The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

March 2010 Archives

DUI Crash Leads To Murder Charge

If there's somebody injured or killed in a drunk driving related accident, then the DUI offender typically faces enhanced criminal charges. This is what's happening to Robert C. Young, after he was said to be involved in a crash that killed 54-year-old James Walley in Tuscon.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Mr. Young now faces a second-degree murder charge. The 46-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly struck a man who was riding a motorized bicycle on West Prince Road last week. Mr. Young was booked into Pima County Jail after traffic detectives determined that he showed signs and symptoms of being intoxicated after the crash. The suspect will now probably need an Arizona DUI attorney to defend himself against the charge.

Drunk Drivers in Payson Must Pay For Emergency Response

A DUI conviction in Arizona can lead to high fines, jail time, and a license revocation. But the Payson Roundup reports that a DUI conviction can now lead to even further penalties; if there's a drunk-driving related accident in the city of Payson.

Earlier this month, the Payson Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will allow the town to charge impaired drivers for the emergency crews that respond to an accident they cause. For a fire truck, charges include $450 for the first hour and $250 for each additional hour. For an ambulance, the city will impose a $400 fine, and a $500 fine for a ladder company. So if an impaired driver causes a crash, he or she is looking at an extra $1000 in fines.

Phoenix Man Charged With Marijuana DUI

After Angel Martinez admitted to a Safford police officer on Sunday that he had smoked marijuana the previous night, he was placed under arrest for aggravated DUI, according to the Eastern Arizona Courier. Yet some Arizona DUI attorneys would argue that this is hardly fair, since the man was not necessarily under the influence of drugs while he was driving.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, drug tests can detect marijuana in the body for up to six weeks after use. In Arizona, a person can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if there is any drug metabolite in their system. So a person can be charged with DUI, even if he or she hasn't ingested marijuana for several weeks and does not show any sign of impairment.

New Linebacker For Arizona Cardinals Arrested For DUI

Bad news for the Arizona Cardinals has hit local football fans, as veteran NFL linebacker Joey Porter was arrested on Saturday in Bakersfield, CA on suspicion of DUI. Mr. Porter recently signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract with the Cardinals on March 19, according to AHN News.

In addition to drunk driving, Mr. Porter has been accused of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. According to the Bakersfield Californian, all of Mr. Porter's charges are misdemeanors. He was taken into custody after refusing to provide his driver's license when officers pulled him over. A police report says that Mr. Porter's breath smelled of alcohol and that he slapped the hand of an officer who tried to unlock his door as the linebacker was trying to roll up his car window.

Larry Lawrence Gets His Trial Postponed

Ahwatukee Foothills News reports that Larry Lawrence, the man who unlawfully stormed through Kyrene de los Cerritos Elementary School two years ago, will have his trial postponed to May 24 in Maricopa County Superior Court. Judge George Foster granted the trial's postponement earlier this month so that Mr. Lawrence's Arizona DUI attorney will have enough time to prepare for the hearing.

In August 2008, Mr. Lawrence allegedly ran through the elementary school's hallways looking for his wife. But before the man even arrived at the school, the Arizona Republic reported that Mr. Lawrence allegedly lost control of his car and slammed into a wall in a private residence near Desert Foothills Park. Police later tried to arrest Mr. Lawrence at his own home, but was said to have been uncooperative with the arrest. The man allegedly shocked one of the policemen with the officer's own Taser. Police had to wrestle the man to the ground before taking him into custody.

Man Gets 14 Years For DUI Crash

The Arizona Republic reports that 33-year-old Manuel Contreras-Galdean was sentenced on Friday to 14 years in prison and 4 years of probation for his drunk driving collision that killed Kelly Tracy, a 16-year-old girl from Mesa. The girl's brother Matthew Tracy, who was driving the vehicle, was also injured after the incident. This was the maximum sentence allowed under the terms of this plea agreement.

The man signed an agreement last year in which he pleaded guilty to one count each of manslaughter and aggravated assault. The Examiner states that at one point Mr. Contreras-Galdean actually tried to back out of the plea deal after getting a new Arizona DUI attorney. He claims that his old attorney had pressured him into accepting the plea, but his request to back out of the plea was rejected.

