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Articles Tagged with Extreme DUI

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flag-231x300Every year law enforcement agencies across the State of Arizona participate in special DUI task forces and checkpoints over Memorial Day weekend with their stated goal being to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by enforcing DUI and traffic laws. Last year, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 550 drivers throughout the state were arrested on suspicion of DUI, including arrests for extreme DUI (blood alcohol content of 0.15% or greater). Other citations and arrests included aggressive driving violations, Underage DUI violations (under the age of 21), and DUI drug violations.

What Should I do if I am stopped at a DUI Checkpoint?

  1. Slow down and safely enter the DUI checkpoint area.
  2. Stay in your car and follow the officer’s instructions.
  3. Do cooperate with the officer and provide your driver’s license, insurance and registration. However, once you have provided your identification, remember, you do have the right to remain silent and should let the officer know that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent. You also have the right to contact your lawyer – do let the officer know that you wish to contact an attorney.
  4. If you are asked to step out of your car to perform field sobriety tests (such as the finger-to-nose test or the walk-and-turn test), you are not required to participate in these field sobriety tests. These tests are subjective and can be used to build evidence which can be used against you.
  5. While you do have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests, that does not mean you should refuse all other tests. Under Arizona’s implied consent laws, a person who operates a motor vehicle gives consent to test(s) of the person’s blood, breath, or urine to determine alcohol concentration or blood content for any allegations of driving or actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Failure to consent to a chemical test will result in a 12-month license suspension. Even if you refuse to submit to the test, the officer will likely end up obtaining a search warrant which will require you to allow the blood draw anyways and will still result in a 12-month license suspension.
  6. You have the right to consult with an attorney and it is advisable to do so as soon as possible after you become a target of any criminal investigation.

What happens if I am charged with a DUI?

If you have been arrested for DUI, you will likely be transported to the police station or a DUI Task Force van to have your blood alcohol levels tested either through a blood draw and/or a breathalyzer test (and in some cases a urine test). Usually you will then be released, and someone can come and pick you up. In some cases, if the charges are more serious you may be held and booked into jail where you will see a Judge within 24 hours for an initial appearance and to determine release conditions.

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Please celebrate responsibly and enjoy a safe and happy New Year's Eve! If you plan on drinking tonight, make transportation plans ahead of time for the safety of yourself and other drivers on the roadways. There are plenty of options to ensure a safe arrival home at the end of the night, including taxi or limo service, Uber or a designated driver. In addition, AAA Tipsy Tow service is once again offering a free (10-mile) tow and ride home – call 1-800-AAA-HELP between 6PM Dec. 31st and 6AM Jan. 1st https://www.az.aaa.com/news/automotive/tipsytow. Also, check out Valley Metro as they are teaming up with Coors Light to provide free rides on bus, light rail and ADA Dial-a-Ride services beginning at 7PM on New Year's Eve. See more at: http://www.valleymetro.org/landing_page/freerides/.

If you do find yourself being charged with a DUI, it is critical to seek the advice of competent legal counsel as soon as possible. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country and if convicted, the penalties include significant fees, fines, mandatory incarceration, alcohol counseling, potential for increased insurance premiums, ignition interlock requirements, probation, possible vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and other unanticipated consequences.

The penalties are typically harsher the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) and can also be harsher when certain 'aggravating' factors are involved, such as having a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car, having a suspended/revoked driver's license, or having multiple DUI convictions at the time of the DUI stop. At a minimum, the penalties for a First Time DUI with a BAC of .08-.15% can include up to 6 months in jail, a $2,500 fine (with 84% surcharge) plus additional fees, a 90-day to 1 year driver's license suspension, ignition interlock requirement, mandatory alcohol screening and counseling, probation and potential for increased insurance, among other consequences. Extreme DUI (BAC of .15-.20%) and Super Extreme DUI (BAC > .20%) result in even harsher penalties including increased jail time, higher fees/fines, vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and other penalties. If there are 'aggravating' circumstances involved at the time you are stopped, you will likely be charged with a Class 4 or Class 6 Felony DUI. Aggravating circumstances, as previously mentioned, can include having a minor child in the car, having multiple prior DUI convictions or driving without a valid driver's license (i.e. suspended/revoked). As you can imagine, the more serious the circumstances and the higher your BAC, the harsher the penalties will be. The prison term for an Aggravated DUI conviction can be anywhere from 4-months up to several years. The fees and fines are substantially higher for felony DUI's, as are other penalties, including longer license suspension, increased insurance premiums, probation, classes and other unanticipated consequences.

