Does AZ really have “tough” DUI laws?

Arizona metes out harsh penalties for drunken driving, with mandatory jail time and heavy fines, and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Arizona has steep penalties for good reason

— Arizona toughest in nation on DUIs, study says

“simple” DUI results in spending a day in jail; this is apparently enough to place AZ as having the toughest laws.

You might expect, then, that DUI drivers who injure people, and are not simply driving around impaired, would receive harsh sentences.


Tyrell Whitehat mugshot from 2012 crash

Consider a crash that occurred 8/26/2012 (ADOT incident 2655307; phoenix fileNumber: 12001529573). According to the crash report and court records, a DUI driver was speeding westbound on McDowell when he struck another westbound vehicle so hard it caused both vehicles to lose control; causing one or both vehicles to cross over three lanes of traffic and careened onto the sidewalk, striking a female bicyclist, Andrea Stunden, who was westbound on the sidewalk.

The DUI driver caused the other driver, a passenger of the other car, and the bicyclist to all suffer “incapacitating” injuries. (no word on the extent of their injuries — in fact there was no media coverage whatsoever that I could find).

A DUI driver who causes a serious injury ought to be charges with aggravated assault, but we see he was never charged with any assault, only with “endangerment” —  a class 6 (very minor) felony crime, and moreover his plea deal stipulated that this is crime, the one called endangerment, is somehow NON-DANGEROUS (wtf?! enDANGERment is non-DANGERous?) per the plea deal:

The punishment was minimal — 1 day incarceration in county (time-served), and ONE year of UNsupervised probation. The 1 day of incarceration presumably has to do with our “tough” DUI laws, and the perp already had “credit” for the day, presumably from when he was arrested on the day of the crash. Probation began 1/21/2015.

So he got a second chance…. that didn’t last long, on 6/1/2015 the perp was apparently pulled over while driving without a license: aggravated DUI/driving on a suspended license 28-1383A1, and by November 2015 his probation was revoked:

Apparently he’s flown the coop, and there’s an outstanding warrant out for his arrest as of this writing (February 2017).

What are public officials doing to protect us from these dangerous criminals? The police appear to have done their job admirably; whereas prosecutors and judges seem to be cooking up these trivial punishments for what are, and ought to be treated as, serious crimes.

Dangerous driver Nicholas Linsk who caused a crash that killed a Dr. Marwan Maalouf in a hit-and-run is obviously out driving around on his revoked license, with impunity. Still on probation (SUPERVISED probation); still has a “suspended” sentence, and his probation appears to be intact.

Does probation “work”? Is anyone really checking?