Man Tries To Illegally Cross Light Rail Tracks in Tempe

A recent DUI story that was reported on ABC News shows just how dangerous drunk driving really can be because alcohol can strongly impact an individual's judgement. Earlier this month, a car drove onto the light rail tracks in Tempe, Arizona on the bridge near Mill Avenue. Naturally, the car couldn't make it across the rail bridge that goes across Tempe Town Lake, so police had to come to his rescue and remove the car off of the tracks.

Illegally driving on the light rail tracks to take a short cut across Tempe Town Lake is obviously dangerous and can be seen as a very poor judgement call. The 20-year-old driver of the vehicle was allegedly drunk at the time of the incident. Some witnesses said that sparks were even coming from the young man's SUV. It took over an hour for police to remove the vehicle from the tracks, causing major traffic delays in Tempe.

Senate Approves the "No Texting While Driving" Bill

Arizona Capitol Times reports that the state Senate passed the controversial Arizona bill to stop texting while driving on Monday with a vote of 19-10. Now the bill will make its way to the House for approval.

This significant vote could mean that Arizona DUI attorneys could some day have more a role in distracted driving cases. At least 20 other states have already enacted laws that ban texting while driving, and many of these states have a stricter penalty for texting behind the wheel compared to the law that Arizona legislatures are proposing. This bill also does not mandate a penalty for making or receiving calls while driving. It brings up the question: Will Arizona's distracted driving laws be strict enough?

Out-of-State Driver Arrested in Arizona For DUI

When out-of-state drivers come through the Grand Canyon state, they might be surprised by Arizona's harsh DUI laws. Recently 26-year-old Charles Burkdoll from Concord, California was arrested for DUI and possession of drugs, according to AZ Family. Now, he'll likely need a skilled Arizona DUI attorney in order to get the best defense possible for the charges.

Mr. Burkdoll has quite an interesting DUI arrest story. It involves law enforcers giving the man medical aid before he was arrested. A deputy pulled over Mr. Burkdoll in his vehicle on St. Patrick's Day for speeding along U.S. Highway 93 near Wickenburg. A sheriff's spokesperson told AZ Family that Mr. Burkdoll admitted to smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine prior to driving. Mr. Burkdoll also told the deputy that he had to sit down because he was "spinning." After standing up, he passed out on the road and lost consciousness.

Scottsdale Police Plan Saturation Patrol 3/25/10 - 3/26/10

The Scottsdale Police Department is trying a new approach to curb drunk driving in the community. The Arizona Republic reports that today and tomorrow, officers will be patrolling Scottsdale Road from McCormick Parkway to Cactus Road and Shea Boulevard from 64th Street to the Loop 101, where officers will be on the look out for impaired drivers.

Drivers can expect to see a swarm of officers in this area on both nights, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. In an attempt to keep residents safe from drunken drivers, the Scottsdale officers will not only be looking for impaired drivers, but will also educate sober motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The officers plan on educating motorists if they are pulled over for traffic violations that are unrelated to DUI.

Mike Hein's DUI Case Comes to a Close

The DUI case of the former Tuscon City Manager Mike Hein shows just how valuable a skilled Arizona DUI attorney can be. The Arizona Daily Star reports that Mr. Hein and his attorney entered a plea deal with the Pima County Attorney's Office last week.

While Mr. Hein initially entered a not guilty plea earlier this year to charges of extreme DUI and DUI of 0.08 or more, both of these charges were dropped. Instead, Mr. Hein pleaded guilty to being impaired to the slightest degree. Now he will have to to serve 10 days in jail and pay more than $1,400 in fines.

Mesa Police Say Drunk Driver Assaulted Police Officer

When being pulled over on suspicion of DUI, an Arizona DUI attorney will say that it’s best to stay calm and not do anything to erratic. It’s not a good idea to assault a police officer; as this will just get you into more trouble.

Tell that to 52-year-old Carlton Johns from Laveen. The man was arrested a few weeks ago in Mesa and was booked on charges of aggravated DUI and aggravated assault on a police officer, according to The Arizona Republic.

A Mesa police officer saw multiple empty alcohol cans and bottles inside Mr. Johns’ vehicle after he was pulled over. Police say the vehicle also had a very strong smell of alcohol. During the investigation on the night of his arrest, Mr. Johns allegedly approached an officer and attempted to strike him, which only got him into more serious trouble with the law. Police say that when Mr. Johns was being detained, he also kicked another officer in the chest.

