Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Entries tagged with "DWI"

Politics In Action

I’d rather not write a post about Kolby Granville, but he’s a public figure and his Facebook posts make it tough to stay quiet. Kolby seemed nice in law school. I think he was in the peace corps and a famous archer before that. I heard he ran for office before law school too. He asked lots of questions in class. He got some type of firm job after graduating, and he quit to become a teacher, at some point running for and winning a spot on Tempe’s City Council. Like hundreds of other people I don’t really know terribly well along with a small group of people I do, he and I are Facebook buddies. He recently posted this: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants

Scottsdale’s DUI Machine Malfunctions, Court Of Appeals Doesn’t Care

One of Scottsdale’s DUI-conviction-machines has some serious problems. I first wrote about it in 2012 after a Scottsdale City Court judge prevented me from telling a jury about the problems. The judge demanded an offer of proof before he was willing to admit evidence of anything calling into question the city’s malfunctioning piece of equipment. Instead of making the state bear the burden of proving the test was accurate and admitting all of the information about its problems, he presumed the results were accurate and precluded any information to the contrary. I wrote about it again in 2013, when a Maricopa County Superior Court judge finally ruled that blood test results from the machine in several cases were inadmissible pursuant to Rule 702 of the Arizona Rules of … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

DUI Home Detention

Arizona’s extreme DUI statute is A.R.S. § 28–1382. Subsection (D)(1) requires thirty consecutive days in jail for a DUI involving an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more but less than 0.20, and subsection (I) allows for all but nine of those to be suspended. For an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more, the same subsections require forty-five consecutive days in jail and allow for all but fourteen days to be suspended. Depending on the court, you may be able to do home detention for some of your time. The relevant home detention statute is A.R.S. § 9-499.07. In 2011, Senate Bill 1200 made some substantial changes to the law. Here is what it changed regarding the eligibility requirements a prisoner must meet for the program: Notwithstanding section … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

What The Hell Do They Want?

A former client of mine contacted me a while back asking for help with a situation that makes my blood boil. He’s a smart guy and a good person, but his life has been a constant struggle, a fight to escape a hard life of poverty and mental illness. He never got any of the luck breaks most of us have had at some point or another. For a while, it seemed like he was on the right track, though. Sadly, he found himself in trouble again. That was when he called. I could’ve been disappointed, but I mostly just felt awful for him. I wanted to give him a hug and go back in time to make everything right, but that’s never going to … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

Scottsdale’s DUI Problems

Over a year ago, I complained about courts making the defense prove that the state’s deeply flawed scientific evidence, which you can show for a fact was not just flawed but verifiably false in similar situations, was in fact flawed in your client’s case before you are allowed to tell the jury about issues that came up in other situations. The problem is finally coming to the surface. Imagine a situation where a particular gas chromatograph mixes up names and reference numbers of vials of blood being tested for blood alcohol content in DUI cases. It also stops running completely during tests and deletes baseline information. The state’s “expert” acknowledges those and numerous other problems, and he admits he has no idea why the problems happened. On … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

They Just Want Your Money

On Monday, I got to hear an elderly gentleman get sentenced for a first-time super extreme DUI (one where his blood alcohol concentration was over 0.20%) as I waited for the court to call my client’s case. He was so nervous he was shaking, and at one point, he begged the judge to not send him to jail. She told him something about how she would have to send her own brother for jail for that charge because the legislature set a mandatory minimum sentence. She also added a little comment about seeing people with a third of his BAC being involved in fatal collisions. How that could be the case seeing how she’s a misdemeanor court judge and doesn’t seem the type to go to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Government Rants

Happy National No-Phone Zone Day!

Every TV channel I saw at the gym this morning seemed to be covering the fact Oprah has declared today “National ‘No-Phone Zone’ Day.” I guess that Oprah has convinced the USDOT, the NHTSA, the GHSA, and a variety of other government entities with acronym names to join her in promoting awareness to end distracted driving. I normally wouldn’t post about something like that, as every day is stop-something day, but my head filled with thoughts as I watched part of a segment showing teenagers trying to drive a golf cart around a course marked with cones while texting. Needless to say, very few cones remained standing at the end, and the exercise supposedly demonstrated the dangers of what I’m going to call DWD, driving while distracted. I … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants

Roving Packs of Pit Bulls, Drunk Drivers

I had a discussion a month or two ago with someone who really embraced the idea of outlawing pit bulls. His concern was that if people weren’t limited in what kind of dog they could own, some people would breed and train extremely powerful, vicious dogs who’d eventually wreak havoc on society. There would be roving packs of pit bulls bred and trained to kill. I hear a similar argument every time I criticize DUI laws. When I suggest lesser penalties (and especially when I suggest eliminating DUI laws altogether), people say that if there weren’t strict DUI laws, everyone would drive drunk. In essence, there would be roving packs of drunk drivers liquored up and ready to kill. Sure, eliminating DUI laws might result in an increase … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI

Actual Control (Again)

Recently, I was surprised when Division Two looked at an issue very close to (if not the same as) something I previously discussed in a post. The issue in State v. Zaragoza was “actual control,” and most of the commentary I’ve read seems to claim that the opinion narrows the term significantly. Here it is. Although I have no doubt that it’s a step in the right direction and may well assist me in future motions, I am skeptical about how positive an effect the opinion is likely to have. Like any appellate opinion, it can be narrowed by its facts. The time line isn’t entirely clear to me, but I think the officer was on top of things as soon as the defendant got in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, DUI

Classes of DUI

A DUI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. For your run-of-the-mill first DUI, whether you have a blood alcohol concentration just over the legal limit or a blood alcohol concentration three times the legal limit, although the mandatory jail sentences differ, the charge will be a class 1 misdemeanor. However, a regular DUI can become a felony and be considered “aggravated” if, among other things, you had a suspended license, two prior DUIs in the past seven years, or a person under fifteen years of age in the car. A DUI that’s aggravated because of a suspended license or two prior DUIs in the past seven years is a class 4 felony, and a DUI that’s aggravated because there was a child in the car … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, DUI

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