On Tuesday May 6th, 2014, the Arizona Court of Appeals announced a ruling that bars the city law enforcement from arresting someone solely on the basis of being incapacitated by alcohol in public. The ruling was pre-empted by a 1972 state law that prohibits criminalizing someone for “being a common drunkard or being found in an intoxicated condition.”

Tuesday’s decision went into effect immediately, but some people are not so happy with the ruling. One opinion is that under this ruling, the Court is leaving innocent bystanders subject to the raucous crowds generated by Scottsdale’s entertainment district.

Attorney Craig Rosenstein has represented numerous clients who have been arrested under a Scottsdale City ordinance that made it illegal to be drunk in public. This ordinance was no longer in effect since the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling on Tuesday. Attorney Rosenstein‘s opinion was that under the Scottsdale City ordinance he saw his client’s rights being taken advantage of and being charged with crimes they shouldn’t have been.

The reasoning behind this Legislative decision was to treat alcoholism as a disease and not a crime. However, police still have the authority to arrest individuals who are endangering themselves or others by engaging in activities such as driving or operating machinery while intoxicated.

Even with this new ruling, DUI laws are still being heavily enforced throughout Arizona. The Rosenstein Law Group handles cases throughout Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal County, so if you ever find yourself in an unfortunate circumstance, such as a DUI, please give us a call (480-248-7666). We are here to help and make sure that one poor decision does not affect the rest of your life.