Uber and Breathometer Join Forces to Help Prevent Drunk Driving

Would knowing your blood alcohol content help you make the right decision to call a cab or hail an Uber at the end of the night?

Breathometer, a portable breathalyzer that works on smartphones, has partnered with Uber to further prevent drunk driving by offering users safe, convenient alternatives to getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.

Simply blow into one of the Breathometer devices, which can be wireless or attached to the headphone jack, and the app shows the person’s current blood alcohol content.

If BAC levels are at .04 percent or higher, Breathometer provides a list of nearby restaurants, hotels and transportation options that can be contacted directly form the app.

Now partnered with Uber, an app that connects people to drivers in the area, Breathometer offers the company’s services first on the list of transportation options, and the Uber app automatically opens when selected on Breathometer.

Since the partnership began earlier this year, Uber has been selected 54 percent more frequently than the other options Breathometer offers, with approximately 1,700 Uber rides so far.

After recording BAC levels, Breathometer has the option to store this information so that over time, the app gets to know how much alcohol it takes for an individual to become intoxicated, how long it takes to sober up and more.

In the future, Breathometer founder and CEO Charles Yim has plans to expand the app even more, so that it offers users additional services, such as helpful resources for battling alcohol abuse.

The partnership between the Uber and Breathometer, and each of their respective partnerships with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Fathers Against Drunk Driving, demonstrates a serious effort to prevent alcohol-related accidents.

New App Locates Photo Radar Cameras

Have you ever opened your mailbox to find a speeding ticket? Some states, like Arizona, California and Texas use photo radar traffic devices to detect speeding, red light violations or both, meaning you could be cited and not even know it.

A new app developed by Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., a photo radar company with headquarters in Phoenix, hopes to quell any rumors and misinformation drivers may have about photo radar cameras and tickets by mapping out where these devices are located throughout the country.

These devices have proved to be controversial, as many drivers don’t know how photo radar cameras work or why they’re being used.

When Valley residents were asked what they knew about photo radar devices by 3TV, many were most concerned with the cost of a ticket, whether they had to pay it and how the devices detected speeding.

“I usually slow down to five below, just so I know I’m cool going through those things,” said Donnie Crist, one of the Valley drivers interviewed by 3TV.

Jim Saunders, president and CEO of Redflex, said the free app is meant to educate drivers and help them overcome any misunderstandings or confusion they may have about photo radar cameras.

He explained the app is a way for Redflex to communicate directly with drivers and possibly start improving any negative misconceptions they may have about the company.

“Our business has never been about catching people. It’s about changing driver behavior. I think this is the first step in clarifying that,” Saunders said.

In the future, Redflex wants to expand the app and offer drivers more, like a GPS compatible system that would safely tell drivers where photo radar cameras are as they’re driving.

Six New Arizona Laws You Should Know About

During one the speediest and most frugal legislative sessions in history, Arizona officials churned out more than 300 new laws.

Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature spent a quick 81 days in session on a tight budget of $9.1 billion, producing 324 new laws, many of which will go into effect July 3.

Dozens revolve around the economy, social issues and education, meaning the daily lives of residents across the state will be affected.

Of the 324, Corso Law Group selected six of the most noteworthy new laws Arizonans should know about.

  1. Changes at the Border: SB 1271 gives the Joint Border Security Advisory Committee the go ahead to use $264,400 in collected private donations to build a fence, physical or virtual, as close as possible to the Arizona-Mexico border.
  1. Abortion Reversal: One facet of SB 1318 requires doctors to inform women interested in an abortion using a combination of medications that the procedure may potentially be reversed. Arizona is the first state to initiate this law, which was based on information from the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life.
  1. Get a REAL ID: HB 2609 gives Arizona residents the option to purchase a new ID that meets federal requirements. This is important news for air travelers who would otherwise have had to carry another form of ID, like a passport, to fly domestically.
  1. Required Civics Tests: HB 2064 makes the class of 2017 the first wave of high school students who must pass a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization civics test to graduate. To graduate, students will have to answer at least 60 questions correctly out of 100.
  1. Ride-sharing Regulations: HB 2135 initiates new rules for ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, that were previously operating unregulated in Arizona alongside taxis and cabs. The new bill requires companies to inspect vehicles, conduct criminal background checks on drivers and make sure they carry insurance.
  1. Driving school do-over: HB 2308 lets drivers who have been cited for traffic violations clear their records more frequently by offering the opportunity to complete driving school as often as every 12 months instead of every 24 months.

Other impactful laws cover topics like the study of police body cameras, brewery expansion, junk food in schools and more.

The Cloud’s Massive Reach Extends to Police Forces and Beyond

Are you one of the estimated 300 million people who use iCloud?

Varieties of the cloud are offered by Apple, Microsoft and Google, but they all essentially let owners of smartphones, tablets and computers store, share, update and synchronize information from their devices to the cloud anytime it’s connected to wifi.

It’s a convenient way to store and access information from almost anywhere, making it useful for the average smartphone user and law enforcement agencies.

Police are using common cloud settings, like location settings, information sharing and automatic updates to help investigate and fight crimes.

For example, if you use iCloud, the most recent set of photos on your iPhone will automatically be labeled with the date, time and city in which they were taken. This same information will also be available on your iPad, personal computer or any other connected devices.

This information proved imperative for Houston police who used iCloud to aide in their investigation of a local theft crime.

Randy Schaefer reported in March that his truck was broken into while parked outside his home in River Oaks, and his iPad, along with $5,000 cash, were both stolen.

