A driver under the influence of alcohol went airborne while driving his vehicle, landing on multiple vehicles parked at a car dealership in Surprise, Arizona. On June 11, 2018, 21-year-old Zachary David Washington ran a stop sign at Bell Road and 115th Avenue. Washington then struck the median, which caused him to go airborne. He then hit a wall and landed on the vehicles.
According to police, a passenger in the car reported that Washington had an ignition interlock device installed in his car. Washington apparently blew into the device before drinking to pass the test and then began drinking while in the car. Police found a half-empty bottle of alcohol in the car following the crash.
Following interviews with witnesses, Washington was allegedly traveling at around 60 miles an hour leading up to the crash. The owner of the car dealership reported that 4 vehicles were damaged, with a total of around $35,000 in damages and $10,000 in damages to the wall.
This is Washington's second DUI collision in just over a 1-year period. Washington is employed as a public safety officer at Grand Canyon University. As a result of his conduct, Washington has been charged with aggravated DUI.
Aggravated DUI in Arizona
An aggravated DUI in Arizona is a felony and can occur under a variety of circumstances considered "aggravating factors." These include:
- Driving under a suspended, restricted, or revoked driver's license;
- DUI arrest while the driver's vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device;
- Two prior DUI convictions within 7 years of a recent DUI arrest; or
- DUI arrest while a child under the age of 15 is in the vehicle.
In Washington's case, because he drove while under the influence and had an ignition interlock device on his vehicle, he can be charged with aggravated DUI.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer attached to your vehicle's ignition and installed on or near the vehicle dashboard. Before the driver can start his or her vehicle, the driver must exhale into the device. If alcohol is detected on the driver's breath, the vehicle will not start. The device may also require additional random samples while the engine is running. Failure to provide a requested breath test may result in the ignition being turned off.
Ignition interlock devices come with costs for installation and monitoring. These costs must be covered by the driver assigned to it.
If a driver fails a breath test, the device generates a report of your failed "blow" and the information is made available to the court and probation department. As a result, you could face criminal penalties in addition to any penalties associated with your DUI charges.
Consult an Arizona DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with Aggravated DUI in Arizona, an experienced attorney at the law offices of Shawn B. Hamp can represent you in your defense.
We serve clients in Mohave, Yavapai, La Paz, and Coconino Counties, including the communities of Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Parker, Prescott, Williams and Flagstaff, Arizona. Contact us today for a free consultation.