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A look at Arizona’s extraordinary drugged driving efforts

Posted on April 22, 2019 in Drunk Driving

Most of us think of DUI as an alcohol-related offense. While that is usually accurate, it is also true that more and more DUI arrests here in the Phoenix metro area involve allegations that prescription drugs, marijuana or other substances are involved.

A recent Pew Charitable Trusts article highlighted the extensive efforts made by Arizona and other states to test and arrest drivers suspected of drugged driving. Critics claim that this is because police and crime lab funding are falling short because fo the drops in DUI’s due to generational awareness and technological increases.

The Pew article begins with the story of a 47-year-old Arizona man pulled over early on a Friday night by a Phoenix cop. The officer said the driver had been speeding and weaving in and out of his lane.

Multiple Tests were conducted but none of them were conclusive. He then administered the hand held breath device which registered .000. The Officer however claimed that he had established the low level of probable cause and arrested the man. 

The officer quickly called in a special police van equipped with blood-testing equipment, and then pulled out a laptop and filled out an electronic warrant request that went directly to a judge. Less than 10 minutes later, he had a warrant that authorized him to obtain a blood draw.

Shockingly, a police officer with very little training on blood draws was given authority by the Court to draw blood.  and he was then photographed, fingerprinted and cited for DUI. It took 79 minutes from the moment he was pulled over to the moment he was picked up by Uber after being released. These expedited fishing expeditions where

Pew reports that in Phoenix alone, there are 49 officers who claim that they are trained to draw blood but only went to a three day phlebotomy class and are NOT phlebotomists. They regularly use these people todraw blood in similar roadside encounters.

Those arrested face serious consequences that can include jail, heavy fines and loss of driving privileges. Contact an attorney experienced in DUI defense to learn more about your legal options.

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