Arizona’s Opioid Crisis – Why You May Need a Criminal Lawyer

On June 1, 2017, the Arizona Department of Public Health issued a News Release that stated:

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The Arizona Department of Health Services today released its latest data on opioid overdoses in Arizona showing the highest number of deaths in ten years. In 2016, 790 Arizonans died from opioid overdoses. The trend shows a startling increase of 74 percent over the past four years.

. . .

Key findings from the report include:

  • An average of two Arizonans die each day from an opioid overdose.

  • Opioid overdoses and deaths are steadily increasing each year with 2016 showing the highest number of deaths.

  • In 2016, 790 Arizonans died from an opioid overdose.

  • Heroin deaths have tripled since 2012.

  • In the past decade, there were 5,932 people who died from opioid-induced causes.

  • Arizona opioid death rates start to rise in the late teens and peak at age 45-54.

  • The opioid death rate drops significantly above the age of 65.

  • There is a significant impact on the healthcare system. Opioid-related hospital encounter rates have increased by 300 percent over the past decade.

  • Arizonans are requiring more doses of naloxone to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

  • While the majority of deaths occur in metropolitan areas, rural areas have the greatest challenge in responding to opioid overdoses. Read more on the AzDHS.gov website here.

 

On June 5, 2017, the Office of the Governor Doug Ducey issued a News Release about his emergency declaration concerning the opioid crisis:

Governor Doug Ducey today signed an emergency declaration to address the growing number of opioid deaths in our state.

As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action. It’s time to call this what it is — an emergency,” said Governor Ducey. “Most of us know someone impacted by substance abuse — our family, our friends, our neighbors. Our hearts ache for them, but that isn’t enough. We must do more. I’m declaring a statewide health emergency because we need to know more about the epidemic, including enhanced data that illustrates when and where these overdoses occur so that we can develop real, targeted solutions. Read the full release on AzGovernor.org.

The emergency declaration directed that the State of Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan be used to direct and control State and other assets, and authorize the Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to coordinate State assets. It authorized the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services to coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State. It required the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services to consult to the Governor on identifying and recommending the necessary elements for an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory, initiate emergency rule making with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in order to develop rules for opioid prescribing and treatment within health care institutions, and develop guidelines to educate healthcare providers on responsible prescribing practices.

Opioid abuse often leads to criminal charges. If you or a loved one has been charged, you need an experienced attorney to defend you. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over thirty years experience. Call him today for a free initial consultation.

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Arizona Has a Zero Tolerance DUI Policy – What Does That Mean For You

The Arizona Zero Tolerance DUI Law

Arizona passed A.R.S. § 4-244(34) in response to the 1995 National Highway Systems Designation Act stating that federal highway funds would be withheld from any state that failed to set a 0.02 alcohol concentration limit for minor drivers. A.R.S. § 4-244(34) provides:

“It is unlawful for a person under twenty-one years of age to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while there is any spirituous liquor in the person’s body.”

In Arizona, you are deemed underage for drinking if you are less than 21 years old – even if you will be celebrating your 21st birthday in 6 hours. While other states would allow alcohol concentrations up to 0.02% for underage drivers, Arizona allows zero alcohol concentrations.

It is a fact that it is illegal for minors to drink alcohol. However, minors cause approximately 17% of all alcohol-related car crashes resulting to death every year. Around 2000 underage drinkers lose their lives while driving, one third of which involve alcohol.

 

Why Arizona Has Zero Tolerance DUI Laws in Place

Why does Arizona have this zero tolerance DUI law? Everyone knows that many people started drinking alcohol before they were 21, the legal drinking age. Chances are, most have driven a motor vehicle as well. Unfortunately, approximately one third of all fatal accidents that involve 15 – 20 year old minors are car accidents, around 35% of which involve alcohol. The percentage of alcohol-related accidents in young drivers is about twice as much as the rate for drivers above the age of 21.

 

The Impact of Zero Tolerance Laws

There’s no doubt that zero tolerance is stringent and may seem too harsh for some people. In fact, a lot of people doubt whether the strict policy actually has a positive effect on minors. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) compared statistics between 12 states that have a zero tolerance law in place against 12 other states with no zero tolerance laws in place.

The results? States with zero tolerance laws showed a 20% drop in single night time crashes that resulted to death of underage drivers. According to the NHTSA, the biggest decrease in deadly crashes happened in states with underage alcohol concentration of no more than 0.02%. States that allow a higher alcohol concentration level for underage drivers registered less impact.

Although the NHSD Act of 1995 merely required states to set a 0.02% alcohol concentration limit for minor drivers, Arizona along with other states decided to put a zero tolerance policy in place. The law may be harsh but the figures do not lie. The difference between 0.00% and 0.02% may be miniscule but it keeps more underage drivers alive. Arizona has good reason to take the NHSDA act seriously.