Too Drunk To Take Field Sobriety Tests

Police officers in Mesa found a man who fell asleep at the wheel at Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue last Saturday, but officers unveiled a surprising story when they investigated the scene. The Arizona Republic reports that when the police officer approached the vehicle, the unconscious driver would not wake up.

Once the driver woke up after several attempts from the police, he spoke with slurred speech and his breath smelled of alcohol, according to the Mesa police. The driver who was later identified as Delshon Bracy, 40, admitted that he was drunk and that he should not have been driving at the time. It appeared that Mr. Bracy was so drunk and so uncooperative that the police were unable to give him the field sobriety tests that are routinely done when a driver has been suspected of driving under the influence. It was also reported that Mr. Bracy was also uncooperative with the police interrogation.

Flagstaff Police Department Ecourages Drivers to Stay Sober

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the Flagstaff Police Department saw 1,077 DUI arrests in the year 2008 alone. This is quite a large number for a city with a population of just 60,000. Yet there are police officers, judges, emergency responders, drunk driving accident victims, and former offenders in the area that are now coming together to take steps in preventing people from driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.

Last week, 40 people who had once been convicted of DUI came together at the Flagstaff Medical Center to attend the 90 minute long DUI Impact Panel. The Arizona Daily Sun states that the purpose of the panel is to prevent the next drunken-driving tragedy by keeping the offenders from ever again getting behind the wheel drunk.

Cyclist Killed in Hit and Run Incident

ABC News reports that a 70-year-old man was riding his bicycle in Phoenix Friday night after he had just picked up some fast food. Yet, nobody expected the elderly man to die that night in the way that he did.

Lorenzo Nevares was riding his bike on 7th Avenue just north of Interstate 17, when he was suddenly struck by a vehicle; which led to his death. The driver of the vehicle tried to flee the scene of the accident, but police ended up catching up with two suspects soon after. Police were able to identify the suspects allegedly responsible for the crash as Victor Popoca, 22, and Nicanor Fuentes-Adame, 21.

Bullhead City Forms BAADD

Mohave Valley News reports that community members in Bullhead City have come together to form a new anti-drug coalition called BAADD -- Bullhead Area Against Destructive Decisions. The group is modeled after the popular student anti-drug group Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

The group had their first meeting last week, where many community members voiced concerns over drug use and underage drinking. Five people at the meeting stepped up to form a board and lead the new coalition. The group's next board meeting will be on April 2 at Firehouse Coffee Company, located at 2350 Miracle Mile. The board meeting will start at 8:30 a.m.

Arizona Looking To Pass a No Texting While Driving Bill

Associated Press reports that Arizona's bill to stop texting while driving was recently put on hold, as the Senate skipped over the bill that was scheduled for discussion last Tuesday.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Al Melvin of Tucson, says that he wants to hold off on the bill until there's a cooling-off period from tension and controversy in the Senate surrounding issues relating to the budget and the reauthorization of payday loans.

The bill itself has become quite controversial in the Senate. Proponents hope that a ban on texting while driving will decrease traffic collisions on the road, making highways safer. The Arizona Republic reports that distracted driving in general causes anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 crashes a day in the United States.

March is "Red Light Running Awareness Month"

The Glendale Star reports that the month of March is "Red Light Running Awareness Month," where officials are taking extra initiatives to educate the community about the importance of stopping at a red light.

On March 9, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer officially declared Red Light Running Awareness Month for the state and stated her support for groups like the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. An Arizona Department of Transportation study shows that 4,130 accidents in 2008 were caused by drivers who failed to stop at red lights.

Understanding Marijuana's Effect on Driving Ability

A person in the state of Arizona can be charged with a DUI if they've been suspected of driving under the influence of any drug, including marijuana. While the use cannabis is illegal in the Grand Canyon state, some Arizona DUI attorneys say that a person shouldn't necessarily face the harsh consequences of a DUI for driving the influence of only marijuana. This is because certain studies have showed that the drug does not adversely effect the ability to drive safely.

