The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

November 2010 Archives

What Makes A DUI An Aggravated DUI In Arizona?

Driving under the influence is a serious crime in the state of Arizona, but impaired drivers can also face the penalties of the more severe charge of aggravated DUI for a number of reasons. In the Grand Canyon state, an aggravated DUI is a felony crime that is punishable with multiple years of imprisonment and usually results because additional laws were broken in addition to the state's basic DUI laws. FindLaw's KnowledgeBase lists four reasons that a driver could be charged with aggravated driving under the influence in the state.

Man Arrested With Alleged BAC Level of .374 Percent

A 33-year-old man in the Southeast valley lost control of his vehicle last Saturday and hit a power pole while allegedly driving under the influence, according to FOX News. Pinal County Deputies said that the pole near Sage Brush Avenue and Schnepf Road in San Tan Valley actually snapped in half.

The driver, Nelson Wade Western, had an alleged blood-alcohol level of .374 percent after the incident. This is more than four and a half times the legal limit in Arizona. Hence, authorities say that the drunk driving suspect will be charged with aggravated DUI. Nelson Western also reportedly has four prior DUI offenses.

Scottsdale House Arrest Program For DUI Offenders Saves Money

In just the first five weeks of the Scottsdale house arrest program, the city has already saved more than $200,000. This is because the city no longer has to pay the costs to incarcerate certain DUI offenders, as the new program allows eligible DUI offenders to be monitored at home through an electronic monitoring device.

The Arizona Republic reports that Scottsdale officials originally estimated that the city's house arrest program would save Scottsdale $500,000 per year. However, it now looks like the city will save much more than they originally estimated.

Police Arresting More People For Prescription Drug DUI

Many people in Phoenix might not realize that it’s not only illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, but that it’s also illegal to drive while impaired by prescription drugs. The East Valley Tribune reports that abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is becoming a growing problem in the Valley and that authorities are now making more prescription DUI arrests.

One Mesa prosecuting attorney told The East Valley Tribune that prescription drug DUI cases now make up about 10 to 25 percent of the cases that he handles. The Phoenix area has also reportedly become a hub for training among drug recognitions experts, where law enforcers from around the country learn from Phoenix lab technicians on how to recognize signs of drug impairment.

Teen Crashes Car into Home After Drinking Four Loko

Here’s another story that shows just how dangerous Four Loko drinks can be. After playing a drinking game with Four Loko, one teenager allegedly drove into a large tree in Mesa, which led to the tree to fall on a house.

The East Valley Tribune reports that Lanae Cummins, of Mesa, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing her SUV into the tree. The woman was reportedly driving south on Longmore around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday when she failed to stop at the intersection of West Kiowa and drove into the front yard of the Mesa home.

Man Claims He Was Under Influence of 'Spice' in Hit-and-Run

Zachary Snow allegedly drove through two red lights last week in Scottsdale before he collided with three other vehicles. The Arizona Republic reports that the 29-year-old tried to flee the scene by foot after the accident, but that witnesses were able to help police officers locate the suspect.

The suspect said that he ingested "spice" just before driving and did not clearly remember the incident. Perhaps the suspect was talking about the garnish that you would put on food, but spice is also a synthetic herb that has a similar effect on the body as marijuana. The substance is legal and is becoming more and more popular.

Yuma Police Department Buys DUI Enforcement Vehicles

Now, more than ever before, it’s probably not be a good idea to drive while under the influence in the city of Yuma because the local police department has purchased new equipment to better detect impaired drivers. The Yuma Sun reports that the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety gave $72,000 in grant money to the Yuma Police Department, which is supposed to go toward new efforts in enforcing DUI-related crimes in the Southern Arizona area.

Trevor Hankins Suspended After DUI Arrest

Trevor Hankins, punter of Arizona State University's football team, sat out of the game against USC last Saturday because of a Scottsdale DUI arrest. ASU State Press reports that the 22-year-old senior at ASU was pulled over after a Scottsdale police officer saw him doing two U-turns and drifting into another lane.

But perhaps the sudden U-turns were not because of impairment. Trevor Hankins told police officers that he made the first U-turn after thinking that he had left his wallet at a convenience store and said that he made the second U-turn when one of his passengers found the wallet. When law enforcers asked if he had been drinking, State Press reported that the football player replied that he had two or three drinks about half an hour earlier at a friend's house.

MCSO Detention Officer Charged With DUI After Fatal Crash

A detention officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department was arrested last month in connection with a fatal accident that occurred at Citrus and Indian School roads in Goodyear on October 16. ABC News reports that Officer Adrian Salazar Guzman admitted to drinking before he was involved in a crash that killed 27-year-old Alisha Marie Trejo. The officer now faces charges of negligent homicide, endangerment, DUI, and extreme DUI.

Teen Arrested For DUI After Trying To Steal Stop Sign Light

A 19-year-old man allegedly tried to steal the flashing red light on a stop sign in Cornville, but deputies with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office were nearby at the time of the incident and ended up arresting the teenager. However, theft isn't the only criminal charge that 19-year-old Christopher McCollum faces.

The Arizona Republic reports that Christopher McCollum made the mistake of telling deputies that he tried to steal the flashing light after a night of drinking. Authorities then found that the suspect had a blood-alcohol level of .11 percent. Deputies arrested Christopher McCollum on suspicion of theft, underage drinking and driving under the influence.

What Are Ignition Interlock Devices In Arizona?

All DUI offenders in the state of Arizona are typically ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles as part of their sentence. But what exactly is an ignition interlock device and how does a person go about getting the device installed in a vehicle?

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that the ignition interlock is a breath analyzing device that is slightly larger than a cell phone. The device is wired to the vehicle's ignition and installed on the vehicle dashboard. With an ignition interlock, the driver must first exhale into the device before starting the car. If the interlock detects alcohol on the driver's breath, the engine won't start.

Nanny Pleads Not Guilty To Felony DUI Charges

A mother is now asking parents not to hire Phoenix nanny Nancy Kline, according to KPHO News. The nanny allegedly drove drunk going 65 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone while a two-year-old and eight-year-old child were in the car. While on the job, the nanny reportedly struck another vehicle and fled the scene.