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 observa- tions 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. 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 Offic- es, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Each year, MADD staff members and volunteers across the state of Arizona monitor a minimum of 3,000 new DUI and DUI Drug cases. In the year 2020, MADD Arizona was able to follow 4,518 cases overall, 2,381 cases of which were monitored through the full adjudication process leading to the findings in this report. Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed many facets of our daily lives, this report demonstrates that DUI and DUI Drug cases occurred just as frequently during quarantine as they did in years past. Statistically, MADD Arizona observed similar trends in the total quantity of DUI and DUI Drug cases, demographics of DUI and DUI Drug offenders, and overall adjudication outcomes in comparison to previous years.
Arizona State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020)
This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the counties monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis.
Pending Cases Monitored:
Adjudicated Cases Monitored:
Total Cases Monitored in 2020:
*Pending cases are cases waiting a judgement result.
Drug Related DUIs
Drug Related 13%
Of the DUI cases observed in 2020 across the state of Arizona, 13% were drug related. On November 3rd, 2020, Arizonans voted to approve Proposition 207, otherwise known as the Smart and Safe Act, and henceforth le- galized 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.
Gender & Age
Of the cases monitored in 2020, Arizona observed that the majority of DUI and DUI Drug cases involved male offenders between the ages of 21 and 39, which is consistent with the data observed in 2019. 72% 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% of the cases observed involved individuals under the age of 21. As a part of MADD’s lifesaving mission, underage drinking prevention is crucial to the health and wellbeing of Arizona’s youth. Studies show that youth who start drinking young are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent, which is likely to increase their chance of being involved in a drunk or drugged driving crash in their lifetime 2 . Because of this risk, MADD provides two programs in the fight against underage drinking; Power of Youth® and Power of Parents® . MADD’s Power of Youth® helps youth explore the real, short- and long-term impacts of drinking underage, including how it damages their brains and the long-lasting social consequences through interactive presentations delivered by certified facilitators. Power of Parents® helps parents use the power they have to keep their kids safe through ongoing, critical conversations with their children about alcohol and other drugs. MADD Arizona needs your help to prevent underage drinking as a way to combat impaired driving and prevent these needless tragedies. Reach out to your local MADD Arizona office to plan a Power of Youth® or Power of Parents® presentation and do your part to prevent underage drinking.
According to 2020 cases monitored, roughly 40% of cases represented 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 3 . Impairment causes delays to reaction time and control at .15, with the added risk of blackouts and loss of consciousness at .20. At this level, a person is 12 times more likely to cause a crash 3 . In review of 2018 fatality crash data, 67% of crashes involved at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher 4 . The only safe choice is NO alcohol when getting behind the wheel.
.0 – .08
.09 – .19 .20 Or Higher
Key Findings & Observations
Arizona established its formal, statewide Court Monitoring program in 2008. Since its formation, MADD staff members and volunteers have monitored tens of thousands of cases through funding largely from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). Arizona Court Monitors were physically present for court settings in addition to collecting data from online data bases in order to acquire the general trends described in this report. MADD Arizona will continue to monitor the adjudication process of DUI and DUI Drug cases in 2021 because of the funding provided by the GOHS, as well as the efforts of MADD staff members and volunteers. 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 in order to create a world of No More Victims®. We aren’t there yet. In the most recent data from 2019 by the Arizona Department of Transportation, 256 people were killed in alcohol related crashes, and an additional 2,969 individuals were injured. Arizona alone saw a total economic loss of over 3 billion dollars due to alcohol related crashes. 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. The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted our world in 2020 and MADD Arizona understands that it may have had an impact on overall trends and is sympathetic towards those affected by the pandemic. MADD Arizona supports high visibility law enforcement. MADD encourages all officers to take part in the Arizona Drug Evaluation and Classification (DRE) program, which trains law enforcement personnel to identify drug impaired drivers. The passing of Proposition 207 and legalized marijuana use makes this even more of a critical tool for our law enforcement to have. Volunteers were key to the success of MADD Arizona’s Court Monitoring program. These individuals went to court on behalf of MADD, conducted data mining and management to maintain an up to date and efficient system, and were ultimately responsible for the success of Arizona’s program as a whole. Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers!
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).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
o Encourage more efficient and consistent prosecution of DUI and DUI Drug Cases throughout all Arizona courts. o Partner with MADD to address the needs and trends from this report in your community. o Makeacommitment tonever drinkanddrive, or usedrugs andget behind thewheel. o Choose to never provide alcohol to those under the age of 21. o Volunteer with MADD or donate to your local MADD office to help create a world of NO MORE VICTIMS®. Here’s how you can help: 2. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD; 2016. Citations / References 3. NHTSA. (2012, April). Traffic Safety Facts, 2010 Data: Alcohol Impaired Driving. (Report No. DOT HS 811 606). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Available at www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811606.pdf. 4. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2019, December). Alcohol impaired driving: 2018 data (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 864). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet 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
Notify judicial system of deficiencies
Create public outcry when weaknesses go unaddressed
For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit madd.org/courts .
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