In the case of State v. Harris, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1, made a ruling about driving under the influence of marijuana that will have far reaching effects in Arizona. State v. Harris, No. 1 CA-SA 12-0211, 2013 WL 504558 (Ariz. Ct. App. Div. 1 Feb. 12, 2013). On its face, the decision has the appearance of re-affirming Arizona's zero tolerance policy on driving under the influence of drugs; however, the practical reality of this ruling is significantly more important to both interstate tourism and Arizona citizens' right to travel. The impact will be felt for years to come.
The Arizona Republic reported over the weekend that the Scottsdale Crime lab is in trouble. As a DUI Lawyer who practices in Scottsdale, I have been screaming this for years. The Republic's piece focused on the Maricopa County Superior Court hearings regarding the admissibility of the blood test results that are coming out of the Scottsdale Lab. In essence, a Superior Court Judge in a felony DUI case is hearing arguments as to whether the lab work in the Scottsdale Crime Lab is so unreliable that the results should be precluded from being brought up in trial, and hence will never be heard by a jury. Despite the fact that whatever ruling that is ultimately handed down by the Superior Court Judge is not technically binding on the Scottsdale City Court Judges (where 95% of all DUI cases are heard), this ruling should shake some things up in the City Court.