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According to a media release by the Tempe Police Department, the agency will be out in force over Memorial Day Weekend and have established the following DUI Task Force locations:

Fri. May 24 5:00 p.m. Loop 202 & Dobson Rd. Tempe
Sat. May 25 6:00 p.m. Tempe Fire Training Facility, 1340 E. University Dr. Tempe
Sun. May 26 3:00 p.m. 7300 E. Shoeman Galleria Scottsdale

See Media Release here

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According to a recent news release by the Mesa Police Department, they will be participating in the annual East Valley Memorial Day DUI Task Force. These operations will consist of both sobriety checkpoints as well as DUI saturation patrols throughout the East Valley. The task force will be employing a zero-tolerance approach to any driver found to be impaired either by alcohol and/or drugs, and also any underage driver or passenger with alcohol in their system. Law enforcement is reminding people to enjoy the holiday, drink responsibility and either designate a sober driver, call a cab, or ride the light rail.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or any other criminal violation, it is important to understand your rights. Before police begin questioning a suspect, he/she is required to read you a Miranda warning, reminding you of your rights. Listed below is an example of typical language used in a Miranda warning:

  • You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney

Whether you are in custody, or out of custody, it is important to understand that you should not speak with anyone about your case except your attorney. This is especially true if you are in custody, as all of your communications can be monitored, especially communications on jail telephones. Communications with your attorney are protected and privileged, including communications over the jail telephones. Therefore, do not communicate with anybody about your case other than your attorney. This applies to individuals who are in custody and out of custody.

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Queen Creek is a small town situated in southeast Maricopa County, with the southern part of town overlapping into Pinal County. The town is a unique mix of housing sub-divisions, homes on acreage, farmers and ranchers, and despite its growth, Queen Creek still has that rural feel about it. The San Tan Mountains lie to the south of Queen Creek and offer plenty of recreational activities including hiking, biking, camping and the like. Queen Creek is also home to the only working olive farm and mill in the State of Arizona – Queen Creek Olive Mill, where visitors can tour the olive mill, stroll through the olive groves, enjoy casual dining, and purchase a variety of olive oils and other unique gifts. Schnepf Farms is another longtime local fixture in the town of Queen Creek, where visitors can dine at the bakery, enjoy a hayride, tour the farm, go veggie picking, visit the museum, and much more. Given its small town feel, abundance of recreational activities, and easy commute to Phoenix and other valley cities, Queen Creek has become one of the "best kept secrets" in Arizona.

The Town of Queen Creek contracts with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) to provide law enforcement services to the town as well as the unincorporated areas surrounding the town. If you are cited with a DUI in the Town of Queen Creek or surrounding unincorporated county islands, your case will likely be handled in the San Tan Justice Court, if you are being charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Felony DUI charges are generally filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court. The southern portion of Queen Creek, which overlaps into Pinal County, is patrolled by Pinal County Sheriff's Office (PCSO). If you were cited for DUI by PCSO, your case will likely be under the jurisdiction of one of the Pinal County Justice Courts, if it is a misdemeanor DUI, or Pinal County Superior Court if it is a felony Aggravated DUI charge.

The Firm has represented countless individuals who have been charged with DUI in Queen Creek, either by MCSO or PCSO, ranging from simple misdemeanor 1st Time DUI charges to very serious felony Aggravated DUI cases. Mr. Buckallew is committed to the defense of individuals charged with a DUI, or any other criminal charge, and focuses his scope of representation on matters involving DUI and criminal litigation, including (but not limited to) allegations of 1st Time DUI, Extreme DUI, Drug-Related DUI, Aggravated DUI, Underage DUI, Minor in Possession, Minor in Consumption and DUI's involving serious injury or death. He has a proven track record of successfully resolving countless DUI cases over the course of his career. Mr. Buckallew has recently been elected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorney for 2012.

