Road rage: on-duty Phx police officer arrested

Road rage really does make some people wo wacky stuff.

Oiy: an older gentleman (age? maybe 60?) and his neighbor were on their way to Monday morning Mass when they got into a road rage incident with the driver of van. The driver of the van, as things turn out, is an on-duty Phoenix Police officer transporting some prisoners in an unmarked van. Anyway, the police officer ended up pulling his gun; and has since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault. This is a huge charge so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

A couple of interesting points; the case apparently involves surveillance video (it would make sense the van has that) — this will be interesting video to watch.

The police officer after the “stop” drove off. The occupants of the other vehicle immediately made a police report — this is key to not let road-bullies slide, whoever they are.

The arrested police officer was 51-year-old Jeremy Sweet. In the other car were former state legislator “Ruiz and his passenger, fellow churchgoer Monica Rivera”.

azcentral — Phoenix man: Officer made me fear for my life

 

Medical marijuana no defense to DUI charge

The Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1 ruled on Oct 21, 2014 saying the exclusions in Arizona’s medical marijuana act does not prevent legal medical marijuana users from being charged with driving under the influence. See the excellent Jurist article for more details. Here is an azcentral news item about the case.

The plaintiff contended that the language of 36-2802, which was inserted into law via citizen initiative, provides immunity to any authorized marijuana user from being charged with 28-1381(A)(3) unless they drive while impaired:

36-2802(D) Operating, navigating or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana, except that a registered qualifying patient shall not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment. (emphasis added; this part is referred to in the opinion as the “carve-out”)

The court said flatly it does not provide immunity.

I’m actually a little confused by the opinion; although all three judges concurred that the plaintiff was properly found guilty of (A)(3); two seemed to be saying the carve-out doesn’t (ever?) apply (what they actually said was: “we decline to express any opinion as to the existence of a carve-out exception…” ); which one judge believed the plaintiff could have been found not guilty due to the carve-out if he had produced evidence that he was not impaired; which he did not. Interesting banter about THC levels;  “Darrah’s blood contained 4.0 ng/ml of delta-
9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)”, the psycho active component. The is a huge grey area revolving around what numerical blood level would prove impairment.

Another interesting footnote is there is a provision in the dui law  “which prohibits a DUI conviction under § 28-1381(A)(3) (drug or
its metabolite) based on drug use “as prescribed by a medical practitioner licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13 or 17.” But Darrah’s counsel conceded that issue at oral argument, acknowledging that Darrah’s certification for marijuana use was from a doctor of naturopathic medicine,  that such doctors are not licensed under Title 32, Chapter 7″ (only MDs, podiatrists, and dentists are). So this could eventuallly lead to a whole new line of approach to avoiding DUI.

This adds to a growing body of marijuana driving laws, a ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this year overturned a CoA finding. Notably, that case did not involve an “authorized” user of marijuana. This earlier case was summarized concisely as follows:

Our supreme court held that a “non-impairing” metabolite of marijuana is not a “proscribed drug” listed in A.R.S. § 13-3401 and therefore its presence in a person’s body cannot support a conviction for DUI pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(3).

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The driver of a vehicle

A bicyclist is considered the driver of a vehicle for the purposes of the transportation code, A.R.S. Title 28.

More fully, a bicyclist is “…granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle…” §28-812, which goes on to state specifically which Chapters of Title 28 these rules apply to, 3, 4 and 5 which are the Rules of the road, DUI, and Penalties, respectively. Continue reading

Tucson hit-and-run driver kills cyclist; woman arrested

9/25/2014 12:23am. Hit run. Driver arrested, suspect intoxication. Suspect Nichole Jacinto. Victim 58 y.o. James Frankiewicz. Another news reports says was struck from behind in bike lane. The area appears to have a striped shoulder; it even goes on to be to the right of a RTO lane at Grant.

Location: southbound on Oracle Rd near Jacinto St. (yes, that is a coincidence; the suspect’s name is also Jacinto).

The most-detailed reporting is at bicycletucson.com

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Driver Sentenced: Phoenix police officer dies in fatal hit-and-run

vehicleRaetzHitAndRunFatality Although it seems obvious that police work is dangerous because there are bad guys with guns trying to kill them; roughly the same number of  policeman killed in the line of duty die as the result of a traffic collision than by being shot (or stabbed)…. Original story…

Sentencing

The driver of the SUV that killed Officer Daryl Raetz pleaded no contest to Neg Hom and i guess leaving the scene. Sentence was 8 years prison followed by 7 years supervised probation. Though it goes on to say “Molina could possibly serve only three-and-a-half years probation if he behaves appropriately and follows probation restrictions, the judge said” – azcentral. As usual no mention of any license revocation.

Case minute for the deal is not yet up; will be at  CR2013425418 (for some reason this was same case deprecated CR2013422750)

 

 

Cycling, traffic safety, traffic justice, and legal topics; energy, transit and transportion economics