Extreme DUI Penalties Enhanced

In 2007, Arizona’s State Legislature passed two extreme DUI bills which conflicted with one another. One bill prohibited judges from reducing the extreme DUI minimum 30 day jail sentence, while the other bill permitted judges to reduce the sentence.

To resolve this conflict, the State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1004, which takes away a judge’s discretion to suspend any portion of a jail term for a person convicted of extreme DUI.

The Arizona Republic has reported:

Lawmakers moved swiftly Thursday to make more penalties for extreme drunken driving mandatory, a change designed to bring two conflicting provisions of the law into agreement.

Judges no longer would have discretion to waive a portion of the 30-day sentence required for first-time extreme-DUI offenders as well as a portion of the 120-day sentence mandated for second offenders. Judges now can waive 10 days of the first-time sentence and 60 days of the second-time sentence if the offender has completed a court-ordered education, treatment or substance-abuse-screening program.

…The bill passed the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee on a unanimous vote.

As stated in the example above, a first time extreme DUI conviction in Arizona previously required a minimum 30 day jail sentence, of which 20 days could be suspended, provided the defendant successfully completed an alcohol or drug screening (and any recommended treatment.)  So persons convicted of extreme DUI actually only had to serve 10 days. The sentencing language usually read Defendant is sentenced to 30 days of jail and 20 of those days will be suspended upon successful completion of a drug and alcohol screening. Under the new bill, persons must serve the full 30 days.

If You Thought The New Arizona DUI Laws Were Tough, Wait Until You Hear What Other Drivers Are Doing To DUI Suspects In Scottsdale, Arizona

There has been a lot of publicity regarding the new Arizona DUI laws. These new laws have created some of the toughest penalties in the nation. However, it appears that drinking and driving in Arizona could result in something worse than jail.

Mark Flatten of the East Valley Tribune is reporting that a man shot a hit-and-run suspect in Scottsdale, Arizona.

An attempt to block a fleeing hit-and-run suspect ended with a gunshot in Scottsdale Saturday.

Martin Ezekiel, 23, of Phoenix was arrested on charges of aggravated assault after he fired a shot into a truck that had been involved in an accident a short time earlier, wounding the passenger, according to Scottsdale police.

Continue Reading...

I Have An Ignition Interlock Device, Now What?

All DUI convictions in Arizona now require an ignition interlock device for at least a year. Practically speaking, this means that a person will be forced to “blow” into the device to show there is no alcohol in his or her  system every time he or she starts a car, and approximately every 15 to 30 minutes while the vehicle is operating.

There are also several Arizona statutes relating to the interlock device once it has been installed in a vehicle.  Failure to comply with these laws can result in either: (1) an extended interlock period; and/or (2) a driver's license suspension.  Below is a summary of the requirements that apply to a person who has already had an interlock device installed. 

First, there are several reporting requirements for those required to have an interlock device.  The Motor Vehicle Division's website mandates that:

Once installed in your vehicle, the CIID [Certified Ignition Interlock Device] must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer every 30 days for the first three months and then every other month for the duration of installation requirement. The inspections make sure the device is working properly and detect any issues of non-compliance...

Moreover, under § 28-1461, a person must provide proof of compliance with an ignition interlock device to the department at least every 90 days.  If a person fails to submit proof of compliance, the person's license will be suspended indefinitely until he or she proves compliance with the guidelines. See A.R.S. § 28-1463.  Most people rely on the interlock company to comply with these requirements.  I strongly recommend that a person audit the interlock company to make sure they have complied with the mandatory reporting requirements.  If the company fails to appropriately comply with the reporting requirements, the person will face the prescribed penalties. 

Continue Reading...