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If you have been arrested by the Chandler Police Department and cited into the Chandler Municipal Court, contact a Chandler DUI Lawyer for a free evaluation of your case. The Firm handles ANY criminal or DUI charge in the Chandler Municipal Court and throughout the State of Arizona, including 1st Time DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI, Under 21 DUI, DUI-Drugs, and any other alcohol or drug related violations. Mr. Buckallew has a reputation for zealously defending his clients and has extensive experience from many years of practice as a DUI and criminal defense lawyer. He fights tirelessly on behalf of each individual client in order to achieve the best outcome possible in each and every case, as evidenced by the results he has achieved on behalf of his clients over the years.

The Chandler Municipal Court is located at 200 East Chicago Street, in downtown Chandler, just east of Chandler City Hall. The Court handles civil traffic and criminal misdemeanor violations, including DUI/DWI charges, city ordinance and code violations, petty offenses, probation violations, protective orders and search warrants.

How do I choose a good DUI Lawyer?

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An extreme misdemeanor DUI includes violations involving a BAC above a .15, but less than .20 (ARS 28-1382). If you have been charged with an extreme misdemeanor DUI charge in Tempe, AZ or surrounding valley cities, the government may impose harsh penalties. The maximum jail time for an Extreme DUI is 6 months. The minimum jail time is 30 days (21 may be suspended if ignition interlock device is installed on vehicle for 12 months). Fines and fees for an extreme DUI can total nearly $3,000.00 (including a $250.00 fine, 84% surcharge, $250.00 DUI Fund, $1,000 prison fund, $1,000 Public Safety Equipment Fund, $20 Time Pay Fee, $20 Probation Fee and $13 Assessment). Additional fees can include jail costs, probation fees, and cost for interlock ignition device (approx. $800-$1000 for 12 months). In addition to financial penalties, an extreme DUI conviction may result in a 90-day license suspension (30-day full suspension; then 60 days restricted driving permit to drive to/from work/school). Other penalties following a DUI conviction can include, possibility of probation (up to 5 years), alcohol / drug screening and classes, community work service, possibility of SR22 insurance (increased insurance rates), and interlock ignition device requirements (for alcohol related DUI).

If you have been charged with any type of alcohol or drug related DUI charge, this Firm can help. There are many possible defenses for DUI cases, including Procedural Defenses such as illegal stop, illegal detention, illegal arrest, and/or illegal search; Factual Defensessuch as not under the influence, not operating vehicle, mistaken identity, blood alcohol level not greater than .08 within 2 hours of driving, necessity, mechanical defects of vehicle; and Forensic Defenses such as testing methodology failure, incompetent lab technicians, contaminated blood draw, breath machine failures and limitations, contamination issues.

Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience in litigating DUI cases, including complex felony DUI's, and has a reputation for launching an aggressive defense on behalf of each client to ensure the most favorable outcome possible in each case. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Buckallew also has a Master's in Forensic Science degree, giving him a unique understanding of both the legal issues as well as the complexities of the science behind the evidence. He also belongs to many professional criminal and DUI defense organizations, such as the National College for DUI Defense, in order to keep informed of the ever-changing practice of DUI litigation. Mr. Buckallew was also recently elected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorney for 2012. The Firm handles DUI cases in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, West Valley cities and throughout the State of Arizona.

