Category Archives: carlaw

Road Rage, late-night bar-hopping, and guns

Incident Feb 4, 2018 left an off-duty Tempe fire captain Kyle Brayer dead.

The defendant, Hezron Parks, has plead not guilty to a variety of charges: 3X aggravated assault, 7X endangerment, and leaving the scene, and some others.  Murder charges, if any, have yet to be brought —  “The defendant stated that he felt threatened and justified in grabbing his unholstered handgun” Continue reading Road Rage, late-night bar-hopping, and guns

Where do traffic laws apply?

[ For where and how traffic laws in Arizona apply to bicyclists, see this article ]

The rules of the road (ROR) apply to motorists when an a road; but what about when driving in a parking lot? A private street? etc?

What are usually referred to as the ROR, like stopping, right-of-way, signals, etc, are contained in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 28, Chapters 3. (Chapter 4 is impaired driving and is treated specifically below). Here is the key statute, along with the key definition,  emphasis added in italics: Continue reading Where do traffic laws apply?

This happened one day in Tempe

northbound Hardy near University Drive. Could a bus driver safely overtake a cyclist here? Could a bus driver safely overtake 50 bicyclists here? Should a bus driver attempt to overtake 50 cyclists here?

Out for a Saturday morning group ride on Hardy Drive in Tempe July 2, 2016, cyclists had some sort of negative encounter with a motorist. Traffic would be light at 9AM on a Saturday morning in the dead of summer, except for the group of estimated 50 bicyclists (dispersed, not one group) and that motorist. The street here is very narrow, is traffic-calmed with ped islands and speed tables installed in a 2014/15 streetscape project, and has a speed limit of 30mph. Continue reading This happened one day in Tempe

AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

(Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)

[ UPDATE 2018. (does this sound familiar?)
A new year, a new session. This year, like every year, some Arizona Republican legislators were busy a work on their top priority — to finally rid Arizona of photo red enforcement once and for all. News Story. HB2208 53rd2R. Opinion piece from EVTrib: Time again to discuss a traffic camera ban, and why it’s a dumb move ]

2017.
A new year, a new session. This year, like every year, some Arizona Republican legislators were busy a work on their top priority — to finally rid Arizona of photo red enforcement once and for all. News Story.

Last year, they banned it from the “State highway system” It had been in use in exactly two places, on ‘city’/’town’ streets, not freeways.  Many years ago it was expelled from freeways. Continue reading AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

No more covering your license plate

Illegal in AZ

After years of wrangling and haggling over the meaning of “A person shall maintain each license plate so it is clearly legible”. Any and all coverings, including wax according to one wag, are now banned. SB1073 has passed and was signed by the governor; the effective date is something like 90 days after the session closes; perhaps August(?).  Here’s the new section: Continue reading No more covering your license plate

Arizona’s “Truth in Sentencing” Law

Sentencing Reference Material

Criminal Code Sentencing Provisions; currently 2017-2018

If that link goes dead, there’s a landing page at azcourts.gov for the sentencing material.

Sentencing is fairly intricate; With felony crimes the primary determinant being whether or not the crime is sentenced as “dangerous” vs. “non-dangerous”; this apparently is determined on a case-by-case basis; and non-dangerous crimes are all probation-eligible (meaning can be no prison time; even for serious offenses)

References; here are the general rules, there are many other sub-categories with special rules for offenses e.g. involving children, or drugs:

  • §13-707 misdemeanor jail sentence
  • §13-802 misdemeanor fines
  • §13-702 felony prison / non-dangerous offenses (all probationable) / non-repetitive
  • §13-704 felony prison / dangerous offenses (not probationable) / first offenders
  • §13-801 & §13-803 felony fines

Also note that, unlike a civil judgement, criminal restitution is not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

Arizona’s “Truth in Sentencing” Law

I feel like I’ve looked this up before…
Arizona passed a major overhaul to the state’s sentencing code (Senate Bill 1049, Chapter 255, 1993 laws) in the 1993 legislative session. Annoyingly, the online lookup azleg.gov doesn’t go back before 1997, so at the moment I don’t have access to the bill itself. (need to look it up thru library). Continue reading Arizona’s “Truth in Sentencing” Law

Knowingly

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