DUIAttorney.com reports that the federal government's Department of Transportation conducted research on the effects of both alcohol and marijuana, alone and in combination, in connection with driver-controlled behavior and performance. Researchers found that alcohol consistently caused impairment but that marijuana had only an occasional effect. The study shows that accidents went up with the use of alcohol, but not with marijuana or the combined use of alcohol and marijuana.

Man Sentenced After Killing 12-Year-Old in DUI Accident

After a 2008 drunk driving collision, in which a 12-year-old boy was killed, Associated Press reports that the driver was sentenced to 41 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Jayal Howard, the 40-year-old driver in the accident, was sentenced for the crime on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge last December, but many Arizona DUI attorneys are still surprised by the severity of the incident.

Man Arrested For Falling Asleep at Traffic Light

Arizona DUI attorneys and local law enforcers are still shocked when they hear the story of Antonio Maya-Baltazar's DUI arrest. Police say that they found the 33-year-old man from Mesa passed out at a traffic light earlier this month, and when they approached the vehicle they found that Mr. Maya-Baltazar's breath smelled of alcohol, according to The Arizona Republic.

Mr. Maya-Baltazar allegedly told police that he did not have identification on him. He gave the police two different names and two different birthdays. None of the said names that Mr. Maya-Baltazar gaver were registered as valid, but police were eventually able to identify the suspect through previous booking photos. They discovered that Mr. Maya-Baltazar had a revoked license and three separate warrants for driving under the influence.

Yuma Plans DUI Checkpoint For St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We can all use a little good luck in our lives, but many drivers on this holiday are known to have bad luck today when it comes to drunk driving.

This year, the Yuma Police Department is taking measures to prevent drunk driving by cracking down on those who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. The police department will be holding a DUI checkpoint tonight, making it the first time that Yuma police have ever held a checkpoint on St. Patrick's Day.

Alleged Drunk Driver Tries to Steal Taxi Cab

After a night of heavy drinking, 24-year-old Genevieve Pflug did the responsible thing by calling a taxi cab to take her home. But nobody probably expected that the woman would get in the driver's seat of the cab and speed off, hit multiple parked vehicles, and then try to flee the scene by foot. Yet, AZ Family reports that this is exactly what Ms. Pflug allegedly did, and now the woman is facing multiple criminal charges.

Ms. Pflug's long list of charges include counts of auto theft, aggravated driving under the influence, drug possession, and hit and run. The incident, which occurred last month, is a perfect example of how drunk driving can lead to other charges as well. With this case, the suspect will likely need a skilled Arizona DUI attorney for the best defense possible.

Take a Ride on the "Tipsy Tow"

Do you need a Tipsy Tow? Representatives of the AAA automobile service are happy to give people a tow, if it means keeping drunk drivers off the road on St. Patrick's Day.

ABC News reports that between the hours of 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, drivers can call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) to request a free tow to their home, as long as the tow is within 10 miles from the pick-up spot. This service can be very useful for those who are looking to drink on St. Patrick's Day, because with Tipsy Tow, drivers are guaranteed a safe way home that doesn't involve driving.

Traffic Fatalities are Way Down

It's not exactly uncommon in Phoenix to see a totaled vehicle on the side of the road or a major traffic jam due to a car accident. But did you know traffic fatalities nationwide are now at their lowest level since 1954?

ABC News reports that the U.S Department of Transportation recently released information showing a nine percent decrease in fatal collisions from 2008 to 2009. The state of Arizona also fares pretty well in terms of the falling rate of fatal collisions. The Department of Public Safety says that there were fewer fatal collision investigations in 2009 than in any of the past 15 years. The number of fatal collisions in Arizona also dropped by almost 50 percent from 2006 to 2009.

Phoenix Bars Using Alco-Checkpoint to Prevent DUI Arrests

The Tilted Kilt in northeast Phoenix is just one local bar that is taking on new initiatives to prevent drunk driving and DUI arrests. The Arizona Republic reports that the bar's owner, Kerry Phelps, proudly displays the Alco-Checkpoint near the establishment's front doors.

