You may be stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, on the highway, or on a lonely road at night. Whatever the circumstances, you could be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And as most folks know, a conviction can lead to stiff penalties that are not only expensive, but that also can have an impact on your entire way of life
Many people believe that if they are charged with a DUI, there’s no use in fighting it – that they’ll be convicted no matter what the circumstances may be, and they might as well plead guilty. Don’t believe it! Recent statistics suggest that more and more sober drivers are being stopped and arrested for DUI in Phoenix, and many of those charges are being thrown out. Here’s just one example of the recent trend involving just a single Phoenix police officer.
The officer, whose name is not important for our discussion, is a “certified expert” in detecting impaired driving. During the period from April 2018 until the end of last year, that officer made 56 DUI arrests. While cities do not tend to keep statistics on the ultimate outcome of all DUI arrests (at least for public consumption), we are told that of the 56 arrests by this police officer, 9 were dismissed for lack of evidence.
There are several reasons, or bases, for a criminal case to be dismissed prior to trial. When the dismissal motion is made by the defense, the court is required to dismiss the case if it finds that complaint is “insufficient as a matter of law.” What this phrase means is that if the case went to trial, the prosecution would be prohibited from submitting the case the jury. In other words, whatever “evidence” may exist, even if it is true and accepted by the jury, it is insufficient to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In many of the cases cited, blood toxicology tests showed no drugs in the driver’s system. In others, the arrest was based upon such subjective matters as the fluttering of an eyelid.
Equally interesting is the response by the Phoenix PD, which insists that a clear blood tox test doesn’t necessarily “exonerate a person beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Shadows may exist, but it’s up to the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. So if you’re arrested for driving under the influence, don’t speak to the cops. Speak to an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004