IN ARIZONA FOR A FIRST OFFENSE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE CONVICTION, DO I NEED A Certified Ignition Interlock Device FOR THE MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION, THE COURT, OR BOTH?
Let me present a hypothetical situation. There has been an accident. It might be something minor - someone veers off the road or hits a parked car in a parking lot. When the police arrive, the driver of the vehicle shows all the usual signs of intoxication. Their speech is slurred. They may be moving lethargically or might become aggressive. The police put them through the field tests for sobriety - they are unbalanced and seem to have trouble following directions. Our strict laws regarding driving under the influence means that this combination of circumstances is enough to earn drivers acting suspiciously a DUI arrest in Arizona, including the immediate penalties that come along with that.
Age creeps up on all of us. Everyone probably has a moment of clarity every now and then, when they bend over to put on their shoes and hear the clicks and pops that come along with a life well lived. In addition to failing joints, there is a related legal issue worth addressing here that most people don't like to approach too directly; either because they don't want to embarrass or hurt the feelings of a parent or friend, or they don't feel it's their place to point it out at all.
The issue I'll be discussing in this blog is about alcohol affects us differently as we age.
There seems to be a perpetual myth - not only in Arizona but in most other states as well - regarding the severity of DWI/DUI laws and the penalties for operating a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This confusion could be related at least in part to the fact that, even in Arizona, motorcycles are vastly outnumbered on the roads by automobiles. Statistically, they are involved in far fewer DWI arrests. This seems to have fed the growth of a misconception that the laws governing motorcycle DWIs and the penalties for being arrested are not as harsh as the laws applying to automobile drivers - as well as the mistaken assumption that there is less likelihood of being stopped or arrested for DWI on a motorcycle.
In truth, Arizona DUI laws and penalties for bikers are no different than those applied to car drivers. And as most of you are probably aware, the state of Arizona is somewhat infamous for their strict and frankly, draconian approach to punishing those accused of drunk driving.
Over the course of my legal career, I have heard many misguided expectations of what people expect in the way of leniency when facing DWI/DUI charges. There are always reasons for someone to believe their circumstances are special and worthy of getting a break. But the one that prompted this post was a national news story about a single mother DUI with her three-year-old child in the car. Unfortunately, these days, neither the Courts nor the Prosecutors office give any deference to anyone's occupation or marital status when meeting out punishment. In other words, single moms don't get any additional love, merely because they are single moms.
This particular story is about a woman who was arrested and charged with three felony counts - drug possession, a DUI for exceeding the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 BAC, and a DUI with a child under the age of 15 in the car. These charges were based on a call to the police, which was made by someone who saw her drink a few sips of a mimosa during lunch at a restaurant with her 4-year-old son. The caller also described her as having had several glasses of white wine and said that they thought she seemed "groggy". The events that unfolded should serve as a dire warning for any parents faced with DUI/DWI charges.
If you find yourself in the situation of having a conviction for driving while having any alcohol in your body and you are under the age of 21, you may be wondering why your driver's license is suspended for two (2) years and if there is any way you will be able to drive within that two (2) year period. Many people in this situation need to drive for work, school or other obligations and being prevented from doing so can have a significant negative effect on their life.
Having recently posted about the important points of the way Arizona approaches BAC testing, I thought I'd use this opportunity to go over another often misunderstood element of DUI arrest - the police report.
Can you request your police report?
Yes. Most of the time, your attorney will be able to get it more quickly and easier than you could but there are ways to get it yourself. If you've been arrested for DUI and plan to contest it in court (or are even considering doing so), one of the first things you should do is request the police report filled out and submitted by the arresting officer.
You face harsh penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona. Leaving the scene of a DUI only complicates the circumstances. Whether you caused the accident or were involved in the incident, by law, you are required to stop and failing to do so can result in a felony arrest.
Failure to stop and remain at the site is a violation of several Arizona Statutes, including §28-661, §28-662 and §28-663, all applying to alcohol and drug screening to determine the level of conviction with the crime. Primarily the first two statutes focus on the failure to stop, damages to the vehicles and the severity of any injuries or death. The last one is about information requested by the arriving officer and assistance to the injured parties involved in the accident.
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test is a topic that has always sparked a lot of interest anytime it comes up within a legal context. In Arizona, if you, or someone you know, is pulled over by the police and they believe you were driving under influence of alcohol - can you (and should you) refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, blood or urine test?
One reason this particular question always seems to stir up conversation is because the laws regarding your requirement to submit to an official BAC test can differ a great deal from state to state, so generalized information is not very helpful and can muddy the issue considerably. It is important for you to understand the laws regarding BAC submittal for the state that you actually live. So - how does Arizona handle these situations?
Inmates who are booked into the Maricopa County jail may release their property to anyone they choose. An inmate can choose to release the property to a specific person or to anyone who comes down and specifically requests it. Inmates must release all of their property when requesting a property release. It is not possible to release only selected items. The inmate will choose where the property is released. This will usually occur at either 4th Avenue Jail or Lower Buckeye Jail.
The person picking up the property will need to provide a valid government issued picture identification card (ID), such as a Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) identification card/driver's license that is current and valid. An Immigration card (work visa card, or resident alien card) presented with a MVD card is acceptable. Picture ID's made at swap meets, or store ID cards like Sam's Club are not valid ID's.