The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

As Arizona has the toughest DUI laws in the country, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction can carry serious consequences. A charge of aggravated DUI, however, is a felony crime and carries even harsher penalties, like multiple years of imprisonment.

While most people are aware that aggravated DUI charges exist, many are unsure of the exact circumstances in which the charges apply. Aggravated DUI charges arise where certain aggravating factors exist that elevate a DUI offense to the level of a felony. Below, we’ve included five circumstances in which a driver could be charged with an aggravated DUI in Arizona.

State liquor officers arrested 189 people for underage drinking-related offenses at this month’s Country Thunder music festival in Florence, The Associated Press reports. Most of those arrested were charged with underage possession of alcohol, using a fake ID to buy alcohol, or furnishing alcohol to a minor. Police also made 24 DUI arrests, 8 of which were for extreme DUI.

According to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, the four-day festival has been plagued with underage drinking in the past. This year, the liquor control agency deployed officers to work with state police in combating underage drinking at the event.

Anthony Robert Dose, 26, has been sentenced to life in prison for a 2010 police chase that culminated in a fatal crash, AZfamily.com reports. He will not be eligible for parole or early release.

On the night of October 27, 2010, police noticed Dose driving at over 100 mph on U.S. 60. When police tried to stop him, Dose attempted to flee. He was high on methamphetamine at the time of the incident.

On Sunday, a 47-year-old Mesa man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after a witness noticed the man driving erratically with his kids in the car, The Arizona Republic reports.

Marco A. Lugo was charged with a felony count of aggravated DUI, misdemeanor counts of DUI, extreme DUI, and driving with an open container of alcohol.

As a professional golfer, Matthew Giles has probably had his fair share of drives end up in the rough. Earlier in the week, however, Giles allegedly drove right into a house, The Associated Press reports.

On Monday night, the 22-year-old Australian golfer was arrested by Gilbert police on suspicion of drunk driving. Police say, Giles lost control of his car while driving drunk and crashed into a Gilbert home.

Early Sunday morning, Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies responding to a medical call found over 150 young people, many underage, at an alcohol-fueled prom after-party in the middle of the desert, The Daily Courier reports.

The officers detained 65 underage individuals, citing 34 of them for underage drinking. Those who were under the age of 18 were held until an adult arrived to drive them home.

Early Sunday morning, Giacomo Masolini, a 22-year-old ASU student, was killed by a suspected drunk driver on eastbound U.S. Route 60, AZfamily.com reports. The accident caused the highway to be closed for several hours on Sunday morning.

Mark William Clary reportedly caused the accident when he rear-ended a sedan in his Corvette. He fled the scene of the accident on foot, but was later apprehended by police. He has been charged with second-degree murder, four counts of aggravated assault, and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

Getting your driver’s license used to be synonymous with freedom, independence, or fun for most American teenagers. That may no longer be the case, The Arizona Republic reports.

According to new research, transportation statistics, and U.S. census data, fewer young people are getting behind the wheel than in the past. Per capita driving peaked in 2004, and has since been in decline with young people leading the way.

Now that spring break has started for many, plenty of drinking will be happening at barbecues, picnics, and parties. However, it’s important to remember to leave the beer or wine behind while driving to and from the party.

Arizona is one of 43 states that has laws banning the operation of a motor vehicle with an open container of alcohol in the car. Although the penalties for open container offenses are generally not as harsh as those for DUI offenses, open container violations often carry hefty fines and even the possibility of jail time.

Early Saturday morning, a 56-year-old motorcyclist was killed when his motorcycle collided with an SUV in Phoenix. Police now believe that alcohol impairment may have contributed to the accident, The Arizona Republic reports.

At around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, Eric Blackwell was driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on Buckeye Road. A Ford Explorer travelling south on 13th Avenue collided with Blackwell’s motorcycle at an intersection, according to Phoenix police.

Last week, Phoenix police arrested Deana Unterbrink, a 34-year-old mother, for several DUI charges, The Arizona Republic reports. Unterbrink allegedly crashed her SUV into a wall outside a Phoenix-area school while under the influence.

Unterbrink was driving with three of her children in the car at the time of the accident. She has been charged with two counts of aggravated DUI and three counts of DUI with a passenger under 15-years-old.

An Arizona bill that would increase penalties for those who leave the scene of an accident passed the state house on Monday in a 60-0 vote, ABC News reports. Senate Bill 1163, nicknamed “Joey’s law,” will now be passed along to Governor Brewer to sign or veto.

Joey Romero, an 18-year-old high school student, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in October 2010 while walking home from school. Romero’s family was instrumental in developing and promoting the bill.

Last Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 64 people as part of a nationwide operation to deport undocumented immigrants who had committed crimes. While many of the individuals were deported for drug-related crimes, four people were deported for having aggravated DUI convictions, The Arizona Republic reports.

“The goal is to take them out of our communities to prevent them from committing more crimes,” said Eduard Preciado, assistant Phoenix Field Office Director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. While a DUI is a misdemeanor offense, an aggravated DUI carries felony charges and steeper penalties.

Douglas Noble, of Golden Valley, was arrested Wednesday night for a "super extreme DUI." Noble had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .232 percent, nearly three times the legal limit, Fox News reports.

Arizona is one of a few states that have enacted laws to create this highest level of DUI charge. Although "super extreme" sounds more like an energy drink descriptor than a serious offense, it's important to understand the distinctions between the different categories of DUIs because their respective penalties can differ greatly.