorities from investigating a driver for DUI in Arizona.

According to recent reports, Deputies arrived at South Barney Lane near Solomon Road in Graham County to find that a Chevy pickup had rolled several times during a single-vehicle crash. Evidence at the scene indicated that the truck had crashed into the side of a hill, scattering debris across the road and rupturing the gas tank. The driver had been ejected from the truck and was lying about 75 feet from the vehicle with numerous head lacerations.

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You may have heard drivers speak of having “points” added to their licenses due to driving infractions.  Arizona is one state that uses a points system to determine when a driver’s license should be suspended.  Any driver who has eight or more points added to his or her license within a year is in danger of having the license suspended.

How Many Points Does My Violation Carry?

The Motor Vehicle Department publishes a list of the number of points assigned to various infractions.  DUI, extreme DUI, reckless driving, racing and aggressive driving all carry eight points per conviction.  Leaving the scene of an accident or failure to yield that leads to death carries six points, and speeding carries 3 points, for example.  

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refuse arizona dui testRefusal to take a chemical or other type of test to determine your blood alcohol content in Arizona is a crime.  Arizona has an “implied consent” law.  This means that when your driver’s license is issued in that state, you by implication consent to future tests of blood, breath or urine to determine your alcohol content at the request of an officer of the law or a court.

If you are pulled over or involved in an accident, or if you pass through a checkpoint, and you refuse to give a sample for testing, you can be subject to severe penalties. 

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arizona dui testDid you know that Arizona investigators are permitted to use three types of testing to determine if Arizona drivers are guilty of DUI?  Under the law, officials can test blood, breath and urine for the presence of alcohol.  Together, these tests are known as "chemical tests" because they test for alcohol content using chemical means.

Each type of test has a specific purpose and each can be challenged based on the science of the testing process.

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extreme duiA Douglas man was arrested and charged with "extreme" DUI after he allegedly struck four vehicles in a late August crash.  Douglas police responded to a call in the 800 block of 14th street and located a silver Lincoln with extensive front end damage in the 700 block of 14th.  The driver, Luis Carlos Romero, 37, was detained and transported to jail on suspicion of DUI. 

Investigation revealed that Romero allegedly struck a total of four vehicles between the 700 and 800 block of 14th street, including a 1999 Dodge van, a 1999 Chevy truck, a 1999 Ford sedan and a 1999 Pontiac sedan. 

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arizona dui bacDid you know that .08 blood alcohol content is not necessarily required to make a DUI arrest in the state of Arizona?  If you did not realize that you could be arrested even if you have only had one drink, read on to find out the facts about Arizona DUI law and why you may need an attorney if you are stopped by an officer for driving under the influence.

No .08 BAC Required

Every state has now adopted .08 percent as the "limit" at which most DUI charges start.  This means that a person must have his or her blood tested and .08 percent or higher must show to be alcohol before most courts will allow prosecutors to bring a DUI charge.  However, not every state has .08 as the ultimate BAC limit, and Arizona is one of them.

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phoenix officer extreme duiA Phoenix police officer is facing extreme DUI charges after being arrested in August in Mountain View precinct.  The officer, 36-year-old Lori Demski, is a nine-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department.  Officer Demsky was arrested after neighbors alerted authorities that they had seen her drive away from her home in what appeared to be an intoxicated state.  When officers arrived at the home, Demsky was returning in her car.  She was tested and her blood alcohol results were at least .20 percent.  In Arizona, .15 percent is considered extremely intoxicated and is twice the normal limit.  Officials are awaiting confirmation of the exact blood alcohol level in her body before making charges.  That process can take up to six weeks.

Under Arizona law, the degree to which she was intoxicated will determine Demski's punishment if she is convicted.  Although everything over .15 percent is considered extreme DUI, BACs of .20 or more result in at least 45 days jail time and double the fines normally associated with a DUI.

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dui checkpoint stolen carA driver was arrested in connection with a stolen vehicle that passed through a DUI checkpoint in southeastern Arizona. The truck, a black 2001 Silverado, was found to have a license plate belonging to a different vehicle.

The driver of the truck was ordered to stop by police on State Route 90 near Colonia De Salud but instead turned south on Moson Road. The truck traveled to Blaze Way and Pintek Lane where it was forced to stop due to significant vehicle damage.

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marijuana dui labor dayApproximately one out of every six DUI arrests this Labor Day weekend in Arizona were drug rather than alcohol related, according to data released from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.  These figures have some wondering if the new drug laws allowing the use of medical marijuana are contributing to the increase in drug-related DUIs.  Others argue that these numbers are not out of line given the use of marijuana in the general population with or without medical marijuana permission.

The Facts About DUI Arrests in Arizona

During the month leading up to the 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend, officials arrested approximately 800 drivers statewide for some form of DUI.  The Pima County Sheriff’s office alone made 400 traffic stops that led to 20 DUI arrests and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office made four DUI arrests. 

