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Arizona Governor Vetoes Dui,Gun-law Changes

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Winchester 73, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. Winchester 73

    Winchester 73 member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Is this Legal?:D


    Matthew Benson
    The Arizona Republic
    Apr. 30, 2008 12:00 AM

    Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed legislation Tuesday altering the state's new DUI law, citing a provision that would have cut in half a key penalty for first-time offenders.

    She also rejected a proposal to reduce to a petty offense the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

    And she signed into law a measure allowing the state to take over some of Arizona's most troubled school districts, including the Roosevelt Elementary School District in south Phoenix.

    That measure, House Bill 2711, will immediately apply to a handful of districts, allowing the Arizona Department of Education to assume control of those in which at least half of the schools are underperforming or worse, and at least one school is failing outright.

    The bills were among 20 Napolitano signed Tuesday and four she vetoed.

    Of perhaps most interest was the DUI proposal, House Bill 2395. It would have reduced to six from 12 months the length of time first-time offenders must use a breath-test device, or ignition interlock, after a DUI conviction. Individuals would have been eligible for the reduced penalty only after completing alcohol or drug treatment.

    In a letter that accompanied her veto, Napolitano wrote that she believes the devices discourage drunken driving. She said it's "premature" to change the existing law "before we have had a chance to examine its effects."

    The bill also would have toughened penalties for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. It would have immediately suspended the license of any motorist suspected of causing a fatal accident while intoxicated. And it would have resolved a sentencing discrepancy between two DUI laws already in effect.

    The bill offered what supporters termed a compromise between the liquor lobby and drunken-driving opponents

    House Speaker Jim Weiers, who sponsored the DUI measure, called the veto "very unfortunate" and accused the governor of "siding with those who want to let the worst DUI offenders out on the streets." The Phoenix Republican argued that his measure was designed to "change people's habits on drinking and driving" through its treatment requirement, rather than relying on ignition interlock alone.

    "We need to be consistent in our enforcement," countered Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer. "We don't need to be taking a giant step forward and then a giant step backward."

    Sen. Jim Waring, a key figure with last year's DUI legislation, said he was "disappointed" by Tuesday's veto, but noted that he, too, had reservations about trimming the ignition interlock requirement. "I had no desire to chip off six months," the Phoenix Republican said.

    But taken as a whole, Waring called the bill good legislation. He worries that last year's gains against drunken driving "could get thrown out in court" without a fix for the remaining discrepancy in Arizona law regarding sentencing for extreme DUI offenders.

    With other vetoes issued Tuesday, Napolitano rejected as too long a bid to extend the state Commission on Postsecondary Education for 10 years. She also turned aside legislation to weaken penalties against violators of Arizona's concealed-weapons law.

    That measure, House Bill 2630, would have made it a petty offense punishable by a fine alone for an individual to carry a concealed weapon without a state permit. It also would have barred law-enforcement officials in those instances from confiscating the weapon.

    "As our law-enforcement professionals will tell you," Napolitano wrote Tuesday, "serious criminals, especially gang members, often carry concealed weapons without permits. Our law-enforcement officers must have the full array of enforcement options to use against these violators, including the power to arrest the violator and confiscate his deadly weapon."

    Supporters such as bill sponsor Sen. Karen Johnson, a Mesa Republican, noted that Arizona law already grants wide leeway for individuals to carry weapons in the open. The bill, they argued, would have reduced criminal penalties in case of an accidental violation of the law, such as if an individual's jacket temporarily concealed a holster.
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Well, yeah, but some representatives of the Democratic (sic) party have expressed support for the Second Amendment.

    She's simultaneously curbing individual freedom and growing state government. What's not to despise?
  3. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    The logic of having a illegal CCW penalty in a state that apparently allows OC eludes me.

    OMGWTFBBQ Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Neither here nor there.
    A lot of gang members are prohibited from having a weapon due to prior felony convictions anyway.
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