The Law Offices of John Phebus

Arizona police believe alcohol was a factor in apartment crash

Early Tuesday morning, individuals at an apartment complex were jolted awake by a loud noise. It was the sound of a pickup truck breaking through the wall of the brick building in Chandler, Arizona. When the truck went through the wall, bricks fell down on two residents causing them to suffer cuts and bruises.

Unsurprisingly, police were called to the scene. Their initial investigation brought them to conclude that the truck had been traveling at approximately 40 to 45 miles per hour when it hit the wall. According to one resident, inadequate lighting may have contributed to this crash. Police also suspected that alcohol may have been a factor, which is why the driver of the truck was arrested on suspicion of DUI and the possibility of additional charges.

In Arizona, a DUI charge can be elevated to a felony charge of aggravated DUI based on specific conditions. Involvement in an accident that leaves another individual with serious injuries is one of these conditions, but what counts as a serious injury? Does this include scrapes and bruises? Does treatment at an emergency department elevate these charges?

What about the level of the driver’s blood alcohol content? What about the speed the driver was traveling at the time? Could a low number in either of these answers act as a mitigating factor?

The answers to the questions mentioned above could mean the difference between a DUI and a felony DUI. The addition of that single word “aggravated” significantly increases the penalties, which is why an individual should have a strong criminal defense attorney handling the matter.

Source: AZ Family, “Alleged drunk driver plows pickup through apartment wall; 2 injured,” Feb. 18, 2014

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