The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

Pima County Receives Grant to Enforce Drunk Driving Laws

If you're driving through Pima County this summer, you might want to be play it safe and avoid driving after consuming alcohol or designate a sober driver. This is good logic to have everywhere you go, but it's likely that law enforcers in Pima County will especially be cracking down on drunk drivers during these summer months.

Associated Press reports that the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety recently awarded the Pima County Sheriff's Department two grants for enforcement of laws against drunken driving and underage drinking. The Sheriff's Department stated that they plan to use $35,000 for a public awareness campaign on drunk driving, which will provide enforcement throughout unincorporated areas of Pima County.

Oilers Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin Has a New Court Date

Many Arizona DUI attorneys are anxious for the trial of Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who was charged with driving under the influence in Arizona last February. However, attorneys and Oiler fans are just going to have to wait a little longer for the trial, as the Edmonton Journal reports that hockey player's court date has been pushed back again.

Judge Issues Bench Warrant For Seth Castillo

Phoenix Police Officer Seth Castillo, who is facing DUI charges, failed to appear at a pretrial conference in Gilbert Municipal Court last week. The Arizona Republic reported that missing his court date prompted a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

Missing even a pretrial conference can be a big deal and could have landed Seth Castillo in jail. However, an Arizona DUI attorney was able to come to the Maryvale Precinct patrol officer's rescue and file a motion to quash the warrant. The DUI attorney explained that the legal staff had failed to correctly calendar the event and notify the defendant of the court date.

Scottsdale Electronic Monitoring Program Gets Delayed

Many residents of Scottsdale are probably familiar with the electronic monitoring program, approved by the Scottsdale City Council last April. The program allows home detention centers for DUI offenders as an alternative to incarceration in the county jail and could end up saving the city of Scottsdale millions of dollars.

Instead of extended jail time for DUI offenders, a home detention program would allow for convicted drunk drivers to wear an ankle bracelet that would monitor the location of a particular person. The ankle bracelet would only allow the offender to be away a certain number of feet away from the house. The house arrest program was supposed to go into effect as early as this summer, but now the Arizona Republic reports that the program has been pushed until at least October. This is because Scottsdale city officials are still looking to find a vendor for the program.

Checkpoint On Water Leads To A OUI Citation For Many

Boaters are often surprised when they see DUI checkpoints on Arizona bodies of water, but such checkpoints are becoming more and more frequent during the summer season. The Arizona Republic reported that more than 250 vessels were stopped on July 10 by law enforcers at Lake Pleasant. Four OUI citations were issued at the sobriety checkpoint.

An OUI citation is similar to a DUI and the two citations often lead to similar charges and similar consequences, including a minimum 10-day jail sentence and a $250 fine. The OUI (operating under the influence) citation is given to boat operators who are impaired, usually having a blood-alcohol level at or above the legal limit of .08 percent.

Phoenix Teenager Facing DUI and Hit and Run Charges

Phoenix police officers arrested an 18-year-old a couple weeks ago after he was suspected of hitting several cars in Phoenix on July 9 and then fleeing the scene of each accident. AZ Family News reports that teenager now faces a variety of criminal charges, including charges of leaving the scene of an accident  and driving under the influence of drugs.

The police identified the 18-year-old suspect as Tyler Abbott. The young man allegedly hit a neighbor's car when leaving an apartment complex at 43rd Avenue and Bell Road in Phoenix. The suspect then allegedly hit two more parked cars after leaving the complex and hit another pickup truck that was parked in a driveway after failing to make a proper turn.

Driving Under the Influence of Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is an ancient drink that dates back thousands of years, but only recently has this type of tea become popular in the U.S. And with its increased popularity, Associated Press reports that regulators and retailers may soon be regulating kombucha tea as an alcoholic drink.

Why does this tea need to be regulated as an alcoholic beverage? Some bottles of kombucha contain more than 0.5 percent alcohol in the drink, which is the legal limit for a drink to be considered non-alcoholic. For this reason, some retail stores like Whole Foods have removed raw kombucha from their stores. The government has also been testing kombucha to determine if it should be labeled as an alcoholic drink like beer or wine.

Phoenix Police Officer Seth Samuel Castillo currently faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to obey a police officer after he was suspected of DUI by Gilbert police officers, according to the Arizona Republic. The officer will have an Arizona DUI attorney defend him of the charges, but he is also one-upping Gilbert authorities by filing a $500,000 lawsuit against the town.

Officer Seth Castillo is seeking $500,000 in damages from the town, alleging that Gilbert officers used excessive force when arresting him for suspicion of DUI. The man claims that the Gilbert officers used a Taser to incapacitate him before the arrest and that the Taser attack was not necessary. Through the legal claim, the Phoenix officer alleges that Gilbert police officers caused damage to his reputation and inflicted emotional damage.

Law Enforcers Targeting Impaired Boat Operators

It's not only illegal to drive a car under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but it's also illegal to operate any vehicle in Arizona while impaired. This includes operating a boat under the influence, which is also known as "boating under the influence," which law enforcement officers are now enforcing in the summer season.

ABC News reports that Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies and Arizona Fish and Game Department officials have been conducting sobriety checkpoints on the water to arrest impaired boater operators. The state's checkpoint data indicates that more than 50 percent of the state's boat operators are involved with the consumption of alcohol while operating a watercraft and that 40 percent of all Arizona boating deaths have involved alcohol.

Arizona Adopts New Liquor Sale Hours Next Month

Some Arizona residents and Phoenix DUI attorneys are counting down the days until the first Sunday in August when a new law goes into effect that changes liquor sale hours on Sundays. The Arizona Republic reports that this change will affect 11,273 establishments statewide, according to the number of active liquor licenses compiled by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

Many Arizonians Arrested For DUI on July 4 Weekend

ABC News reports that state records show an increase in DUI arrests for the July 4 weekend, compared to the number of Arizona drunk driving arrests on July 4 weekend 2009.

The numbers from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety show that there were 434 people arrested statewide by DUI enforcement officers over the holiday weekend. This marks almost 100 more arrests from last year's fourth of July weekend.

AAA Offers Tipsy Tow on 4th of July Weekend

The AAA auto club is trying to prevent drunk driving on America's birthday by offering a Tipsy Tow service in Phoenix, which will allow drivers and vehicle passengers to receive a one-way ride home if they've been drinking.

According to the Tucson Citizen, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request a "Tipsy Tow." AAA will then provide a free tow home up to 10 miles from the pick-up location. Even people who are not AAA members can take part in this free service.