Arizona Cardinals’ Chief Operating Officer Arrested for DUI

by Aaron Black • August 15, 2019

Ron Minegar Arizona Cardinals football franchise Chief Operating OfficerGood people can make a bad decision. Case in point is the Arizona Cardinals football franchise Chief Operating Officer Ron Minegar who was arrested on August 10th in Tempe accused of driving while intoxicated.

Minegar was seen speeding, failing to stay within the travel lane and driving into the bicycle lane about 11:30 p.m. near Pecos Road and Arizona Avenue, according to Tempe police. He was cited and released shortly afterward and police are continuing their investigation.

A statement released by the NFL Cardinals the day after Minegar’s arrest stated “Ron Minegar's actions last night are inexcusable. He made the decision to drive after drinking alcohol and is fortunate he was pulled over before injuring anyone or himself. According to MADD, drunk driving results in almost 11,000 deaths per year and is the number one cause of fatalities on roadways. We fully recognize the seriousness of these actions and they will have serious consequences.”

Second Cardinals Leadership DUI

Minegar’s arrest is the second Cardinals DUI case involving senior officers of the NFL team within 13 months.

Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim was arrested on July 4, 2018 in Chandler after refusing to submit to a field sobriety test. But he consented to a blood test revealing his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.19 percent, which was nearly twice the 0.08 percent legal limit. He plead guilty to extreme DUI. Any BAC at 0.15 or greater is extreme and is a class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious of misdemeanors in Arizona.

Keim was sentenced to 30 days in Maricopa County jail but 21 of those days were suspended. He served two days in custody and the remaining days were served on house detention. Fines and fees totaled $3,342. The court also ordered that any vehicle he drives must have an ignition interlock device for one year.

The Cardinals reaction suspended Keim for five weeks and fined him $200,000, which was donated to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Presumably similar sanctions will be applied in the Minegar case.
In addition to those punishments, media coverage and social media criticism, particularly for high profile individuals, is embarrassing, reputations are harmed, and a criminal record follows them.

Arizona’s DUI laws

Arizona has a no tolerance policy for drinking and driving or for being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated under Arizona Revised Statute 28§1381. A person can be convicted of a DUI even if he or she is merely “slightly impaired,” which is determined by the arresting officer.

Slightly impaired takes into account the various individual reactions to drinking, such as how fast or slow the body metabolizes the alcohol, body weight, gender, and the level of tolerance between experienced drinkers and those who aren’t accustomed to alcohol consumption.

Depending upon the BAC level, a DUI can be a misdemeanor for the 0.08 level or a felony beginning at 0.15 called super extreme.

Actual physical control is applied in circumstances that don’t involve actually driving. A person who has been drinking, but parks the vehicle in a shopping center lot or on the roadside intending to sleep, can be convicted if the engine is running to allow heat or air-conditioning to work, or if the vehicle is turned off and the ignition key is available.

What Should I do if I’ve been Pulled over by the Police?

The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects you from convicting yourself, which gives you the right to decline answering an officer’s questions, such as “how much have you had to drink tonight?” The best response is to politely tell the officer you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you want to be represented by a DUI Defense Attorney.

Traffic officers know this law and shouldn’t get upset or berate you. If arrested the officer must recite that you have the right to remain silent and have an attorney. But by then it’s too late if you’ve answered an incriminating question.

If you refuse to take the field sobriety test – standing on one leg, walking a straight line and so on -- your driver’s license can be suspended.

What are DUI defenses in Arizona?

The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and several defenses are available depending upon the facts of the case. These are common DUI defenses:
  • The officer didn’t have a good legal reason to detain you, such as a traffic violation or a burned out tail light.
  • The officer didn’t have a reasonable suspicion of intoxication such as slurred speech.
  • The breathalyzer was out of calibration and the result was incorrect or the test wasn’t properly done.
  • The officer’s decision of slight impairment was wrong.
  • Blood was taken without a warrant or wasn’t taken within two hours as the law requires. The blood evidence was contaminated or not properly stored.
  • The officer didn’t recite the Miranda rights.

What does a DUI Defense Lawyer do?

The criminal defense lawyer’s goal is to have the case dismissed before trial, earn a not-guilty verdict, or negotiate, with the defendant’s approval, for a reduced charge carrying a more lenient sentence such as negotiating the DUI down to reckless driving.

An independent and thorough investigation into the case is conducted to discover evidence that the prosecution has ignored or failed to develop. Taking statements under oath of the officer’s involved and any witnesses. The accuracy of the police report and other state evidence is challenged.

Free legal Consultation

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with driving under the influence, contact Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney Aaron Black or call (480) 729-1683 for a free and confidential case assessment 24/7 including holidays. I’ll respond promptly unless I’m in court.

I’ll listen to your side of the event, ask questions, answer your questions, and explain the law involved and the possible defenses. There is no obligation to hire me in your defense.

I take DUI cases in municipal, state, and federal courts in Arizona.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to inform clients and potential clients I am still available for consultations. I am always available by phone, text and/or email. We can also use Facetime for social distancing. The criminal justice system is not stopping due to COVID-19.

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