The Alco-Checkpoint machine tests a person's blood-alcohol content, so that people leaving the bar can see how much alcohol is their system and decide on their own whether or not it is safe to drive. Mr. Phelps said that his decision to install the breath analyzer machine came when he learned that the number of DUI arrests in the area had been increasing. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety safety stated that DUI arrests were up in Arizona by about 35 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Drugged Driving Hits the News

Phoenix DUI attorneys and Arizona law enforcers would like to remind community members that driving under the influence of drugs, even prescription drugs, is illegal and can result in a DUI charge. KTAR reports that if a person is impaired, then that person is a threat to highway safety and can be arrested.

But just how common is drugged driving? The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy says one in every six drivers is under the influence of some kind of drug, according to KTAR. Phoenix drivers, in particular, need to watch out because members of the Phoenix Police Department say that law enforcers see drugged driving quite often.

Police Say Alcohol Was A Factor in Recent Gilbert Crash

Five people were injured last week after an alleged drunk driver drove into oncoming traffic in Gilbert, the Arizona Republic reports. The incident occurred on Ray Road when 21-year-old Lionell Dorchester of Mesa drifted across the center line near Gilbert Road, causing streets to be closed for about five hours after the collision.

Police say that Mr. Dorchester hit a Ford Escort that was filled with five people. Andrew Anger, the driver of the vehicle, and his passengers all received serious but non-life threatening injures after the collision. They were all taken to trauma hospitals in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

Avoiding a DUI Arrest

An Arizona DUI attorney would say that the best way to avoid a DUI is to is to simply not drink and drive -- plain and simple. But how do you avoid the urge to drive yourself home after a night of heavy drinking?

The Phoenix New Times provides a list of services in Maricopa County that can give you a ride home, or even tow your car home, if you are drunk. For example, the company Designated Drivers Inc. offers individuals in the Phoenix metropolitan area a safe alternative to drunk driving by sending a designated driver to your location. A driver will then drive you in your own car to the desired location, for a fee that depends on the total mileage. All you have to do is call 877-456-RIDE.

Man Allegedly Leads Police on a Chase With Child in the Car

Dennis Malaimare, from Arizona city, is in a huge amount of trouble with the law and will soon be in need of an Arizona DUI attorney. The Arizona Republic reports that the 29-year-old was booked earlier this week on charges of aggravated assault on a minor under 16, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, aggravated DUI - child under 16 in vehicle, endangerment, open container of alcohol in vehicle, and felony flight.

While all of these charges may sound like a mouthful, police say that the man acted irresponsibly by endangering the life of a minor. The incident began when Gila River police tried to pull over Mr. Malaimare on suspicion of driving under the influence at Val Vista Drive and Germann Road in Gilbert. Police say that the man failed to stop and led police on a chase while his four-year-old son was in the car.

Teaching UA Students About Drunk Driving

As college students get ready for spring break, certain non-profit organizations are coming together to educate students about the risks of drunk driving.The University of Arizona recently had its annual Hunter White Spring Break Preparedness program on February 28, which is held annually in order to teach students about emergency preparedness and to encourage students not to drink and drive..

Now in its third year, the Tuscon Citizen reports that the program featured keynote speaker Mark Sterner, who has traveled around the country sharing his DUI horror story. Mr. Sterner killed three of his fraternity brothers in college, after he drove while intoxicated. He shares his story among college students to teach people about the dangers of driving while impaired.

Driver Investigated For Impairment With Prescription Drugs

The city of Peoria has seen multiple DUI related accidents this week, at least one of which resulted in a death. ABC News reports that a 32-year-old man died over the weekend in a crash at 87th Avenue and Olive. The incident shines light on the dangers of driving under the influence and that new measures should be taken to avoid DUI collisions.

In this case, a 54-year-old driver named Dennis Schaffer was allegedly impaired on prescription drugs when he got into the accident. Mr. Schaffer made an illegal U-turn in front of a pickup truck, according to the Arizona Republic. The crash killed the driver of the pickup truck and injured his 24-year-old wife, who was riding in the passenger seat. She was transported to a Phoenix hospital and sustained minor injuries.

Officer's DUI Charge Sparks Debate on Disciplinary Policies

Phoenix police officer Seth Samuel Castillo was charged with a DUI last month. He admitted to a Gilbert police officer that he had consumed two 24-ounce beers and took a dose of the prescription drug Ritalin the night he was arrested, as reported in the earlier blog post "Phoenix Police Officer Facing DUI Charges." Yet, Officer Castillo is still patroling the city streets and was never placed on administrative leave.

