The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

New AZ DUI Laws in 2012; Ignition Interlock Requirement Shortened

As many Arizona drivers know, the Grand Canyon State has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. This includes mandated time in jail and the installation of an ignition interlock device for all DUI offenders.

Arizona’s DUI penalties will get slightly more lenient with the New Year, however, as new DUI laws go into effect, reports But don’t expect penalties to get too soft.

Among the flurry of laws passed this year, a few dealt with the rights of and penalties against drunk drivers. One of those laws decreased the required time of installation interlock devices for first-time, non-extreme DUI offenders with a record of good behavior from a year to six months if they participate in an alcohol education program. Arizona is one of the few states to have required a one-year penalty.

Holiday DUI Crackdown: More than 2,800 DUI Arrests

Arizona's 2011 Holiday DUI Task Force seems like it has become a more efficient machine this season, making 12,000 more traffic stops this year than 2010 and netting 2,840 suspected drunk drivers, reports The Arizona Republic.

Perhaps their shiny, new mobile DUI processing centers have helped?

Regardless of the reason, Arizona authorities were in contact with more motorists than last year. Looking at the numbers between Nov. 24 and Dec. 24, authorities reported making 46,200 traffic stops compared to 33,395 in 2010. Out of those stops, 18,000 were arrested for non-DUI related citations such as speeding.

Phoenix Named One of the Cities with the Most Drunk Drivers

Despite Arizona's reputation for having some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation, its capital reportedly has one of the largest populations of drunk drivers in the country, according to Forbes.

Phoenix was ranked 10th out of the top 10 states on's list of cities with the highest percentage of DUI citations.

But perhaps having such a high number of DUI citations doesn't mean there are more drunk drivers on the road than in other states. Instead, the high number of citations could be due to more efficient DUI enforcement.

Whatever the reason, Phoenix's ranking is actually a significant improvement over last year - it was ranked fourth in 2010.

Marana Police Officer Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

We’ve said it before: as an officer of the law, you’re held to a higher standard than other citizens in upholding the law you’re employed to enforce.

An officer with the Marana Police Department must not have taken our comments very seriously. Officer Irasema Teran was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

Teran, who has been a patrol officer with the department since September 2007, was pulled over by an Oro Valley officer for a civil traffic violation when he noticed she was exhibiting signs of intoxication. Teran was also found to be driving with a suspended license, according to the Daily Star.

U.S. Needs Complete Cell Phone, Bluetooth Federal Ban in Cars?

We read about the studies proving the dangers of texting while driving, and heard the stories about victims who died tragically while the remorseful distracted drivers went to jail. Yet, our attitudes reportedly didn't change, and we still kept texting, both in Phoenix and across the country.

Now, transportation safety experts with the federal government are calling for a complete cell phone and personal electronics ban for all American drivers, even if you are using a hands-free device, reports The only exceptions - GPS navigation devices and use during emergency situations.

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life," said Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which made the recommendation.

Mesa Woman Hits Bicyclist; Suspected of DUI of Alcohol, Pot

Police believe Mesa woman Julia Alean Gosney was driving under the influence when she struck and injured a cyclist last Monday, reports The Arizona Republic.

Gosney reportedly told police she had been drinking rum and cokes and smoking marijuana before the accident. The bicyclist suffered a right clavicle fracture and laceration to his left leg after she struck him in the bicycle lane, according to police reports.

Tucson Man Sentenced to Prison for DUI, Death of Infant Daughter

Manuel Ramos-Garate was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years in prison for killing his infant daughter in 2010 and injuring a woman in an unrelated DUI crash in 2009, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

He pleaded guilty last month to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor driving under the influence for a DUI crash that occurred in 2009. He was reportedly speeding and ran a red light before hitting another car with marijuana and alcohol in his system. The victim in the crash suffered a broken jaw and broken ribs.

SnoBars: Alcoholic Popsicles and Ice Cream Debuting in AZ Stores

If someone could create alcoholic whipped cream, it was only a matter of time before someone else created alcoholic ice cream to put the alcoholic whipped cream on.

SnoBar Cocktails - alcohol infused ice cream and ice pops - will soon be hitting the store shelves, reports

SnoBars may sound kid-friendly, but the product stays true to the Cocktail part. Each serving reportedly contains as much alcohol as a regular drink, with some of the products containing as much as 14 percent.

Do Medical Marijuana Laws Create Safer Roads?

A study conducted by the Institute for the Study of Labor recently concluded that states with medical marijuana laws may have safer roads, according to Time.

Researchers from the Institute reportedly found that the states (and the District of Columbia) that have legalized medical marijuana saw a 9 percent decrease in fatal car wrecks from 1990 to 2009. Arizona recently passed Proposition 203 which allows Arizona medical marijuana cardholders to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time.

Man Arrested for Super Extreme DUI after Asking Firefighter for Keys

Alcohol has been proven to have several negative effects on your driving skills. This includes impairing your abilities to concentrate, coordinate motor skills, and use good judgment. In fact, the ability to make sound and responsible decisions is usually the first to go when drinking.

Take the case of Kingman man Shaun Lewis Deter. The 60-year-old was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of extreme DUI after he flagged down a firefighter to help him find his car keys, reports the Daily Miner.

The car keys were eventually located on the judgment-impaired man’s dashboard, and the firefighter quickly assessed that Deter may have been intoxicated.

Valley Man Arrested for Third DUI in Less than a Year

Gilbert police arrested a Valley man for a DUI for the third time this year, reports ABC15 news.

Gregory Wakeham’s third DUI arrest occurred Saturday morning when police conducted a routine traffic stop on the 51-year-old for driving his vehicle on the sidewalk. An officer noticed he was exhibiting signs of impairment and found his license was suspended because of aggravated DUI arrests in January and February. He was reportedly found to have a blood-alcohol level more than two and a half times the legal limit in both arrests, according to ABC15.