In what has become an annual ritual, a certain cadre of Republican state legislators bring forth numerous bills designed to limit / curtail / eliminate photo enforcement. This posting covers the 52nd Legislature, 1st Regular session’s activities, that is the Spring of 2015. Continue reading Legislation to ban Photo Enforcement
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
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:
- §13-1201 Endangerment
- §13-1202 Threatening or intimidating
- §13-1203 Assault
- §13-1204 Aggravated Assault
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]
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
remember, these are only the most-sensational ones; there were undoubtedly dozens of hit and runs, and various other assorted DUIs, serious injuries, and deaths.
In Avondale (Phoenix metro area, “west valley”)
Police: Meth fueled high-speed chase with children in car / A routine traffic stop in the West Valley took a violent turn on Wednesday night after police said a man shoved a woman out of a car and led officers on a high-speed chase down 75th Avenue with the woman’s children in the car, according to court records. Avondale police initially tried to stop the car 35-year-old Stewart Galligan…
Meanwhile in Scottsdale
Video shows suspect ramming Scottsdale police / The driver of an SUV whom police shot Thursday in a Safeway parking lot near Hayden and Chaparral roads twice tried to ram his way out of a trap, based on surveillance video released Friday by the Scottsdale Police Department…. The surveillance video shows at least a half-dozen police vehicles converging on the SUV. Officers exit their vehicles and quickly approach the SUV, which the driver puts in reverse and slams into a police vehicle. Several seconds pass before the SUV pulls forward slightly. The driver then puts the SUV in reverse, and again rams a police vehicle…
[2/19/2015; Officer Sweet plead guilty to one count of disorderly conduct. Sentenced to probation Mar 26, the judge said “Probably the greatest loss for [Sweet] is the loss of being on the police department and that he’ll never be a police officer again in the state of Arizona” ]
Road rage really does make some people do wacky stuff.
Oiy: an older gentleman (age? maybe 60?) and his neighbor were on their way to Monday morning Mass when they got into a road rage incident with the driver of van. The driver of the van, as things turn out, is an on-duty Phoenix Police officer transporting some prisoners in an unmarked van. Anyway, the police officer ended up pulling his gun; and he, the police officer, has since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault. This is a huge charge so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.
A couple of interesting points; the case apparently involves surveillance video (it would make sense the van has that) — this will be interesting video to watch.
The police officer after the “stop” drove off. The occupants of the other vehicle immediately made a police report — this is key to not let road-bullies slide, whoever they are.
The arrested police officer was 51-year-old Jeremy Sweet. In the other car were former state legislator “Ruiz and his passenger, fellow churchgoer Monica Rivera”.
In no particular order…
Drivers must obey all traffic control devices; this is a catch-all for official signage and striping which doesn’t have a specific statute. §28-644 Drivers tend to ignore signage which doesn’t suit their desires. Like the driver pictured, there is a steady stream of illegal movements at this driveway (and in case you were wondering, yes the sign is an “official” TCD, duly authorized by, in this case, the city of Phoenix) (also, in case you were wondering, this is not an “official” stop sign. A complete stop before crossing the sidewalk is always required when emerging from a driveway)
In April, Coconino County supervisors voted to ban cell use by drivers, including talking and texting — with the perennial exclusion for hands free devices. azdailysun.com. It is a primary offense; and there’s some sort of six month grace period.
Somewhat confusingly, the City of Flagstaff council has passed a city texting ban (that is texting only, and mum on any other aspect of cell use) — the city is within Coconino County. “prohibits drivers and bicycle riders from texting, emailing or using an instant message program to send or read a message while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers and cyclists are allowed to text or email while stopped for a red light, waiting for a train to pass or pulled over on the side of the road. The ban becomes law on Aug. 15, but the city is offering a six-month grace period” azdailysun.. The way it apparently works is the city (Flagstaff) has “opted out” of Coconino County’s ban and created their own, less stringent, ban — on texting only.
[ 4/22/2014: in what is presumably the final update, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled (here is same doc archived by azcentral) 4-1 that it is not a DUI violation to be driving with the non-impairing marijuana metabolite in their bodies. In other words, the reversed the Court of Appeals ruling. Here’s a pretty good news item wrapup from the New Times. The lone dissenter offered a detailed analysis as part of the published opinion; I tend to side with her, that the majority overreached by concluding a flat ban, which is the plain language of the law, produces absurd results. But there you have it.]
This idea of any non-zero level of (a long list of) drugs, or their metabolites, being equated with driving impaired has always worried me; this recent CoA ruling affirms that this is proper. So, nothing to do with this case, i’m wondering if a decongestant, pseudophedrine (commonly found in many cold medicines) cause dui per 28-1381(A)3??? why or why not. I am chemistry challenged.
In the Court of Appeals, Div 1. No. 1 CA–SA 12–0211
STATE v. HON. HARRIS/SHILGEVORKYAN (if that link is dead findlaw0211). The caption of this case is a bit confusing, the Real Party in Interest is Hrach Shilgevorkyan. Harris is the name of the Superior Court commisioner.
There are three ways to run afoul of Arizona’s DUI statue. The most common would be #2, BAC > .08 (referred to as drunk per se), typically anymore it is via blood evidence; another way is #1 being “under the influence… if … impaired to the slightest degree”, typically via field sobriety tests. The third way, and the one at issue here is #3, “While there is any drug … or its metabolite in the person’s body”. Continue reading Arizona court ruling upholds DUI test for marijuana
There was a CoA ruling recently in a long-running case that questioned the accuracy of one particular piece of lab equipment used in Scottdale’s crime lab involved with a handful of serious DUI cases.
CA-SA 13-0285 STATE v. HON. BERNSTEIN/HERMAN in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1, was a so-called “special action” brought by Maricopa County Prosecutor Bill Mongomery. Continue reading Court reinstates Scottsdale DUI test results
[Updated 12/2013; Deputy fired, see below]
So this is pretty weird situation stemming from a fatal wreck occurring August 2012. I don’t know how any of this is supposed to work — but it occurs to me that County Attorney Voyles could have sent this to a neutral party (another county) for disposition, and that would have avoided any appearance of impropriety. As it stands, Voyles had a clear conflict-of-interest; and he decided it in favor of his interests. Voyles description of the deputy’s actions (‘patrolling’ at ~ 100mph?) as “an acceptable investigating patrolling activity” is quite bold, and troubling. They don’t call it “criminal speeding” (see 28-701.02) for nothing, well I mean reasonable people call it that, I don’t know how Voyles (or the deputy) rationalizes it. The victim’s (that is to say, the guy that died; the deputy was seriously injured) actions were certainly also negligent — he was very drunk, and made a bad left — but that certainly doesn’t absolve Steele of all responsibility for the collision. In any event, this is going to be very expensive for Pinal county taxpayers. Continue reading (still) No charges filed vs. Pinal deputy in 2012 fatal crash