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dui checkpoint arizonaLabor Day DUI stops were more frequent over the holiday weekend, and several checkpoints were made possible by grant funding from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.  In Prescott, the increased police presence resulted in 111 traffic stops and seven DUI arrests. 

DUI Saturation Patrols were sent out by the Tri-City DUI Task Force and included 12 officers from the Prescott Police Department, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  Although there were relatively few DUI arrests made, those that were showed a surprising trend toward extremely inebriated drivers.

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college duiNorthern Arizona’s University Mountain Campus in Flagstaff is opening its doors to nearly 1,000 more students than last year. In fact, the freshman class alone has increased its enrollment by 11.5 percent. There are more than 8,000 students living in on-campus housing, and officials are scrambling to schedule fun events that engage students and keep them out of trouble. This week, a welcome-back dinner, concert and block party are all schedule to make students feel welcome.

Despite these efforts, however, several DUI arrests have already occurred on or around the campus. NAU police officers are staying visible in the hopes of avoiding tragic accidents involving alcohol and students.

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high cost of dui arizonaYou may hear people say, “I only had a few” just before getting into a car and heading off down the road. The same mental block that keeps people from recognizing that they could easily be intoxicated also seems to keep some of those arrested for DUI from recognizing the potential severity of the consequences they face.

The state of Arizona takes DUI very seriously. In 2012, more than 540 people were arrested for DUI in the state with 178, or nearly a third of them, having measured blood alcohol contents of more than .15 percent. This is known as “extreme DUI” and represents a very serious infraction of DUI laws and a very dangerous situation for both the driver and others on the road. These numbers mean that judges and prosecutors have little incentive to reduce charges or consequences for a person arrested for DUI. In fact, public pressure on prosecutors and judges is to increase DUI fines and jail time.

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drunk driving labor dayToo many of us have quietly wondered whether or not we were legally able to drive a vehicle at a certain time or times during our lives yet we still got behind the wheel and started moving down the road. We may have been familiar with where we were going and/or we may have only had a short distance to travel. Many of those times, we have arrived at our destination safely and not had to deal with the potential ramifications of police scrutiny. After these experiences, many of us have forgotten all about them and moved on.

Unfortunately, too many of us have made the mistake of consuming alcohol before operating a vehicle and we have felt that proverbial cold water splash down on us when we saw sirens light up and sound off behind us. We have all but panicked when we got pulled over and investigated on suspicion of DUI only to have those police suspicions confirmed. When you’re arrested for any crime, it’s a terrifying and extremely stressful experience, and in the wake of such an experience many of us simply want to crawl in a hole and hope that it all goes away by the time we reemerge.

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dui defense attorneyDUI is a unique crime in several ways. It is a serious crime in that some people who are convicted of DUI or DUI-related charges even for the first time can face the real prospect of serving some time in jail. However, unlike most serious crimes the investigation for DUI happens very quickly. Therefore, there is usually little or even no time for a suspect to build a defense and to put together a strategy, as the duration between the beginning of an investigation for DUI and an arrest on suspicion of this type of charge in Arizona can take mere minutes.

As such, too many people wind up basically convicting themselves or making matters much worse because of common mistakes that are made. The risk for mistakes in these situations is high because there is often no Arizona DUI defense attorney present and in many cases suspects are extremely frightened, overcome by stress and perhaps actually intoxicated to the point where their ability to make sound decisions is impaired.

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duicheckpoint arizonaLawyers may continue to argue that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional or are imperfectly administrated, but the public tends to support them and courts respond to this support. This is particularly true when a DUI accident takes the life of an innocent person. Often, after such a tragedy, law enforcement officials ramp up checkpoints, a visible symbol to the public that they are on the job and attempting to prevent the next DUI accident.

DUI checkpoints have not been shown to be extremely effective in lowering DUI incidents. A recent article on the effectiveness of DUI checkpoints shows that relatively few arrests are made, but that experts do believe these stops are deterrents to those who might consider drinking and driving. However, this is almost impossible to measure, and many others point out that checkpoints may actually instigate some accidents by causing drivers to suddenly bolt for fear of an arrest.

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dui blood testIn a rare move by a Superior Court judge, Jerry Bernstein ruled that blood test results will be suppressed in at least 11 felony drunk-driving cases. These cases were consolidated and presented as a unit to the judge based on the validity of blood-testing equipment at the Scottsdale Police Department. The judge’s ruling could potentially affect hundreds of current and past DUI cases. The state is planning on appealing the ruling.

“It Takes Some Courage”

Defense attorneys praised the judge’s ruling, noting that if the equipment is malfunctioning, there is the potential that thousands of DUI cases may be affected. Therefore, according to one attorney, it took “courage” for the judge to make a ruling that could potentially release DUI offenders who have already been convicted or take away evidence that might be used in future cases, especially those that involve death or injury to innocent victims.

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