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While many DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors in the State of Arizona, there are certain circumstances when DUI charges may be classified as a felony, or 'Aggravated DUI'. If your case was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, or any other County Superior Court, then it is likely being charged as a felony. Misdemeanor DUI cases are generally filed in City/Municipal Courts or Justice Courts. The primary factors in felony Aggravated DUI charges include:

  • Driving on a restricted, suspended or revoked license at the time of the DUI (Class 4 Felony)
  • Driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car at the time of the DUI (Class 6 Felony)
  • Two prior DUI/DWI/OUI convictions (in any state) within the past 84 months (Class 4 Felony)
  • If you are required to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device at the time of the DUI (Class 4 Felony)

While misdemeanor DUI charges are not taken lightly in Arizona, Aggravated DUI cases are considerably more serious and as such, result in much harsher penalties. The jail or prison terms follow the statutory requirements for Misdemeanor DUI charges – regular DUI, Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, and with no prior felony convictions, the range for an Aggravated DUI (Class 6 Felony) with a minor child in the car is a minimum of 1 day in jail up to a maximum of 2 years in the department of corrections (prison). Additionally, the court fees and fines are nearly $5,000, license is revoked for 1-year (with possibility for restricted driving), up to 10 years' probation (plus probation fees), alcohol screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 1-2 year ignition interlock, depending on BAC level (plus cost to rent device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable). The jail or prison term for an Aggravated DUI (Class 4 Felony)with no prior felony convictions is a minimum of 4 months (which can be reduced to 24 days if eligible for Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Program) and up to a maximum of 3.75 years in the department of corrections. Additional penalties include court fees and fines of nearly $5,000, a 1-year license revocation, probation up to 10-years (plus probation fees), alcohol screening and classes (plus cost of screening/classes), community work service, possible SR22 insurance, 2-years ignition interlock device (plus cost to rent device), Victim Impact Panel (MADD), and a felony record (which is forever allegeable).

Given the serious, costly, and long-term impact of a felony Aggravated DUI conviction, it is critical to seek the advice of experienced DUI counsel before making any decisions in your case. Mr. Buckallew has extensive experience litigating DUI cases, including very serious and complex felony DUI charges, and has a proven track record of successfully resolving countless DUI cases over the course of his career. The Firm handles cases in East Valley Cities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek, as well as Phoenix, West Valley Cities, throughout Maricopa County and Statewide.

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Law enforcement agencies across the Valley and throughout the State of Arizona partnered up for their annual DUI Task Force operations and conducted saturation patrols and checkpoints, enforcing DUI and other traffic laws over this past Labor Day weekend. As in years past, officers made thousands of traffic stops – more than 11,000 – and nabbed several hundred driver's for DUI, although, the final numbers represent fewer arrests than in previous years.

According to reports from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, officers made a total of 564 DUI arrests – 60 of those arrests were for Aggravated DUI with 37 of those due to prior arrest records, and the remaining Aggravated DUI arrests resulted from either driving on a suspended/restricted/revoked driver's license or driving with a minor child (under the age of 15) in the car. An Aggravated DUI is classified as a felony, and can be charged as either a Class 4 Felony (if for example, this was a 3rd DUI or a license issue) or a Class 6 Felony (if for example, there was a minor child in the car).

The remaining 504 DUI arrests were cited as Misdemeanor DUI charges, with 170 arrests for Extreme DUI, meaning that the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15 or higher. Another 41 arrests were for Under 21 DUI (Underage DUI), and 154 Under 21 Liquor Violations – likely Minor in Consumption, Minor in Possession or Underage Drinking violations. There were also 92 DUI Drug arrests, which involve having any narcotics drugs, illegally obtained prescription medications, marijuana, or any other prohibited substances or their metabolites in your system.

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According to local news reports (azcentral.com), last week, Mesa police spotted a 22-year-old man driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. When officers attempted to pull him over, the driver allegedly ignored them and continued speeding. Eventually, he turned into a parking lot and began weaving in and out of parked cars. After allegedly losing control of his vehicle, the man skidded to a stop where police were able to apprehend him.

Police report multiple cans of unopened Bud Light beer in the car, and a DUI test showed the man's blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.169%. Peace officers arrested the man after he allegedly admitted to drinking 22 beers before operating the vehicle. He was detained under suspicion of extreme DUI, excessive speeding, and unlawful flight.

This not the first DUI case reported in Mesa since the beginning of the month. In fact, a startling number of DUI arrests have been made, many of them related to methamphetamine or other drug use. On Sunday, a 39-year-old Mesa man was caught driving under the influence of Meth. Police also found 55 grams of the drug in the back seat of his car.

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