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Police on Look-out for Random Gun Fire, and DUI Violations this Weekend

Misconduct with Weapons and DUI enforcement top police priority list.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (AGOHS) is working closely with law enforcement agencies to conduct DUI task forces in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert AZ, this July 4, 2013 weekend.

According to the recent statistics reported by the National Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) nearly one third of all fatal auto accident were the result of impaired driving; and according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one in every three people will be involved in an impaired driving motor vehicle accident. According to MADD, the average drunk driver gets behind the wheel to drive at least 80 times before they are arrested for their first DUI.

Police are heavily patrolling in Maricopa County’s Phoenix and East Valley Cities to enforce alcohol and drug laws, commonly associated with holiday festivities. These include but are not limited to Underage 21 Drinking: drunk driving; impaired driving due to alcohol; drivers under the influence of drugs; illegal sales, possession or use of drugs; and disorderly conduct law violations.

Arizona egregiously prosecutes impaired driving, and weapons offenses to the greatest extent, leaving no room for second chances. Although a majority of impaired driving charges in Maricopa County are Misdemeanors, they carry tough penalties. Even a first time DUI charge under A.R.S. 28-1381, with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) just over the legal limit of 0.08% will cost an offender jail terms, suspension of driver’s licenses, fines, fees, use of Ignition Interlock Device (IID), and mandatory alcohol/drug abuse screening, counseling, or treatment.

Arizona also has Extreme DUI laws (BAC 0.15%) and Super Extreme DUI laws (BAC 0.20%), under A.R.S. 28-1382. In view of penalties, the higher the BAC, the more severe the sentencing. Penalties also expose a person to jail terms which can reach as high as 180 days in Maricopa County Jail for a second offense within 7 years.

The most severe penalties are reserved for Felony DUI charges. These are impaired driving charges that involve aggravated factors outlined under A.R.S. 28-1383. All felony DUI charges expose a person to prison sentencing up to 8 months. Some aggravated factors include being charged with a third DUI with two prior convictions in 84 months; driving with a passenger under 15 in the vehicle; impaired driving on a suspended, revoked, or expired driver’s license; or DUI while the driver is under court order to equip a motor vehicle they operate with an Ignition Interlock Device, resulting from a previous DUI. If a person is convicted of a felony DUI involving serious injury or death another person, other serious felony charges will apply as well. Penalties will expose a person to 20 to 25 years or up to a lifetime in prison.

In addition police are focusing on DUI, alcohol and illegal drug related offenses, police will be focusing on apprehension of those violating firearms and weapon’s laws.   One offense that is always a concern, but particularly around observed holidays is random gun fire or firing shots into the air. This offense is a violation of A.R.S. 13-3107, also known as violations of “Shannon’s Law”. This law was named in memorial of an Arizona girl killed as a result of random gunfire in 1999.

Other weapon’s misconduct includes reckless discharge of a gun, discharging a gun within city limits; discharge of firearms at structures; disorderly conduct; reckless display of a firearm, possession of use of prohibited weapons, or possession or use of firearms by prohibited persons, other offenses committed while using or in possession of a firearm.

Weapons crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, largely dependent on the circumstances. Class 1 Misdemeanors, the most severe of Misdemeanor penalties expose a person to up to 6 months in jail, fines, fees, probation and other punishments. While felony weapon crimes, depending on how serious may expose a person to sentencing of up to 21 years in prison for Class 2 Felonies and up to $150,000.00 fines. Other penalties will also apply.

A person may be charged and arrested for a weapons crime or assault if a person feels threatened by a gun or other dangerous instrument due to reckless display or misuse; even if the other party was not actually hurt or physically injured. A suspect may also be charged and arrested for a weapon’s that results in injury or death caused by misconduct or unlawful use of a weapon whether the crime itself was intentional or unintentional.

Tempe Weapon Crimes and DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with any weapons crime or impaired driving defense you will then need to defend your charges in a court of law, if you wish to defend the charges, and avoid or mitigate prosecution and harsh penalties resulting from conviction. The Law Office of James Novak at provides a free consultation for active charges in Tempe, Phoenix, and surrounding East Valley cities. James Novak, DUI & Criminal Defense attorney will provide you with information about your constitutional rights, and options for retaining a defense attorney to protect them and defend your charges. Call (480) 413-1499 to learn more and get your free consultation today.


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