Phoenix Open DUI Task Force

by Aaron M. Black • February 08, 2024

Thousands of spectators will converge on Scottsdale to witness the PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open and about 800 law officers will be there every day too – waiting for motorists who exhibit impairment by alcohol or drugs, even prescription medications that cause drowsiness.

Golf Ball & Tees in Martini Glass

The Scottsdale Police Department along with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, ADOT, and other area law enforcement has formed a DUI Task Force to enhance community safety. They will be patrolling heavily during the Phoenix Open.

This nationally televised tournament drew between 600,000 and 700,000 spectators last year and will again attract local, state, and out-of-state residents to the stadium seating configuration. So traffic gets very heavy near the stadium style golf event with celebrants going to bars and restaurants in Scottsdale’s Old Town.

Last year Scottsdale police, collaborating with Tempe and the Salt River Police departments, formed a DUI task force intending to take impaired drivers off the roads under the current motto, “buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

DUI roving patrols and check points

DUI Checkpoint SignDUI law enforcement will concentrate roving patrols in marked vehicles looking for traffic law violations or an equipment failure such as a burned out brake light.

In addition to increased police presence, authorities may also establish checkpoints to randomly check to see if the driver has signs of intoxication or has an open container on board.

They question the driver and observe if alcohol is on the motorist’s breath and look for an open container by shining a flashlight around the interior. Innocent people are detained for about a half a minute on average.

Police sometimes use phantom checkpoints, which is merely a sign indicating that the checkpoint is a short way ahead, to see if a driver attempts to avoid it, but an officer is parked out of sight near the sign and the abrupt move to avoid it. The attempt provides police with the necessary probable cause or reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop.

Arizona’s DUI zero tolerance law

Waring Zero Tolerance SignSome people attending the Phoenix Open may not be aware of Arizona’s strict DUI laws and its “Zero Tolerance” DUI policy of impairment to the slightest degree, which means a DUI arrest can be made if the suspected impaired driver registered a blood-alcohol content (BAC) even below the BAC baseline of 0.08 percent.

The policy extends to drug DUIs, including medical marijuana and prescription medications.

Arizona policy gives the arresting officer the discretion to make an arrest or not based on his skill and training.

A motorist does not even need to be actually driving to be arrested for DUI. The suspected driver only needs to be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. It could be parked on the side of the road or in a parking lot with the alleged drunken driver asleep in the car.

Consequences of a Misdemeanor DUI conviction

Most DUI charges are misdemeanors. A first-time Class 1 misdemeanor DUI conviction requires spending time in county jail up to a maximum of six months and a minimum of 10 days. However, on a minimum DUI impaired to the slightest degree of a .08 BAC, the time in custody can be as short as one day with the other nine days suspended upon the completion of court ordered alcohol screening and education.

The license to drive is suspended for 30 days, followed by a restricted license for traveling to work or school for 60 days, before the license can be reinstated at the defendant’s expense.

Base fines total more than $1,500, plus the cost of jail, and MVD (sometimes the court in extreme DUI cases) will require the installation of an ignition interlock device to prevent driving if the defendant had anything to drink. The court also will order alcohol screening, education and a treatment program at your expense. Community service may also be part of the punishment and auto insurance may be canceled or rates increased.

DUI Defenses

The first line of defense is to invoke the 5th Amendment to prevent self-incrimination by talking to police. Politely decline to answer.
Arizona allows several defenses for DUI charges, and DUI cases have their own set of facts that help determine a defense strategy. These are common DUI Defenses:
  • Blood DropPolice did not have a legal right to detain you
  • Authorities made errors during the field sobriety test
  • Breathalyzer and blood test results can be flawed
  • How quickly a person can process alcohol
  • Police did not have the legal right to search you or your vehicle
  • Police did not advise you of your right to remain silent and have a defense attorney present during questioning
  • Errors were made on the police report

Aaron M. Black Law for Scottsdale DUI defense

Should you or someone you care for be charged with a DUI in Scottsdale or are under investigation for a DUI, it is imperative that you have an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself to defend you in the Scottsdale jurisdiction at the earliest possible time.

In my long career as a DUI defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal trouble. That is why I work to ensure they have the best defense possible. My goal is always to get the charge dismissed. If Scottsdale police have a strong case; I will, with your permission, negotiate a plea agreement for a lesser charge, such as reckless driving.
Aaron M. Black Law provides personalized legal services. You will always be talking directly to me at every step of your Scottsdale DUI case.

Begin your DUI defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683 at any time on any day and I will respond promptly unless I am in court on at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.

I defend DUI cases in Scottsdale courts and throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County courts.

About the Author

Aaron Black Phoenix DUI LawyerAaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal defense matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime cases.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI Attorney and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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