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A woman riding a motorcycle was struck and critically injured in Phoenix Friday morning when she was struck by an SUV. The injured woman was taken to a local hospital, and as of this writing, she was not expected to survive.
According to police, the SUV hit the motorcycle while making a turn, and the driver then fled the scene. He stopped several blocks away, where he was arrested and then booked on charges of aggravated DUI, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Police add that the driver showed signs of drug use. The report we read did not elaborate on the allegations, but the driver is facing serious prison time even if the woman survives.
There are numerous situations where what would ordinarily be a misdemeanor DUI becomes a felony. Aggravated DUI, defined in A.R.S. 28-1383, is a felony, the level of which depends upon the particular section of the statute in question. As a general matter, it consists of DUI while the driver’s license is suspended for a previous driving under the influence conviction; a third or subsequent DUI within 84 months; DUI with a child passenger; or DUI when under an order to equip one’s vehicle with an ignition interlock device.
Aggravated assault is likewise a felony, and involves, among other things, an assault resulting in serious physical injury. Finally, where a hit-and-run accident involves a serious physical injury or death, the failure of the driver to stop and provide information and reasonable assistance also constitutes a felony.
Finally, should the alleged victim in this case succumb to her injuries, the driver will likely face a charge of manslaughter or second degree murder.
Obviously, all the facts in this case are not yet in, and the precise details of the accident, and how it occurred, are still somewhat sketchy. Because the police allege drug use, as opposed to alcohol intoxication, the proofs will involve, presumably, the results of a blood test as well as law enforcement testimony concerning intoxication. We will have to await further developments, since at this point there is no indication as to the nature of the drug the driver is alleged to have consumed, or whether his conduct was in fact the cause of the collision. Whatever the results are, however, this driver is facing serious challenges in his case.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004