Driver charged with endangerment and 2nd degree murder and in last week’s killing of Peter Rankin who was on the sidewalk. Medical reports say the driver had a BAC of 0.235, almost triple the legal limit (anything over .20 would be “super-extreme” DUI).
AZ GOHS reports that DUI arrests across Arizona have declined significantly 2012-2015 (dropping from 32,174 to 26,814 over the period). This might be good news, indicating DUI is declining and traffic in general is getting safer, alas there are increasing numbers of not just crashes and injuries/deaths, but also specifically DUI involved fatal crashes increased over the same period from 251 to 270. [the much larger figures, below, probably reflect all police departments across the state, while the GOHS-quoted figures may only reflect DPS?]
Figures from the Arizona Supreme Court’s Annual Reports show shocking declines in DUI cases; coupled with significant increases in traffic fatalities both alcohol-involved and overall, for many years.
- 82,628 in 2009 (261 alc related / 806 all fatals)
- 72,715 in 2012 (281 alc related / 821 all fatals)
- 57,845 in 2016 (307 alc related / 962 all fatals)
So it appears we’ve got more drivers driving (VMT has increased modestly over period), and presumably more drivers driving drunk, along with rising traffic deaths and injuries and a significant decline in DUI cases. Why aren’t police doing their job? It’s hard to say, but it probably has something to do with money.
GLENDALE, AZ – A Navajo Nation police officer has been charged with murder after allegedly driving drunk while striking and killing a bicyclist.
Glendale Police report that on September 22, Kevin Richard Hevel, 30, was at the Westgate Entertainment District, near 95th and Glendale avenues, consuming alcohol for about three hours.
He was in the Valley attending a police-related training event in Paradise Valley.
Several drivers called 911 reporting a red SUV driving erratically on the road. Hevel reportedly sideswiped a vehicle near 59th and Glendale avenues.
Police say he continued driving eastbound on the sidewalk, when he hit 60-year-old Peter Rankin who was riding his bicycle. Rankin was killed when he was thrown from the bike and hit a pole.
Hevel, police say, continued driving, running a red light before hitting Glendale patrol vehicle, causing it to spin.
Others were hurt in the crash, but only suffered minor injuries.
Hevel reportedly told an officer that he had “a lot to drink.” This was allegedly confirmed by a hospital blood test which showed his blood-alcohol level at .235, nearly three times the legal limit.
Hevel has been with the Navajo Nation Police Department for almost ten years.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s office has charged Hevel with endangerment and second-degree murder.