Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or higher is considered an Extreme DUI. If the BAC reaches. 20 percent or higher, it is classified as a Super Extreme DUI.
According to Bryan Blehm, one of Kari Lake’s attorneys involved in the Cochise County litigation over the election, “this isn’t a regular situation,” as he discusses the potential discipline that attorneys may face from state bars for DUIs.
McIntyre, the chief prosecuting attorney for Cochise County, was arrested for a Super Extreme DUI, but he pleaded guilty to an Extreme DUI. It is worth noting that other prosecutors who faced similar charges resigned even before being convicted. However, despite his guilty plea nine months ago, there has been no disciplinary action from the State Bar of Arizona, not even a reprimand. Interestingly, while no action has been taken against McIntyre, the Arizona Bar is actively targeting election attorneys representing MAGA candidates, seeking to disbar them.
The State Bar of Arizona is taking disciplinary action against Blehm for his election lawsuits, and Blehm expects to be disbarred. He firmly believes that his behavior warrants sanctions from the bar, stating, “Of course, he should be held accountable for such outrageous and morally unacceptable actions. If I can be prosecuted for speaking the truth, he should face trial for endangering the lives of the community he claims to serve.”
McIntyre, as shown in the picture above, accepted a guilty plea on February 16 in Sierra Vista Justice Court for the offense of Extreme DUI. Super Extreme DUI is considered the most severe form of misdemeanor, falling under class 1, and entails a jail term of 45 days along with a 90-day suspension of the driver’s license. On the other hand, an Extreme DUI carries slightly lighter consequences, with a jail term of only 30 days. In McIntyre’s case, he was required to spend just one day in jail, with the remaining nine days being suspended.
According to McIntyre’s court record (J-0205-TR-2023000066), there were several issues related to compliance and payment. On August 15, there was a failure to pay compliance issue, a delinquent time payment contract, and a criminal case delinquent contract notice requested.
According to Rule 54 of the Arizona Supreme Court Rules for attorneys, attorneys can face disciplinary action if they are convicted of a misdemeanor involving a serious crime or any felony. The definition of a “serious crime” includes “moral turpitude.” Generally, DUIs are not considered crimes of moral turpitude unless there are aggravating factors present.
In California, the ethics rules are similar to those in Arizona. According to the State Bar, a first-offense DUI is typically not grounds for disciplinary action. However, if the breath test or blood test shows a very high blood-alcohol level, the State Bar may impose discipline. It is also important to note that even a low-level DUI conviction can be considered a reason to deny admission to the bar.
In Colorado, a real estate attorney violated ethics rules due to his significantly high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. The hearing board concluded that drunk driving, especially with such an elevated BAC, reflects a lack of regard for the well-being of the public and the legal system. Moreover, they expressed concerns about the attorney’s commitment to upholding the interests of others, as driving with a BAC as high as his on January 1, 2016, always poses a risk of causing harm to others.
Colorado attorney Dan Eldon Miller registered a BAC level of .254 percent after being arrested for a regular DUI charge. Eventually, he pleaded guilty and faced disciplinary action in the form of a public censure. The hearing board’s ruling emphasized the significance of such behavior, stating that the legal profession cannot overlook conduct that demonstrates such disregard for fundamental legal obligations and the well-being of the public. This case caught the attention of the American Bar Association, which plays a crucial role in formulating ethics rules that state bars then adopt.
Prosecutors often choose to resign following their arrest for DUI offenses. This was the case in Pennsylvania, where an assistant district attorney stepped down after being charged with a DUI. Similarly, in Oklahoma, a district attorney responsible for three counties resigned just a week after being arrested for a DUI.
According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, it was discovered that one out of three licensed attorneys have a drinking problem. In fact, the State Bar of California started taking action against attorneys who were considered “problem drinkers” as early as 1990. David Morgan, a journalist and publisher of the Cochise County Record, shared with The Sun Times that he often noticed the attorney’s Cadillac parked near the rear entrance of Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson.
McIntyre made it clear to the Cochise County Supervisors that he would not continue to serve as their counsel if they faced a lawsuit or prosecution as a result of their decision to conduct a hand count during the 2022 general election. He emphasized that they would be personally held responsible for any legal consequences.
McIntyre threatened to prosecute the Cochise County Supervisors after they voted not to certify the election, citing the irregularities that occurred.
In March of last year, former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested McIntyre to initiate a felony criminal investigation into the actions of then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Hobbs had effectively disabled the entire electronic system employed for gathering online signatures for political candidates, posing significant challenges for candidates striving to secure enough signatures within the stipulated time frame to qualify for the ballot. However, the investigation did not yield any conclusive outcomes.
The recent bar complaint against McIntyre claims that he breached attorney-client privilege by informing opposing attorneys about the county’s decision to manually count certain ballots in the 2022 election.
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