Category Archives: DUI

Use of alcohol as a risk factor for bicycling injury

Skip below if you’ve visited this page specifically to see the Johns Hopkins’ study.

FARS Alcohol Results

The FARS data has a number of alcohol (and drug) fields — the fields ATST_TYP, ALC_RES relate actual test type, and results. To simplify things, I’ve added a derived field sALC_RES to breaks down test results into: negative, .01 through .07, and .08+, or no results. Most fatally injured drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians do get tested. (for those that are not, there are imputed results available from a separate data file, see below).

FARS and Imputation of Alcohol Results

Driving while intoxicated has been recognized as a significant serious safety factor for decades; at the same time, it’s long been recognized that many involved in fatal traffic collisions (mostly drivers but sometimes peds and bicyclists) do not have recorded alcohol test results. This nhtsa report published in 2002 explains most of the deep background and terminology on the scheme to “fill in” missing results: Continue reading Use of alcohol as a risk factor for bicycling injury

Today’s car-crime wrapup

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…


Semi driver charged in I-17 fatality

wreckage of Mercedes SUV (Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

[Update: Sentencing here]

11/19/2014: 1 fatality (possibly a second, later) and several injuries when semi driver Brian Knoll drove into a line of stopped traffic on I-17 near Bell Road. He’s been charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment; and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges on 12/3. Continue reading Semi driver charged in I-17 fatality

Medical marijuana no defense to DUI charge

Quick reference to Marijuana / DUI cases

  1. Supreme Court Harris decision filed 4/22/2014 — (A)(3) charges must be based on an impairing chemical, and not just an inactive metabolite; this was a reversal. This was not a medical marijuana case. More Here.
  2. Court of Appeals Darrah decision filed 10/21/2014, see below. Authorized use of marijuana does not preclude (A)(3) charge.
  3. Court of Appeals Dobson and Anderson decision filed 11/4/2014, see below. Additionally, the  §28-1381D.  immunity for prescription drugs does not include marijuana.
  4. Arizona Supreme Court,  Dobson and Anderson filed 11/20/2015, see below

Continue reading Medical marijuana no defense to DUI charge

Woman with DUI history arrested in Mesa fatal collision

Oh yeah, this one:

A woman accused of driving her SUV about 90 mph before colliding with a car stopped at a red light in east Mesa, killing both occupants, was arrested on Monday. Mesa police booked Ingrid I. Morataya, 35, on suspicion of manslaughter and other charges after she was discharged from a Valley hospital…. The driver and the passenger in the car struck by Morataya’s Toyota FJ Cruiser — Guadalupe Madril, 37, and Jason Aguilera, 33 — died instantly of massive injuries from the violent collision, according to court records… Continue reading Woman with DUI history arrested in Mesa fatal collision

Driver Sentenced: Serious Injuries in Scottsdale Pedicab Crash

[1/15/2014: Man in Scottsdale pedicab crash sentenced to 4 years in prison; Joseph Paul Spano pleaded guilty to two counts aggravated assault plus one endangerment ]

Two passengers of a pedicab were very seriously injured when they were struck by an suspected drunk driver in an early morning hours crash near downtown Scottsdale 1/4/2013. The pedicab’s driver was also injured.  The crash occurred as the pedicab was traveling north on Scottsdale Road near Rose Lane.

Seriously injured Cody A. Clark and Michael D. Tysver were both Kansas state fans in town for the Fiesta Bowl. The automobile driver “Phoenix resident Joseph Paul Spano, 27, was driving the sedan that collided with the pedicab and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, endangerment and aggravated assault”. Aggravated assault, §13-1204, can be a fairly serious charge; depending on a variety of factors. Continue reading Driver Sentenced: Serious Injuries in Scottsdale Pedicab Crash

Agg Assault Trial set in Scottsdale Pedicab crash

[ Final outcome: Defendant took a plea deal in Jan 2014 see seroius-injuries-in-scottsdale-pedicab-crash ]

Trial has been delayed and is now set for 8/19/2013 (now slipped to 12/9/2013) in the trial stemming from a driver who police believe was DUI plowed into a pedicab on 1/4/2013. Two passengers, were seriously injured; see more at seroius-injuries-in-scottsdale-pedicab-crash. Kansas state fans Cody A. Clark and Michael D. Tysver were seriously injured; the pedicab operator Jeremiah J. Armijo was also injured. Police stated the pedicab was being operated legally at the time of the collision.

Driver Joseph Spano has been indicted on two counts of aggravated assault, and three counts of endangerment.

Case CR2013-100750 at Maricopa County Superior Court; case minutes; the prosecutor is Tiffany Brady, and the defense attorney is Jonathan Dessaules.

There is no DUI charge (that seems normal for these kinds of cases, but I don’t exactly know why). There aren’t many case minutes; the comprehensiv pretrial conference minute from April 8 mentions that “The State is requesting an aggravating factors trial to the jury”, and that “A plea offer was made” (and was apparenlty not accepted. there is no detail of the offer in the minutes, that i see anyway).