The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

April 2011 Archives

DUI offenders in Arizona may only have to have ignition interlock systems installed in their vehicles for six months instead of 12 months now that state lawmakers have passed SB 1200. Arizona Daily Star reports that the bill is now heading to Jan Brewer's desk for approval.

Senator Steve Pierce said that the purpose of SB 1200 was to ease DUI policies that were "damaging families, damaging people's lives." Even first-time DUI offenders in Arizona must now have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for 12 months. But with passage of the bill, first-time offenders can qualify for reduced interlock time if they complete a 16-hour education program and calibrate their ignition interlock device monthly at the Motor Vehicle Division.

Arizona AG Tom Horne Takes Stance Against Blast By Colt 45

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The latest alcoholic beverage to be criticized by government agencies is called Blast By Colt 45. According to Reuters, this new malt beverage by Pabst Brewing Company has 12 percent alcohol by volume and is served in a 23.5 ounce container. Pounding down one of these drinks will have quite an effect, the alcohol content is twice that of most beers.

There's also the concern that Pabst Brewing Company is marketing Blast to young audience, consisting of people below the legal drinking age. This claim comes from the fact that the rapper Snoop Dogg is featured in promotional videos for the product, who is popular among teens and underage individuals. These promotional videos can also be viewed by people under the age of 21 on websites like YouTube.

Jared Zygowicz Could Have Police Certification Revoked After DUI

Officer Jared Zygowicz was fired from the Chandler Police Department in February after his November DUI arrest, but now the officer could be facing even more trouble as a law enforcer in the state -- this time with The Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.

The Arizona Republic reports that the board has opened an investigation into whether Zygowicz used his position as a police officer to avoid a DUI arrest. The Standards and Training Board now has the power to revoke Jared Zygowicz's certification if they find that he has violated board rules.

Joshua Pearce Turns Himself In After Arrest Warrant Issued

Joshua Pearce, the 30-year-old son of Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, just can’t seem to stay out of trouble and complete the terms of his probation stemming from his 2006 DUI case. According to The Arizona Republic, authorities recently issued an arrest warrant for Joshua Pearce after he violated the terms of his probation.

Pearce turned himself in earlier this week in connection with the warrant and was then booked into the Mesa City Jail. The senator’s son now has a hearing scheduled for April 26 regarding the revocation of his probation.

Many Pinal County DUI Arrests After Thunder Music Festival

Law enforcers in Pinal County said that they had the goal of keeping this year’s County Thunder Music Festival safe and free of drunk drivers. According to the arrest statistics released by KPHO News, it looks like the police were for the most part, successful with this goal.

The Pinal County Regional DUI Task Force reportedly arrested 20 people for misdemeanor DUI in Florence over the weekend of April 9-10. The task force, which consists of officers from various law enforcement agencies, also arrested two people for aggravated DUI and another person for DUI under the age of 21.

More DUI Arrests Expected After Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect

Even smoking marijuana legally in the Grand Canyon state can land a person in jail if they're caught driving under the influence of drugs. This can be a problem for medical marijuana patients in the state, which is why card holders need to be especially careful when they're behind the wheel.

Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 by a narrow margin last November, which called for the Arizona Department of Health Services to create a medical marijuana program. According to KTAR, the state's marijuana laws are supposed to take effect later this month, but the state's DUI laws will not change to accommodate medical marijuana patients.

Surprise Officer Mike Phillips Arrested For DUI

Police officers are supposed to enforce Arizona's DUI laws and not endanger others by driving around the community impaired. Perhaps rookie officer Mike Phillips of Surprise didn't consider all the implications of his new job.

The Arizona Republic reports that Phillips, who has been working as an officer for the Surprise Police Department for less than a year, was arrested by one of his own co-officers on Tuesday after getting into an accident with another vehicle. The accident apparently involved only one other vehicle with an adult at the wheel and a child inside.

No injuries were reported as a resutl of the low-speed crash in the area of Paradise Lane and Mountain Vista Boulevard.

Wrong Way Driver Arrested on Suspicion of DUI in Yavapai County

A man who allegedly drove in the wrong direction on I-17 near Highway 17 in Flagstaff last week is now facing endangerment charges. Luckily, nobody was hurt and a Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy was able to safely pull over the suspect, Edward Moreno, before any accidents or injuries occurred.

Apparently, the driver didn't even realize that he was traveling in the wrong direction on the highway. ABC News reported that the deputy conducted field sobriety tests and made an arrest after Moreno appeared to be impaired. Yavapai County deputies also found two beer bottles in Moreno's vehicle and said that they noticed an odor of alcohol coming from the suspect's breath.

DUI Offenders Have Option of House Arrest in Some Arizona Cities

Some Arizona cities like Glendale, Surprise, and Gilbert have enacted laws where some DUI offenders can choose to be placed under house arrest after a conviction instead of going to jail.

Gilbert, for example, has a law that allows for DUI offenders sentenced to more than 15 days in jail to be released early if they meet the qualifications of home detention. Under the Gilbert law, these offenders are required to spend their 15 days behind bars, but can be released early as long as they wear a tracking bracelet that monitors their location for the remaining time of time of their jail sentence.

Heavy Drinking More Common Among Teens, Young Adults

Underage drinking and teenage drug use seem to be significant problems in the state of Arizona and across the United States. Fox News reports that a study by the Partnership at that has revealed that 60 percent of teens who have consumed alcohol have had their first drink by the age of 15. Nearly half of the teenagers that were surveyed in the study said that they don’t see heavy drinking on a daily basis as a big deal.

But health experts say that heavy drinking is a big deal and law enforcers say that heavy drinking among teens can lead to increased incidents of DUI. Underage drinking doesn’t even seem to be the only health and safety issue that today’s teens are facing.

Record Low Number of Traffic Fatalities in Arizona, US, for 2010

It looks like stricter enforcement of DUI laws is paying off with less traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways. According to, information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has revealed that the number of traffic fatalities in 2010 was at an all-time low, with last year’s numbers showing a three percent drop from the number of traffic fatalities in 2009.

Both DOT and NHTSA believe that the decline in traffic fatalities is due to a number of factors that include public awareness campaigns, stricter law enforcement of impaired driving and distracted driving, and pro-seatbelt campaigns. The two federal agencies say that safer vehicles and improved safety systems have also contributed to the decrease in the number of traffic deaths.

Study: 20 Percent of AZ High School Seniors Get Alcohol From Family

Underage drinking seems to be an issue of concern across the state of Arizona, but many people who drink while they're in high school end up getting alcohol from their own family members.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported that the 2010 Arizona Youth Survey found that nearly 20 percent of high school seniors in the state say that they obtained alcohol from somebody that is related to them. Forty percent of high school seniors admitted that they had an unrelated adult purchase or provide alcohol for them.