Arizona Court Monitoring Report 2022

MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during impaired driving case proceedings. The program was created to ensure that impaired driving offenders are prosecuted and justice is achieved. Court monitoring is a tool proven to affect the adjudication process and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an effective countermeasure to reduce impaired driving (1). Court monitors on the local scale can impact the handling of impaired driving cases by their mere presence in the court room.

Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses. One way this goal is achieved is by sharing data and observations with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and the public to promote awareness of impaired driving and ensure accountability for all impaired driving offenders. To reduce future offenses, MADD® supports swift and unbiased treatment of all impaired driving cases. Court monitors track misdemeanor impaired driving cases in the judicial courts of their respective counties. Court monitors are often physically present for court settings and acquire case information from courtroom observation and, when necessary, from researching online databases. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes. The information presented in this report is from cases monitored in 2021.

The Arizona Court Monitoring Program monitored cases in the following 13 counties: Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, and Yuma.

Arizona State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021)

Cases By County DUI

This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the counties monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis. It is important to recognize that MADD Arizona’s Court Monitoring program randomly monitors only a sample of all DUI and DUI Drug cases that go through Arizona courts. This report reflects only a small portion of all DUI and DUI Drug cases, their outcomes, and the individuals involved.







Pending Cases Monitored* | 1153 | 40% Adjudicated Cases Monitored | 1734 | 60% Total Cases Monitored in 2021 | 2887 *pending cases are cases waiting for a judgement





36 33


Includes counties where at least 30 cases were monitored

Disposition Case Where disposition is known.

Other 2.1%

Failure to Appear 12.5%

Compared to 2020’s numbers, Arizona saw a slight decrease in conviction rates due to the pandemic. In an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID, many courtrooms closed and cases were dismissed without prejudice, meaning the prosecutor had 12 months to refile charges. The effects from this can make prosecution difficult or impossible, and may have included situations such as the offender or witness having moved or officers either changing jobs or not available. As we move into recovery, we are seeing dispositions trend back to pre-pandemic rates.

Dismissed 23.1%

Guilty 62.2%

By Type DUI Where case type is known.









Drug Related

Not Drug Related

The percentage of Arizona drug-related DUI cases observed in 2021 was 16%, an increase of 3% from 2020. On Nov. 3, 2020, Arizonans voted to approve Proposition 207, otherwise known as the Smart and Safe Act, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in addition to the already legalized medicinal usage. With the passing of Proposition 207, MADD is reaffirmed in its mission to help in the fight against drugged driving. MADD Arizona is committed to continuing to monitor both alcohol and other drug-related DUI cases, follow them through the adjudication process, and use the information collected to study the long-term implications of this proposition.

By BAC Cases

Drug Only 1%

0.16-0.20+ 13%

BAC Levels* 0.01-0.08 | 2049 | 71% 0.09-0.15 | 424 | 15% 0.16-0.20+ | 389 | 13% Drug Only | 15 | 1%

0.09-0.15 15%

*Where BAC is known

0.01-.08 71%

According to 2021 cases monitored, almost 60% of cases represented close to double or triple the legal limit of .08 BAC. Although reaction time is affected after the first drink, there is definite impairment of muscle coordination and driving skills at .08; making chances for being involved in a crash 4 times higher (2). Impairment causes delays to reaction time and control at .15, with the added risk of blackouts and loss of consciousness at .20. In review of 2020 fatality crash data, 67% of crashes involved at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher (3). The only safe choice is NO alcohol when getting behind the wheel.

Where age and gender are known & Age Gender Male Female







Of the cases monitored in 2021, Arizona observed that most DUI and DUI Drug cases involved male offenders between the ages of 21 and 39, which is consistent with the data observed in 2020. 73% of all Arizona cases observed involved male offenders, while 62% involved an individual between the ages of 21 and 39, indicating that this population is consistently responsible for the most DUI and DUI Drug cases. Additionally, 6.5% of the cases observed involved individuals under the age of 21.

Executive Summary Key Findings & Observations

Arizona established its formal, statewide Court Monitoring program in 2008. Since its formation, MADD staff and volunteers have monitored tens of thousands of cases through funding made available largely from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). It is MADD’s hope that these efforts will ultimately further MADD’s mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, serve the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking to create a world of No More Victims®. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. In the most recent data from 2020 by the Arizona Department of Transportation, 181 people were killed in alcohol related crashes, and 2,183 additional individuals were injured. Arizona alone saw a total economic loss of $2.3 billion dollars due to alcohol related crashes. In addition, some challenges that were noted include an increase in dismissed cases due to a backlog in the drug/blood testing results. While the prosecution has 12 months to refile, it allows the offender back on the road with no consequence and therefore, no reason to change their behavior. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, during the pandemic, researchers found that a small group of people increased their time spent on the roads. This group was younger and disproportionately male, which statistically is the riskier demographic behind the wheel than the average population. Two of the top risky driving behaviors included alcohol impaired driving and driving after using cannabis(3). In 2021, the data shows that 6.5% of cases involved people who are under age 21. As a part of MADD’s lifesaving mission, we know that underage drinking prevention is crucial to the health and wellbeing of Arizona’s youth and essential in creating a future without impaired driving. MADD provides two programs in the fight against underage drinking: Power of You(th)® and Power of Parents®. MADD Arizona needs your help to create the generation that will eliminate substance impaired driving. Reach out to your local MADD Arizona office to plan a Power of You(th)® and Power of Parents® presentation and do your part to prevent underage drinking. Visit today! IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DRUNK OR DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING, MADD IS HERE TO HELP. CALL OUR VICTIM/SURVIVOR 24-HOUR HELPLINE AT 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435). MADD Arizona will continue to monitor the adjudication process of DUI and DUI Drug cases in 2022 thanks to the efforts of MADD volunteers and the continued funding provided by GOHS. Volunteers are key to the success of MADD Arizona’s Court Monitoring program. We’d like to say thank you to all our dedicated volunteers!

(1) Richard, C. M., Magee, K., Bacon-Abdelmoteleb, P., & Brown, J. L. (2018, April). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2)Brad Uren, M.D. How Alcohol Impaires Your Ability to Drive. 29 July 2016. < your-ability-to-drive>. (3)NHTSA. 2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic Fatalities During Pandemic. 3 June 2021. Web Page. 23 March 2022.

Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet it continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD Court Monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe. Court monitors achieve the work of MADD’s Court Monitoring Program by doing the following: Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law

Track conviction rates and sanctions

Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level

Track conviction rates and sanctions

Promote public awareness and understanding of the dangers of impaired driving

For more information about volunteering in Arizona, please visit

Arizona State Office 3800 N Central Ave Suite 220 Phoenix AZ 85012

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