Recent news reports say that this incident wasn't even Mr. Castillo's first DUI arrest. Fox News states that the man was arrested 8 years ago for driving while intoxicated at the age of 19. Mr. Castillo pleaded guilty to the DUI charge back in 2002, before he began his work with the Phoenix Police Department.

Alleged Drunk Driver Had Child in Car

Community members continue to criticize a 29-year-old man from Peoria, who was arrested on Saturday for driving under the influence when a 5-year-old was a passenger in the vehicle.

ABC News reports that Matthew Lebario was driving westbound on Cactus Road near 75th Avenue in Peoria, but crossed into the eastbound lane and hit another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The driver that had her car hit suffered from non life-threatening injures and was taken to a Valley hospital for treatment.

The 5-year-old that had been riding in the car with Mr. Lebario, while he was allegedly drunk, suffered from just a small bump on the head, according to the Arizona Republic. The child was picked up at the scene of the accident by a family member. The child was reportedly the daughter of one of Mr. Lebario's friends.

Study Says Don't Mix Red Bull and Vodka

NPR reports that it's actually dangerous to mix alcohol with caffeinated drinks like Red Bull. Why? The University of Florida recently conducted a study showing that bar patrons who consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol were three times more likely to leave the bar drunk and four times more willing to drive drunk; compared to patrons who drank alcohol alone.

So if you're a fan of Red Bull and vodka or Jager bombs, you could be more likely to make that call to a Phoenix DUI attorney over your buddy who was just pounding shots.

Arizona Mandates Alcohol Education For DUI Offenders

In some states, DUI offenders will sign up to take an alcohol treatment or alcohol education class in order to reduce their DUI penalties. However, FindLaw reports that the state of Arizona mandates that all DUI offenders participate in both an alcohol education and alcohol treatment program, in order to restore driving privileges.

It's a good idea to consult a Phoenix DUI attorney when choosing an alcohol education program. The attorney will be able to say which DUI school is best for you and should be able to say whether the program is recognized by the state of Arizona. Here at the Phoenix DUI Attorney Blog, we also provide contact information for DUI schools in the local area.

The Underage Drinking Crackdown

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control is trying to stop underage drinking, in perhaps the stealthiest way possible. The Phoenix New Times reports that the Covert Underage Buyer (CUB), which is funded by the Arizona DLLC, continues to increase the amount of citations given to bars and establishments that serve alcohol to teenagers.

CUB gave out 797 citations in 2009. The program sends teenagers, ages 15 to 19, into bars or liquor stores to see if the staff at the establishments check for identification. The underage buyers with CUB only get sent into establishments that have already received a complaint. The targeted liquor stores and bars are caught by CUB members 29 percent of the time, according to Phoenix New Times.

Proposed DUI Law in Maryland Strikes Debate

A controversial bill under the "Drunk Driving Elimination Act" in Maryland is raising questions among DUI attorneys across the country. DUIAttorney.com reports that the bill would remove the right to refuse a breath test from any driver pulled over under suspicion of DUI if he or she is repeat DUI offender. The bill was proposed because some Maryland DUI offenders use chemical test refusals as a defense tactic to a DUI charge.

Attorneys and personal rights proponents have long defended the right for drivers to refuse breathalyzer tests. For the government to mandate drivers to take a breath tests is considered to be unconstitutional by many because it can be seen as an invasion of privacy.

New Phone Application May Stop Texting While Driving

Some Arizona DUI attorneys argue that texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving drunk. According to ABC News, texting behind the wheel has become a global issue affecting everyone.

So what can we do to stop those texters on the road? There's currently no state law in Arizona that mandates a "no texting" rule, and many people argue that the passage of such a law would be ineffective in terms of eliminating text messaging while driving. However, certain groups and companies have taken initiatives to stop texting while driving on their own.

DUI Case: Arizona Man Sentenced to 3.5 Years

An Arizona man was sentenced to 3 and a half years in federal prison on Monday in connection to his 2008 drunk driving accident that resulted in one death and two serious injuries. The Durango Herald reports that the collision occured within the boundaries of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado. Because the defendant, Valentino Kieyoani, is a Navajo Indian and the incident occured on an Indian reservation, the U.S District Attorney's Office handled the case.

