HB2296 would modify 28 A.R.S. § 1383.A.5, Wrong Way Driving DUI Felony, which makes the section referring to all “highways” applicable to “Controlled Access Highways or State Highways.” As previously posted, although the proposed changes would help limit the applicability of the statute to what the Legislature intended (but did not explicitly say) when they first passed the section in 2018, namely to “Controlled Access Highways” by including “State Highways” the bill would still apply to many city streets where state highways are also city streets. Examples of those are Grand Avenue north of Thomas Road in Phoenix, and also through Glendale and Peoria. That of course is not what the Legislature intended when they first passed the law.
On February 23, 2021 HB2296 came up for a vote in the House where the bill’s main sponsor, Representative Payne introduced an amendment to say “a controlled access highway or state highway section with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour or more.” By limiting the state highway section with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour or more the bill now eliminates the applicability to many city streets, such as Grand Avenue, and so is closer to what the Legislature intended when they first passed the law. The amendment was passed by the House 59-0 and then amended HB2296 also passed 59-0. On February 24th the bill was sent to the State Senate and we will have to wait to see what action the Senate takes.
For more information about Arizona DUI and criminal law issues please contact Gordon Thompson who has used his experience to write a blog on topics of interest. You can also chat with Gordon about your specific questions.