Category Archives: DUI

DUI bill passes with help from speaker

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

Off duty uninsured DPS officer

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

Actual time served

The story Statistics prove Hilton is getting a raw deal  shows the seamy underbelly of American penal system. Because convicted car-criminals aren’t considered dangerous, they usually end up serving absurdly short amount of time — even for a serious offense like driving without a license while on probation for DUI! Hilton eventually served the full 23 days — but we are told that the “normal” amount of time actually served for similarly situated (but non-celebrity) individuals is 4 days. With FOUR TIMES the number of folks being killed on the highways as by “old fashioned” murderers (roughly 40,000 versus 10,000 per year in the US) perhaps it is time to rethink the notion of who is more dangerous.

The Los Angeles Times analysed two million jail releases and identified 1,500 cases since July 2002 that involved defendants arrested for drink driving and then sentenced to jail after violating their probation by driving without a licence.
Around 60 per cent left jail after four days…

Continue reading Actual time served

2006 Fatality Stats – preliminary

[ U P D A T E : final stats ]

NHTSA’s preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for 2006 (a.k.a. highway traffic fatalities):

  2006 2005
alcohol-related 17,941 17,525
drunk 13,990 13,613
pedestrian 4,768 4,881
motorcyclist not yet available 4,553
pedalcyclist not yet available 784
total 43,300 43,443
     
All other transportation(e.g planes, trains)   2,193

(Figures released May 25, 2007; updated table with 2005 numbers June 16, 2007)

Continue reading 2006 Fatality Stats – preliminary

DUI Interlock

[update: the legislative session ended and the repeal was not enacted. In other words, the interlock will be required for all DUI offenders. Rep. John Kavanagh had a lengthy letter advocating repeal in the Tucson Citzen]

Earlier in this legislative season, AZ lawmakers passed and the governor signed a bill that requires a DUI ignition interlock device be installed for any DUI conviction. Previously interlocks were required only on repeat DUI offenders, or extreme-DUI convictions. A new bill/amendment has been introduced which would reverse the interlocks for first-time offenders. (it would be unusual to pass and rescind a law in the same legislative session)

There seems to be endless legislative fiddling with DUI penalties.

Continue reading DUI Interlock