The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

September 2011 Archives

Open Containers in I-10 Suspected DUI Crash; Man Critically Hurt

Authorities suspect that a man was critically injured in a DUI crash after open containers of beer were found in the vehicle he was riding in, reports ABC15 News.

Department of Public Safety officials stated two men were driving in a Jeep on Interstate 10 when they rear-ended another vehicle and flipped over. Both men were not wearing seatbelts, and one was critically injured after he flew out of the Jeep. Fortunately, his injuries were not life-threatening, according to ABC15.

Officers reportedly found beer cans inside the vehicle, prompting them to believe alcohol played a role in the crash. However, no arrests have been made yet.

Top 5 Worst DUI Consequences in Arizona for First-Time Offenders

Arizonans know that we have some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, and the punishments connected with breaking those laws can be just as severe. The next time you consider getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after having one-too-many drinks, reflect on this list of the top five worst DUI consequences you can get in the Grand Canyon State for first-time offenders:

Woman Faces Prison after Pleading Guilty to DUI Hit-and-Run Charges

Tucson woman Maralee Mendoza faces a maximum penalty of 27-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to several charges related to a DUI hit-and-run last September, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

Mendoza was indicted last October for leaving the scene, two counts of aggravated assault and four driving under the influence counts after the September 15 incident in which she allegedly hit a pedestrian while she was crossing the street and fled the scene while drunk. The pedestrian was left severely injured with broken limbs and a head injury.

DUI Charge for UA Law Dean Dropped, DUI Blood Test Clears Him

University of Arizona law dean Lawrence Ponoroff made two mistakes on the night of May 6: he was speeding in his car while showing signs of intoxication, and he later refused a DUI blood test when arrested. Luckily for Dean Ponoroff, the police’s insistence that he take a blood test rectified both mistakes; test results ended up clearing him of the DUI charge on Friday, reports

Ponoroff, who has been the head honcho at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona since 2009, was reportedly pulled over for driving 10 miles over the speed limit when a Pima County Sheriff’s deputy noticed signs of intoxication.

Severely Injured Cyclist Victim of Drugged Driving?

Police are investigating whether a severely injured cyclist may have been the victim of drugged driving, reports ABC15 News.

The 19-year-old cyclist is currently in critical condition after a woman driving an SUV hit him head-on Tuesday night. The cyclist was riding in a bicycle lane in Mesa when the alleged drugged driver swerved into him. The man was subsequently thrown approximately 90 feet in the air and hit a light police, according to Mesa police. He is now in the hospital fighting for his life.

Pinal County Assessor Arrested for Extreme DUI, Assault

A Pinal County assessor is out of jail, but still on the hook, after being arrested on extreme DUI and aggravated assault charges on Thursday, reports

Jacqueline Minto, Pinal County's Chief Deputy Assessor, allegedly rear-ended a vehicle after blowing through a red light Thursday evening, which sent the other driver to the hospital with serious injuries. Minto was subsequently booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on charges of driving while impaired by alcohol, driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08, extreme DUI and aggravated assault.

Former Coyotes Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin Reflects on AZ Tent City

Residents in Maricopa County know that when you get sentenced to jail time for a drunk driving conviction you're going to get the atypical experience of the Sheriff Joe DUI jail treatment. The same goes for celebrities who may be unfortunate to get caught for a DUI within the county's lines, and former Coyotes goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was no exception.

The current Houston Oilers netminder served part of his DUI sentence in the infamous Arizona tent city, reports the Edmonton Journal. It was an experience he won't likely forget anytime soon.

KhabiBulin was sentenced to 15 days in Maricopa County jail after he was convicted of driving 25 miles over the speed limit with a 0.164 blood-alcohol level, twice Arizona's legal limit.

How to get an Arizona DUI Expungement

You've paid your dues for one costly night of drinking under the influence. You paid the hefty fines, spent the time in jail, and may have had an ignition interlock device installed in your car for several months. Now that you've done the time for doing the crime, you'd like to have it all behind you. But how does one go about a DUI expungement in Arizona?

Although Arizona isn't one of the several states that specifically have laws governing DUI expungement, the state courts do provide a way to expunge your criminal record. Under state law, expungement is referred to as the "setting aside" of a judgment.

Eloy Woman Dies in Suspected Casa Grande DUI Crash

Rebekah Rose Householder, a 40-year-old Eloy woman, died in a suspected DUI crash near Casa Grande that occurred early Saturday morning, reports

Pinal County Sheriff's deputies reported that 22-year-old Whitney Marie Rees was driving the 1995 Chevrolet Corsica with Householder as her passenger. The Eloy woman reportedly died when Rees lost control of the vehicle and struck a metal pole head-on, rolling the car over.

Mesa Woman Arrested for DUI Crash with Undercover Police Car

Mesa woman Emeralda Patino was arrested on suspicion of aggravated DUI Wednesday afternoon after she was involved in an alleged DUI crash with an undercover police car, reports The Arizona Republic.

Patino, who had been previously arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2008, reportedly rear-ended the on-duty undercover police officer's vehicle and then tried to flee, according to police reports.

The 32-year-old tried to drive off after authorities asked her to turn off her car, but she was apprehended by responding officers a couple of blocks away.

Suspected DUI Crash Results in Seriously Injured Cyclist

An elderly woman involved in a suspected DUI crash is under arrest after she seriously injured a cyclist with her car on Saturday, reports ABC15 News.

Sixty-five-year-old Sonya Shalomayeva was allegedly driving down Cave Creek Road while under the influence of drugs when she struck a 52-year-old male on a bike, according to Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.

After striking the injured cyclist, Shalomayeva then drove over the raised median, hit a tree and continued driving before coming to a stop in the opposite lane. She was arrested by Phoenix police officers and booked for aggravated assault.

Labor Day Weekend Arizona DUI Arrests Drop

The number of Arizona DUI arrests over the Labor Day weekend dropped by over a third from last year’s number, but it could possibly be due to a lack of resources and not safer drivers, reports the Associated Press.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety stated that 617 arrests were made from Thursday through Tuesday, a significant drop from 949 arrests in 2010. However, agency director Alberto Gutier attributed the drop to a decrease in the amount of officers involved in the statewide task force targeting drunk drivers, according to the Associated Press.

Driving-Related Deaths, DUI Fatalities Down in 2010

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced that driving-related deaths and DUI fatalities were each down five percent last year, reports

Seven hundred and sixty-two driving-related deaths were recorded last year, according to ADOT’s “2010 Crash Facts” report. The number is a stark difference from the 1,301 recorded four years ago, the most traffic fatalities ever recorded in Arizona. Further, 30 percent of 2010’s fatalities were alcohol-related, also down five percent from 2009.

Although 78 percent of all alcohol-related crashes occurred in urban areas, 41 percent of DUI fatalities occurred in rural areas, according to an analysis of the data.

DUI Crackdown, More DUI Checkpoint Locations for Labor Day

If you’re looking to escape the city in order to enjoy the symbolic last days of summer, be extra cautious on Phoenix roads and highways during Arizona drivers’ most dangerous weekend. Local and state law enforcement will be rolling out increased saturation patrols and DUI checkpoint locations as part of a DUI crackdown effort to prevent car-related fatalities.

Labor Day weekend has reportedly become the most dangerous holiday for Arizona drivers, with 72 Arizonians dying in car wrecks in the past five years. The end-of-summer holiday has recorded more driving fatalities than New Year’s and Independence Day, according to the Department of Transportation.