Category Archives: carlaw

AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

(Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)

2017.
A new year, a new session. This year, like every year, some Arizona Republican legislators were busy a work on their top priority — to finally rid Arizona of photo red enforcement once and for all. News Story.

Last year, they banned it from the “State highway system” It had been in use in exactly two places, on ‘city’/’town’ streets, not freeways.  Many years ago it was expelled from freeways. Continue reading AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

No more covering your license plate

Illegal in AZ

After years of wrangling and haggling over the meaning of “A person shall maintain each license plate so it is clearly legible”. Any and all coverings, including wax according to one wag, are now banned. SB1073 has passed and was signed by the governor; the effective date is something like 90 days after the session closes; perhaps August(?).  Here’s the new section: Continue reading No more covering your license plate

Knowingly

The case of Trevor Clarke, an Ottawa Canada driver who was involved in a serious 2012 collision with a bicyclist while drunk, and then fled the scene raised quite a stir. According to news reports, the driver was convicted (by a judge, meaning this was for unstated reasons not a jury trial) in 2015 of “impaired driving causing bodily harm”, but was found not guilty of leaving the scene because the judge said. “I am left in a reasonable doubt about whether Mr. Clarke knew or was wilfully blind to having collided with a person, precisely because he was so drunk. He cannot, therefore, be convicted of this offence”. Continue reading Knowingly

Celebrity DUIs and other car criminals

There are tens of thousands of DUI arrests per year in AZ (39,746 in 2013 to be more precise). And that’s not counting the many of the over ten thousand hit-and-run drivers reported each year in AZ (11,402 in 2010 to be more precise), all of whom are criminals, thousands of them serious felons, few of whom are ever caught or charged. (hit-and-run from a collision with any injury is a felony, if the injury is serious or fatal the felony is likewise serious). Continue reading Celebrity DUIs and other car criminals

The REAL ID kerfluffle

In 2007 (or was it 2008; it was the 48th 2nd regular session) the state of Arizona inserted a new law into the transportation code that specifcally prevents ADOT (“the department”) from issuing DLs or IDs (i.e. motor vehicle drivers licenses, or in the case of non-drivers, state issued identification cards) that complied with federal REAL ID requirements. HB2677

The bill created statute 28-336. Continue reading The REAL ID kerfluffle

Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Fatality

Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)
Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)

See man-killed-while-mowing-the-grass for background on the March 26, 2014 incident.

Correction (earlier rant removed): The hit and run involved the other alleged racing driver (Chavez),   Gonzalez did not hit and run… Continue reading Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Fatality

Vehicular Assault

Arizona has no such crime, nor do we have a vehicular homicide statue. You’ve either assaulted someone or not; if you use a vehicle in an assault, you will be charged with aggravated assault, a serious felony. These cases far more commonly involve impaired drivers — an impaired driver who causes a crash w/injury are routinely charged with aggravated assault; e.g. the driver in the pedicab incident (sentenced to 4 years in prison). However from time to time, there are drivers who are just plain angry over something or other.

There’s a mis-conception that assault, §13-1203 requires causing actual physical  injury; but that is not the case, merely “Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury” creates the crime of assault. And aggravated assault  §13-1204 is just an assault committed with some listed factor; in cases involving a motor vehicle: “If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument”, or if the victim is seriously injured regardless of how.

[ Also see  §13-1201, and  §13-1202 which are the crimes of “Endangerment”, and “Threatening or intimidating”, respectively. These all sort of play together, note the statute numbering: 1201,2,3,4 ]. They are in rough-order of escalating seriousness:

Also, in case you were wondering:

28-3304. Mandatory revocation of license; definition
A. In addition to the grounds for mandatory revocation provided.. the department shall immediately revoke the license of a driver…
1. A homicide or aggravated assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle. [effectively this causes a 3 year revocation per 28-3315E1]

Harassment

Arizona has a criminal harassment law, it doesn’t appear to be particularly applicable to motorists who harass others on the road:

 §13-2921 Harassment; classification; definition

E.g. would or could unwanted and otherwise illegal repeated horn-blowing or screaming qualify as “with intent to harass (by) … causes(ing) a communication…”?

In the context of bicyclists, see CA Attorney Seth Davidson’s article Report Card, where he stresses the need, neigh duty, to report such behaviors, which are nothing more or less than using a dangerous instrument to commit a crime.

Some Arizona Cases of Drivers Charged Criminally in Arizona

Here are the curious cases of Theresa Depiero and Holly Solomon Continue reading Vehicular Assault