Scottsdale is a Hot Bed for DUI Charges

by Aaron M. Black • July 14, 2023

Small town Scottsdale each February enjoys national exposure and attracts out-of-state visitors and locals.

Scottsdale Golf Course

This notoriety is courtesy of the televised Waste Management PGA’s Open golf tournament and the daily live TV broadcasts of the Barrett-Jackson collectible car auction and accompanying car auction venues, the Arabian Horse Show, the Frank Lloyd Wright estate, and Scottsdale’s Old Town nightclubs and bars are filled nightly. This year add to all of that the 2023 Super Bowl LVII played across town.

These February events all together form a perfect recipe for DUI arrests.

Scottsdale and police departments from other cities, along with state and federal agencies, are brought in to help Scottsdale authorities handle the golfing and concert crowds while helping Scottsdale with crowd management in Old Town.

The Scottsdale Police Department is well-practiced at catching drivers who are allegedly impaired by alcohol or illicit drugs – even prescription medications.

During the four days of the golfing tournament each year, Scottsdale police partnering with cities on its border, deploy its DUI Task Force to keep the roads safe.

Scottsdale Police arrested 11 people for DUI during the golf tournament in 2022, and in 2017 a golfer competing in the tournament was arrested for extreme DUI after he was found sitting in his vehicle through two green lights. “Life is about choices. Last night I made a very poor one,” he said.”

Meanwhile, in Old Town Scottsdale, a person who was allegedly impaired crashed into a golf cart with three women aboard, causing serious injuries.

Sobriety checkpoints and rolling patrols

DUI Checkpoint SignThe task force that Scottsdale and its law enforcement partners formed includes sobriety checkpoints to support an increase in rolling patrols on the surface streets of Scottsdale.
DUI checkpoints direct traffic into single-file lanes, and officers are stationed on the road to stop every other vehicle. They question the driver, observe if alcohol is on the motorist’s breath, and look for an open container or drugs by shining a flashlight around the interior so anything in plain sight becomes evidence. Innocent people are detained for about 30 seconds on average.

Scottsdale police also use Phantom Checkpoints. Police place a sign in the roadway notifying drivers that a sobriety checkpoint is a short distance forward. To complete the ruse, a couple of vacant police cars and sometimes a trailer is situated nearby as physical evidence that there really is a police presence down the road. Out of sight, officers are placed to have a good view of the sobriety checkpoint sign. These officers are looking for drivers who abruptly turn around to avoid the impending checkpoint. This illegal U-turn can be viewed as a conscience of guilt giving officers the necessary probable cause or reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop.

U.S. Supreme Court Approves Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints have been unsuccessfully challenged as an unconstitutional violation of unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because they violate the necessity of having a warrant. The issue was resolved by U.S. Supreme Court justices in 1990 in a mixed 6-3 vote.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist noted that death and mutations on the roads caused by alcohol outweighed “the measure of the intrusion on motorists stopped briefly at sobriety checkpoints – is slight.” Dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “Sobriety checkpoints are elaborate and disquieting publicity stunts.”
Justice William Brennan’s dissenting opinion stated that “…one searches the majority opinion in vain for any acknowledgment that the reason for employing the balancing test is that the seizure is minimally intrusive.”
The safe way to drink during Scottsdale’s entertainment venues is to arrange for alternative transportation from family, friends, or ride services such as Uber or Lyft.

Punishments if convicted of a DUI

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, the time in custody can be as short as one day, with the other nine days suspended.

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.

Fines total up to $1500, and the court orders installing an interlocking ignition device at your own expense to prevent driving if you have had anything to drink. The court also will order you to complete an alcohol screening, education and treatment program at your expense. Serving time in service to the community may also be part of the punishment.

Should an impaired celebrant injure or kill someone, the state will file serious felony charges such as manslaughter. The victim’s survivors can sue for wrongful death financial damages in civil court.

Felony DUI convictions include incarceration, expensive fines, and the loss of the right to have a firearm, to vote in elections, and other DUI related penalties.

DUI Defenses

A DUI conviction has serious consequences, including expensive fines, increased auto insurance rates, community service, and in some cases, probation. Arizona allows several defenses to DUI charges. These are common DUI Defenses:
  • Police 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
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI retain a Scottsdale DUI Lawyer to defend you.

Aaron M. Black Law for Scottsdale DUI defense

Should you or someone you care for be charged 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 talk directly to me at every stage 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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