New Law Expected To Lessen Fatalities Police Anticipate More DUI Arrests

The Arizona Republic
August 30, 2001

Jim Walsh, The Arizona Republic; Republic
reporter Carlos Miller contributed to this article.

The following quotes are from the above-referenced article. For an exact reprint of this article click here to see the full article in PDF format.

East Valley police are looking for [sic] to more arrests and fewer fatalities, a Tempe defense attorney expects more trials, and Mesa is hiring a new DUI prosecutor to handle a bigger caseload.

Virtually everyone expects more arrests, possibly 10 percent more, as Arizona's new DUI law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, dropping the level at which drivers are presumed under the influence of alcohol to 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration from 0.10 percent.

Craig Penrod, a Tempe defense attorney who specializes in DUI cases, views the new law as open season for police officers.

He said most people are aware of the new law because of heavy media coverage, but added, "I don't think they understand what it means. What does it take them to get there?"

For instance, a 100-pound woman who has two 4-ounce glasses of wine during dinner would have a 0.09 percent blood alcohol concentration and face a potential conviction if arrested, Penrod said.

Many drivers have no symptoms of impairment at 0.08 percent and will not want to plead guilty, he said. Drivers arrested for DUI with a 0.10 percent reading have reacted similarly under the prior law.

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