The Arizona Supreme Court thinks it takes too long for DUI cases to get through the court system, says the Arizona Republic. Yesterday, Chief Justice Ruth McGregor made recommendations to speed the process. Prosecutors, law enforcement officials and judges would smooth out and standardize DUI procedures, and defense attorneys would have to cut short some legal tactics.
Among the proposals: Setting firm trial dates and establishing the availability of witnesses early in the process to avoid trial delay; requiring defendants to attend all pretrial conferences; requiring law enforcement agencies to file citations within 10 days of issuing them; and researching post-conviction treatment methods so defendants don’t repeat the crime. A committee found that only 66 percent of cases make their way through the courts within 120 days and 81 percent within 180 days. McGregor wants 90 percent of DUI cases finished within 120 days and all of them within 180 days. “It helps no one to let the case linger,” said a court offical who formerly worked as a county prosecutor. “You want to get the defendant through the process as quickly as possible.”