When facing a zero tolerance DUI charge in Arizona, contact the Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing and make sure your rights are protected.

Law Offices of Gary Rohlwing – Peoria
Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing – Surprise
Gary Rohwling Law Offices – Sun City
Law Offices of Gary Rohlwing – Goodyear

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Multiple DUI Offenses – What You Need to Know

Being convicted of a misdemeanor DUI once is tough enough. It becomes much tougher if you are arrested for a second misdemeanor DUI. Another conviction would mean additional prison time, heavier fines, longer license suspension, and more loss of your personal reputation.

When facing multiple DUI charges, it is best to work with a lawyer who is well-versed in handling multiple Arizona DUI charges. Gary Rohlwing can help in protecting your reputation, your record, and your peace of mind.

Arizona law makes it particularly easy to end up with a charge of aggravated DUI, a felony. A.R.S. § 28-1383 states that a person is guilty of aggravated DUI if he or she:

  • commits DUI while his/her license or privilege to drive is suspended, cancelled, revoked or refused or while on restriction due to a DUI;
  • commits DUI when a person under the age of 15 is in the car;
  • commits DUI while ordered by the court to equip his or her car with a certified ignition interlock device; or
  • commits a third or subsequent DUI within a period of 84 months from a first DUI.

For example, your first DUI could be a felony if you were charged with DUI and your license or privilege to drive was suspended for any reason. The same is true if you had your son or daughter under age 15 in the car when you were stopped.

The mandatory minimum sentence for an aggravated DUI ranges from 10 consecutive days in jail for having a person under 15 in the car to 4 months in prison for most other cases. The mandatory fines add up to $3,750. Your reputation, as well as your driving and criminal records, would be ruined by a conviction for aggravated DUI. Worse, imagine the anguish that all this would bring to your loved ones.

 

Defense for Multiple DUI Arrests in Arizona

Arizona DUI court proceedings can be a complex legal maze that can be daunting and confusing if you are not a lawyer. Your best move would be to hire a competent attorney who will guide you through the legal process. The Law Offices of Gary Rohlwing will assist you in finding ways to avoid harsh penalties and dire legal consequences to your reputation and finances.

As a multiple DUI offender, you will be facing a judge and jury who have little to no sympathy for you. This will make going through the court proceedings even more challenging. Your DUI defense attorney will have his job cut out for him. Remember that a 4 month prison term is the minimum sentence in most cases; a judge can impose even more prison time if you are found guilty after a trial.

You need to have an aggressive lawyer with a proven track record by your side to make sure that you get the best possible results for your case. He must have a good grasp of the specific Arizona laws pertaining to your case. This will help him make a thorough analysis of your case and come up with the most feasible strategy for a successful defense. Remember that your future is at stake in a court proceeding. Representing yourself or hiring an inexperienced attorney may compromise the very freedom you are trying to protect.

 

It is certain that you, and possibly your family, will carry a heavy burden for a long time if you have multiple DUI violations on your driving and criminal records. The stigma may last for decades. Therefore, it is important to avoid getting multiple DUI violations on your records at all costs. You can only do this with the help of a reliable and dedicated legal counsel.

Gary Rohlwing is well-versed in the complexities of Arizona DUI laws. He has many years of experience in successfully defending multiple DUI cases throughout the state of Arizona. More importantly, he believes that every defendant has the right to a solid representation and defense.

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Extreme & Aggravated DUI Legal Lawyer

Reasons Why You Would Need Legal Representation for an Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI or Aggravated DUI

Many people think that DUI laws in Arizona are similar to other states. They are wrong. They don’t realize that Arizona has unique DUI laws that are stricter compared to most other states. Penalties for a DUI conviction in Arizona are also stiffer compared to many other states.

Arizona created new misdemeanor DUI crimes known as Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI in 2007. A person must have an alcohol concentration ranging from 0.15% to 0.20% to be charged with Extreme DUI. A person must have an alcohol concentration of 0.20% or greater to be charged with Super Extreme DUI.

Obviously, you will face stiffer penalties with a super extreme DUI charge compared to a regular DUI or Extreme DUI. Conviction will almost always lead to some jail time. More than the jail time, fine, and penalties, however, having a criminal record may cause a more lasting stigma.

Bear in mind that alcohol concentration testing need not be performed where you were stopped as long as it is done within 2 hours from the time you drove a car.

 

Why Arizona Has Set Up Different DUI Levels

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, various alcohol concentration levels have different effects on a person’s ability to drive. For example, having a 0.08% alcohol concentration in your system will impair your ability to drive safely. Therefore, a 0.08 level is considered a DUI in every state. An alcohol concentration level of 0.15% or higher can make you a lot more dangerous on the road. In 2012 alone, more than 50% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes registered an alcohol concentration level of at least 0.15%.

