A cyclist was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Mesa in the early-evening timeframe. Monday Aug 24, 2009. Police arrested Benito Gil-Mendoza, 31, on suspicion of aggravated assault and hit-and-run.
The azcentral story says the collision was 6:30p. Sunset that day in Phoenix is 7:03p. No mention of lights was made in either of the news stories.
How will this one play out? After all, three hours is a long time. The suspect will likely deny he was drunk at the time.
Continue reading Another hit-and-run; this time Mesa
Salvador Vivas-Diaz was sentenced to the maximum of 16 years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter after driving drunk and hitting Phoenix PD Officer Shane Figueroa head-on. The officer was responding to a call at the time.
Traffic collisions, not, say, guns, are the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths of police officers. See: More Police Killed by Traffic than Guns.
In last week’s Numbers Guy WSJ column, Carl Bialik examines a dust-up between MADD and the (beverage industry-backed) Century Council. They published a bar-chart of alcohol-related fatalities broken down by BAC levels.
Note that the term alcohol-related means simply that any of the drivers involved had a BAC of 0.01 or greater.
What intests me, however, is how the chart looks if we include all fatalities and how the same chart would look. Continue reading “Alcohol-Related” vs. “Alcohol-Impaired”
I don’t normally like to comment on these far-afield stories but this one is particularly crazy.
It seems that 92-year-old Clifford Allen was convicted of his second DUI (second within six years, one wonders if there are more?) this triggers some sort of mandatory sentence and landed him in the county lockup, when some sort of residential rehab fell through. Continue reading 92-year-old jailed for DUI
UPDATE June 7, 2008: HB2643 passed and signed. Score one for Napalitano. So the interlock stays at a year.
UPDATE April 30, 2008: The governor vetoed the bill, citing the interlock compromise as untenable. Liquor industy lobbyiests allowed House Speaker Jim Weiers to allow the bill to go forth because is contained the interlock reduction. There were perfectly good bills — being blocked — that would have given use perfectly sensible reform, e.g. the fix for conflicting penalties for extreme DUI.
In an unusual stroke of consistency, a bunch of competing DUI changes were rolled up and passed. Continue reading DUI bill passes with help from speaker
There are a couple of slants in this story by Sarah Fensky appearing in the Phoenix New Times: “It took less than one drink to get Shannon Wilcutt busted for felony DUI“
If it’s legislative season, it must be time to fiddle with the DUI laws. Again. Continue reading Senate bills propose stiffer DUI penalties
The latest crop of new DUI laws goes into effect soon. The most notable changes are mandatory ignition interlocks for any, including first time, DUI, and a new category of above extreme DUI. Continue reading Super Extreme
Arizona Leads the Nation [update: also see this entry]
NHTSA released final traffic stats for 2006 on July 23rd: Arizona led the nation in increased number of fatalities, by 109, from 1,179 in 2005 to 1,288 in 2006 (a whopping 9.2% increase). Overall US fatalities decreased by 2%. Continue reading 2006 Fatality Stats – Final
UPDATE2, Feb 24, 2009: Aguilera was found guilty at trial. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24. Here is a wild picture of the wreck — the motorcycle is impaled upright in the grill of Aguilera’s car… was speed a factor?
UPDATE1: The Aguilera case is going to trial. You can see the wheels of justice slowly grinding via the superior court’s website.The crash occurred May 2007; it’s now Feb 2009. It appears that the case being brought was solely due to the alchohol content (which fits the pattern — in the mind of the county attorney’s office there is never any criminal culpability outside the context of alcohol ).
In October 2007, news reports said Aguilera had a 0.057 BAC four hours after the crash. He was indicted on aggravated assault (and not DUI). The assault charges are far more serious:
Thomas said Tuesday said he believes the aggravated assault charges will stick, and even if Aguilera’s blood alcohol level would have been above the legal limit, Thomas said his office likely wouldn’t have asked for charges of a misdemeanor DUI.
Interesting points:An off-duty DPS officer, in his uninsured vehicle is accused of causing the wreck. This case is moving pretty quickly — the crash occurred May 4th 2007, 2 months ago. The link to DUI is hinted at, but results still not in (not unusual) — if other cases are any guide, the DUI status of Aguilera will determine whether or not criminal charges (aggravated assault?) are brought.
Continue reading Off duty uninsured DPS officer