As is typical with many theft cases, Schaefer didn’t expect to get his iPad or money back, until photos and a video of two strange men appeared in his iCloud account.

The photos and a video, which went viral online, were of two men posing with hundred dollar bills, bragging about their crime saying, “this my good people is what we get from a good night’s hustle.”

Police were able to track down the men using the digital footprint they left behind while passing a local Starbucks, where Schaefer’s iPad connected to the wifi, leading police to their location.

Recently, Buzzfeed featured a cloud story about Matt Stopera, whose cell phone was stolen from a bar in New York and sold at a second-hand cell phone shop in China.

A year later, Stopera began receiving unfamiliar photos. These photos belonged to the new owner in China, and Stopera was getting these daily photo updates because his old phone was still connected to his current cloud account.

With its seemingly endless reach, the cloud continues to grow with more people, including police, accessing accounts and updating information from virtually any location.

MADD Ranks the DUI Prevention Efforts of Each State

Arizona is one of the top-five states with the most effective drunk driving laws, according to a report by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The report highlights which states have the best laws and programs to prevent drunk driving, as well as the ones that need to do more to prevent the offense.

The MADD website includes an interactive map showing how many stars each state has, with each representing a different measure that it enforces, such as the requirement of an ignition interlock device, DUI checkpoints, enhanced child endangerment penalties, No-Refusal events and license revocation.

Arizona enforces all five of these regulations, making it one of the states with the strictest drunk driving laws, along with Utah, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska.

MADD praised Arizona for its 46 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities over the years, and stressed the significance of ignition interlock devices, which are required for all DUI offenders in the state, even if it’s a first-time offense.

In contrast, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania only have one star each to represent their efforts to prevent drunk driving.

The report was released by MADD to honor the fifth year of The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

If you’re ever arrested for drunk driving in Arizona, get in touch with an attorney who has experience with the state’s strict DUI laws.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Corso Law Group anytime at (480) 471-4616.

Plan Ahead or Face Arizona’s Large DUI Task Force on Cinco de Mayo

Last May, 500 drunk drivers were arrested in Arizona, according to KTAR News, during Cinco de Mayo and the weekend before the holiday, which is commonly celebrated with Mexican fare, including a troublesome mix of margaritas, tequila and beer.

Police proved just how serious they were about keeping drunk drivers off the roads in 2014 with a very effective DUI campaign that lead to more overall traffic stops and fewer DUI arrests, Arizona DUI attorneys Corso Law Group said.

Arizona’s DUI task force was 1,880 officials strong in 2014, up from 1,420 the year before, with officers and deputies making more than 11,000 traffic stops and arresting 500 drivers on suspicion of drunk driving over the holiday weekend from Thursday, May 1 to Monday, May 5, The Arizona Republic reports.

Of the 500 arrests, which was 25 fewer than in 2013, 51 were aggravated DUIs and 155 were extreme DUIs, meaning blood-alcohol contents were over .15 percent, according to statistics released by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The average BAC during Cinco de Mayo and the preceding weekend was .146 percent.

“Plenty of people plan on engaging in alcohol-related activities on Cinco de Mayo,” said Christopher Corso, Corso Law Group’s founding partner. “Unfortunately, several don’t think about how they’re getting home before they start drinking. That’s a big mistake that can land you in jail.”

In Arizona, all DUI offenders, even first offenders, face jail time and expensive fines. Not only are the charges serious but also the potential harm drunk drivers can cause to themselves and anyone else on the road is massive. However, all of this can be prevented by never getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Corso Law Group has handled more than 20,000 DUI cases as defense attorneys and as former prosecutors for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“Knowing the law and what could happen if you were arrested for drunk driving is an important step Arizona citizens can take,” Corso said. “Being aware of the physical dangers of drunk driving and the legal consequences that could follow should motivate Arizona residents to be safe this Cinco de Mayo.”

Important rights Arizona residents need to know according to Corso Law Group, are their rights to remain silent; only provide certain documents such as insurance, registration and identification; and refuse to submit to all field sobriety tests. In addition, blood and alcohol tests are the only tests DUI suspects should agree to.

To schedule a free consultation with Corso Law Group, please visit https://www.corsolawgroup.com or call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Debra Milke’s Murder Case Dismissed After 25 Years

The case against Debra Milke, who spent more than 20 years on death row for the murder of her four-year-old son, has been dismissed by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.

Milke was convicted of murder in 1990 for accompanying two men into the desert and shooting her son in the head. These charges were overturned by a federal court in 2013 due to an issue with the detective at the time, Armando Saldate, who reportedly had several incidents of misconduct.

Saldate claimed that Milke confessed to murdering her son during an interview, but there were no witnesses at the time, and the proposed confession was never recorded. He declared in March 2014 that he would not testify in Milke’s retrial.

As a result, Milke’s defense filed to dismiss her case with prejudice so that she could not be tried again by prosecutors, and it was successfully dismissed during a brief hearing in Phoenix on Monday, March 23.

“I always believed this day would come I just didn’t think it would take 25 years, 3 months and 14 days to rectify such a blatant miscarriage of justice,” Milke said.

Milke has maintained her innocence and denied ever telling Saldate she was involved in the murder of her son.

The two men who were convicted in her son’s murder remain on death row and did not testify against her in the past.

Although prosecutors recently bid for a retrial, the Arizona Supreme Court’s rejected this request, and Milke’s attorneys said her case is over now besides a few small matters, like meeting with her probation officer and removing her monitoring bracelet.