The night of the incident, Mr. Kieyoani's vehicle drifted into oncoming traffic on U.S. Highway 160 and struck Lucille Wheeler's vehicle. When the police arrested Mr. Kieyoani in the Towaoc area, he had a reported blood-alcohol level of .205, which is over 2.5 times the legal limit. Ms. Wheeler's mother, Alice Wheeler, died in the accident. Lucille and her sister Lois were both treated for serious injuries and transported to a nearby hospital.

197 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Vehicle

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Arizona Department of Public Safety officers found 197 pounds of marijuana in a vehicle on Highway 90, just six miles south of Benson. Now the 27-year-old driver of the 2005 Suzuki SUV faces serious legal trouble.

The driver, Luis Xavier Montiel, was arrested last month and was booked into the Sierra Vista jail on suspicion of possession/transportation of marijuana for sale, driving on a suspended driver's license and aggravated DUI. The DPS officer said that he had originally stopped the 2005 Suzuki SUV for a cracked windshield, according to ABC News.

Nikolai Khabibulin Receives Enhanced DUI Charges

The NHL player Nikolai Khabibulin is now receiving enhanced drunk driving charges in connection with his DUI arrest in Arizona last month; which could ultimately lead to more serious consequences. Mr. Khabibulin, who plays for the Edmonton Oilers, now faces an extreme DUI charge along with another misdemeanor excessive speeding charge, according to DUIAttorney.com.

Mr. Khabibulin’s blood test showed that he had a blood-alcohol level of .15 percent the night of his arrest. The Scottsdale police originally pulled him over after they saw Mr. Khabibulin allegedly driving 70 mph in a 40 mph zone. If the hockey player is convicted of the extreme DUI, he would have to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail. And he might not be able to get away with a plea bargain even with a skilled Arizona DUI attorney. DUIAttorney.com states that the Scottsdale Prosecutor’s Office doesn’t usually plea bargain to any kind of reduction with extreme DUIs.

Phoenix Police Officer Facing DUI Charges

Seth Samuel Castillo, a 27-year-old Phoenix police officer, will need to have a Phoenix DUI attorney by his side in the courtroom, since he was recently charged with driving under the influence and failing to obey a police officer.

The Arizona Republic reports that the charges against Mr. Castillo stem from an incident last January in which the off-duty officer was found unconscious in his Jeep by a Gilbert police officer. The Gilbert police officer then struck Mr. Castillo with a Taser gun after he was reportedly being uncooperative.

"I immediately became fearful for my safety, and I believed the subject might be trying to access a weapon," the officer wrote in a statement. "I deployed my Taser."

Arizona's Traffic Safety Ranked Second Worst in the Nation

When Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released their seventh annual Report Card on Highway Safety this year, Arizonians certainly got a shock. Even with Arizona's harsh DUI laws and increased efforts by law enforcers, the Grand Canyon state is still ranked as the second worst state for traffic safety, according to Advocates' press release.

Just behind the state of South Dakota, Arizona can be seen as very dangerous for drivers. But what exactly makes Arizona highway safety ranked so terribly? Advocates only gave Arizona credit for 4.5 laws out of the recommended 15 laws that the agency feels are necessary for the roads to be safe.

Alcohol Abuse, Domestic Violence and DUIs

"I need to report my husband is driving drunk and he just assaulted me."

These words came out of Joe Villasenor's wife last December, according to KPHO News. Now Mr. Villasenor, who used to be the senior aide to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, is facing domestic-violence assault charges.

Yet, Mr. Villasenor denies driving under the influence of alcohol and claims that he did not assault his wife.

Operating Under the Influence (OUI)

Drinking alcohol while driving a boat is considered to be dangerous for obvious reasons. Someone operating a boat with a blood-alcohol content over .10 percent is ten times more likely to die in a boating accident than someone who is driving a boat sober, according to FindLaw's Insider Blog. FindLaw's Insider Blog also reports that half of all boating accidents involve the use of alcohol or other drugs. This is why the state of Arizona chooses to crack down on those who drive watercrafts under the influence.

While many people are aware of the consequences of DUI, few people in Arizona are aware that there are penalties associated with Operating Under the Influence, also known as OUI.