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
Holly Nicole Solomon was finally sentenced for aggravated assault yesterday for running her (at the time) husband over with her car soon after learning he didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election. … see the rest here …
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
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
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
The new legislative session, 52nd / 1st Regular, is going full bore. State Senator Kavanagh is making panhandling his signature issue. Sen Kavanagh sits on the Public Safety committee.
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 see note about Harrassment statute, below
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]
Indicia of Criminality
Any incident must be considered in total; however, one or more of these actions by a driver may indicate criminal intentions, and not merely infractions. The more indications the more likely there was criminal intent. Note these indicators have little in particular to do with bicyclists, and are more-or-less the same as any road rage situation
- Repeated or prolonged horn activation
- Activating horn while stopped
- Changing lanes repeatedly
- Changing lanes to become impeded
- Failure to drive within one lane (“Straddling” lanes)
- Failure to change lanes when another lane is available
- Passing too closely
- Driving too slowly / Slowing or braking after passing
- Surging (speeding up then slowing down)
- Any Reckless or Aggressive Driving
- Causing extra noise (revving engine)
- Backing / returning to the scene of an incident
- Leaving the scene of a crash (“hit-and-run“)
This content was moved from comment on related article in-the-presence-requirement
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”.