Arizona Court Upholds Law on Lawsuits Involving DUI

April 7, 2009

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a law that limits the state’s liability in negligence lawsuits stemming from motor-vehicle accidents caused by drunken-drivers.

A three-judge panel upheld a jury verdict for the state in a negligence suit filed by the mother of a man killed in April 2003. Lee Bryan DeVries lost control of his convertible and was asphyxiated by a Loop 101 freeway median barrier cable.

DeVries’ blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit and the state successfully asserted limited immunity under the liability law.

The Court of Appeals says the law is constitutional because it only denies claims by drunken-drivers.

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