The CDC reports that at 0.15% alcohol concentration level, you will have much less muscle control than usual. Your sense of balance will likewise be adversely affected. You will experience considerable impairment in controlling your car, paying attention to your driving, and processing the audio and visual information needed to drive safely. A man weighing around 160 pounds would need to consume around 7 alcoholic beverages in an hour to reach an alcohol concentration level of 0.15%.

If you are charged with an Extreme or Super Extreme DUI, remember not to plead guilty before a competent Extreme DUI attorney like Gary Rohlwing has examined your case thoroughly. Many factors can impact the admissibility of evidence in your case. Some are whether you were legally stopped, the breath or blood test was accurate, or the search was legal.

A reliable practice like the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing can make sure that your rights are always protected throughout the proceedings. He can help you get the best results to either avoid a conviction or mitigate the penalties if you are convicted.

 

West Valley Courts We Handle DUI Cases:

Peoria DUI’s

Goodyear DUI’s

Surprise DUI’s

Sun City DUI’s

Avondale DUI’s

Litchfield Park DUI’s

Buckeye DUI’s

 

 

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Arizona Has Some OF The Harshest DUI Laws

There is no doubt that drunk driving has been one of the leading causes of road deaths for decades. Unfortunately, drunk driving is still prevalent in most parts of the country. DUI laws in the U.S. vary depending on the state. Thus, it is a good idea to know about the laws not only in Arizona but in other states as well.

 

The Earliest DUI Laws

New Jersey enacted the first law on drunk driving in 1906. Back then, a person caught driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Unbelievably, after over a century, there are states that don’t jail first-time offenders and some states only require a $500 fine. With exponentially more DUI cases, you would think that DUI laws across the country would be stricter than a century ago.

 

The Strictest and the Most Lenient States Today

Angry police officer pulls over drunk driver, driving with an open beer.

Arizona is the strictest state in terms of cracking down on DUI offenders. A minimum of 10 days in jail awaits you if you are a first-time offender. This comes with a minimum fine of $1,250, the installation of a car ignition interlock device at your own expense, and a 90 day suspension of your privilege to drive. Your vehicle will also be impounded. Other states with strict DUI laws include Connecticut, West Virginia, and Alaska

On the other side of the spectrum, South Dakota has the most lenient DUI laws. It is ironic that the 1906 New Jersey law was harsher than current South Dakota DUI laws. The state doesn’t impose a minimum jail term for first and second-time offenders. Although a third offense is considered a felony, driving privileges are not suspended and the installation of ignition interlock devices is not required. Other states with lenient DUI laws are North Dakota, Montana, and the District of Columbia.

The Harsh DUI Laws in Arizona

Because a DUI charge in Arizona comes with dire consequences, you should immediately get in touch with a reputable DUI lawyer like Gary Rohlwing to make sure your rights are protected.

It doesn’t matter if you are charged for DUI in Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear or any other city in the state of Arizona. The state laws of Arizona will apply.

Arizona has comprehensive misdemeanour DUI laws that virtually encompass any situation where a person may be impaired and drive or try to drive. The amount of alcohol concentration found in a person’s system determines whether he or she will be charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, or Super Extreme DUI as discussed below.

  • R.S. § 28-1381 is the original DUI law. It generally applies to a person whose alcohol concentration is between 0.04 (for drivers of commercial vehicles) and 0.14. It also applies to any person operating under the influence of any impairing or intoxicating drug, vapor that releases substances containing toxic chemicals or any combination of drugs, alcohol and other vapor releasing substances if it impairs the person to the slightest degree. It also includes a person with at least a 0.08 alcohol concentration within 2 hours of driving or trying to drive.
  • R.S. § 28-1382(A)(1) is the Extreme DUI law. It applies to a person whose alcohol concentration is 0.15 or more but less than 0.20
  • R.S. § 28-1382(A)(2) is the Super Extreme DUI law. It applies to a person whose alcohol concentration is 0.20 or more.

The mandatory minimum jail time is consecutive and is 10 days for original DUI, 30 for Extreme DUI, and 45 for Super Extreme DUI. The mandatory minimum fines are $1,250 for original DUI, $2,500 for Extreme DUI, and $2,750 for Super Extreme DUI.

For concerns about misdemeanor DUI charges, you should immediately consult with the Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing, a competent and experienced practice well-versed in defending misdemeanor DUI cases in Arizona.

For immediate DUI Legal Defense Assistance, call my office today!

Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing
7112 N 55th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301
(623) 937-1692
http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/
http://www.criminal-duiattorney.com/blog/

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