A woman was pulled over by a trooper in Phoenix last month. The trooper says he stopped the vehicle because the driver was drifting from lane to lane at a speed of about 80 mph. After being stopped, the first words out of the woman’s mouth were, according to the trooper, an admission that she’d been drinking.
After a breathalyzer registered a blood alcohol content of 0.156 (making her eligible for a charge of extreme DUI), she was arrested, handcuffed and place in the back seat of the patrol car. What happened next was like something out of a novel. Police claim the woman exited the patrol car (the door had been left open), slipped out of the handcuffs, jumped back in her car, and attempted put the car in gear. She was stopped by the trooper and was “re-arrested.”
A simple DUI carries significant penalties, but those penalties pale in comparison to those now being faced by the driver. She stands accused of the following:
- Aggravated DUI no. 1 for the initial stop. The reports we read said the woman had prior DUI arrests within the past 7 years, and we’re assuming this is the basis for the aggravated DUI charge (A.R.S. 28-1383).
- Aggravated DUI no. 2 for the aborted attempt to put the car in gear and drive away after the initial arrest and handcuffing.
- Escape. We’re assuming it’s second degree escape, which consists, among other things, of knowingly attempting to escape from custody after being arrested for a felony (aggravated DUI).
The case against the woman is still pending, and she may well have defenses to the charges. In any event, the odd circumstances of this case have turned an alleged DUI into a multi-count felony case, since all the charges, both aggravated DUI and escape, are felonies.
We note that the case against the woman took a serious turn for the worse immediately after the stop, when the woman volunteered – at least according to the police – an admission that she’d been drinking. Remember that in many cases, the most damaging evidence against a defendant comes from his or her own statements.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004