May 9, 2011 by Lawrence Koplow  
Filed under Arizona DUI News, DUI

It's true - Arizona has reduced the penalties for DUI convictions.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • The interlock requirement has been reduced from 12 months to 6 months (for first time non-extreme DUI.)
  • The mandatory jail requirements have been modified / reduced.  There is a lot of legalese with this particular change.  I will do a detailed post on the specifics soon.  However, you should know the judges now have more discretion to reduced jail time for both extreme and non-extreme DUI convictions.
  • Home detention (an electronic ankle bracelet) will now be available in justice courts and the judges now have some more latitude to utilize these ankle bracelets instead of long jail sentences;
  • Certain driver's license suspensions now allow for restricted driving permits that previously did not;

There are a lot more changes in the new law.  The legislature, without a public debate, removed the statutory right to jury trial for non-extreme DUI cases.  However, all extreme DUI charges and all second DUI charges still have an automatic right to a jury trial.  There may still be a right to jury trial in regular DUI cases under Arizona's common law.  In any event, the jury trial has not disappeared - there will be a big legal fight to come on this issue.

I will be posting additional details on the new laws in the coming days.


Scottsdale DUI: Changes in the Scottsdale Courts

February 22, 2010 by Lawrence Koplow  
Filed under Arizona DUI News, DUI

What is going on in Scottsdale?  In the last 30 days two judges have been let go by the City Counsel.  What is coming next? 

No Consent, No Warrant, No Blood

September 4, 2009 by Lawrence Koplow  
Filed under Arizona DUI News, DUI

Some things in life seem obvious. It is hotter in the summer. It is colder in the winter. The government must get a warrant to stick a needle in your arm before they forcibly take your blood. However, this last presumption has not been so obvious in Arizona.

For years in Arizona, attorneys have been arguing that law enforcement must get a warrant before taking your blood during a DUI investigation. Unless, of course, the person “expressly consents” to the blood draw. However, many Arizona courts have held that, under Arizona law, we should "imply" your consent to the blood test. Thus, there is no need to ask for your consent, nor to get a warrant before taking blood.

In most DUI cases, officers ask the person suspected of DUI if they will consent to the blood draw. The officer will explain that if you refuse to give consent, a one (1) year license revocation will be triggered. Moreover, the officer will likely inform you that they will also get a telephonic warrant, in a matter of minutes, and forcibly take your blood. Consequently, the majority of people do give consent to the blood draw. This scenario is perfectly legal.

However, every year I see a number cases where law enforcement just takes the person’s blood without asking for consent. They merely say "give me your arm" and take the blood. Most experienced DUI officers will not engage in such conduct. Yet this situation keeps occurring. And until now, many courts have upheld the officer's actions.

On September 1, 2009, the Arizona Court of Appeals stated the obvious.  They held that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant to take a DUI suspects blood - unless the person “expressly agrees” to have their blood drawn. The Court reasoned:

Arizona’s Implied Consent Law, A.R.S. § 28-1321, requires the State to obtain a warrant before drawing a blood sample from a DUI suspect unless the suspect “expressly agree[s]” to submit to the blood test. A.R.S. § 28-1321(B), (D) (Supp. 2005).

We hold that the “express agreement” required by the statute must be affirmatively and unequivocally manifested by words or conduct, and may not be inferred from a suspect’s mere failure to communicate clear objection to the test.

In sum, there is nothing “obvious” about Arizona DUI laws.

Drunk In Charge Of A Vehicle – Don’t Be Caught Out

November 13, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Arizona DUI News, DUI tests

By Richard M Jenkins

It is common knowledge that to drive on a UK road with excess alcohol in your system, more than 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath, in a criminal offense.

Anyone convicted of driving with excess alcohol in their system will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months. If the person has had a similar conviction within the last 10 years then the driving disqualification will be for a minimum of three years.

The total length of the ban will depend on several factors the most important being the amount of alcohol within the system. As the minimum disqualification is mandatory any hardship such as loss of employment due the ban will not be taken into account.

Certain “special reasons” however can be used to argue against a disqualification. For example maybe the driver in question has moved their vehicle only a short distance, from roadside to driveway or may have been dealing with a true emergency. Although technically this is enough to warrant prosecution it may be possible to argue “special reasons” not to disqualify. Such “special reasons” however can not guarantee a ruling against a ban. The law here is complex and each case can only be judged on a case to case basis.

It is not so widely known that a driver can also quite easily be prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a vehicle. The law states that anyone who is in charge of a vehicle on a road or other public place having consumed excess alcohol is guilty of this offense. This can lead to a discretionary ban, a fine or ten penalty points. You can be charged with this offense for simply having the keys to a vehicle whilst having excess alcohol in your system. This means if you sleep in a parked car whilst having consumed excess alcohol you can be charged. Even sitting in your car with excess alcohol in your system is enough to get you arrested. You only defense if you are arrested for this is to prove that there was no likelihood of you driving the vehicle whilst excess alcohol was still in your system.

These two offenses can be committed either on a road or other public place. This means any area the general public have access too. This could be pub car parks or shopping car parks. Even private roads have been held to be “other public places”.

For more driving advice see the driving test and driving schools website. A site for learner drivers providing guides on topics such as the driving theory test and cheap young drivers car insurance.

Article Source:

Maricopa County Jail Lawsuit

October 23, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

The Phoenix New Times is reporting that a judge has ruled against Sheriff Joe Apraio in the latest suit about the treatment of his inmates in the county jails. (…)

Forensic Problems Nothing New – But Still Shocking

October 17, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

The LA Times is reporting that the LA Crime Lab's fingerprint analysis is responsible for implicating innocent people in crime due to faulty "science."
They describe a messy crime lab where evidence sits around in piles, is disorganized, or worse. (…)

Light Rail In Phoenix – The antidote for DUI?

October 15, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

Proponents of the Phoenix light rail system that is deep into construction claim that the project will reduct DUI cases by offering people an alternative mode of transportation to and from downtown for cultural and sporting events. (…)

Why Intoxilyzer Source Code Matters In DUI Cases

October 11, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

In DUI cases the state wants everybody to believe that the Intoxilyzer machine has been tested. (…)

Courts complicit in framing future DUI murder charges?

October 10, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

There is an interesting post on Lawrence Taylor's DUI Blog about linking previous DUI convictions to a future murder charge.  According to Mr. (…)

DUI Breath Tests: The audacity of corporate America

October 9, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Arizona DUI News

The quote below
is attributed to Tucson DUI Attorney James Nesci as reported by the Citizen. Mr. (…)

Next Page »