Arizona Lawsuit to Stop Spanish DUI Program Tossed

By Mary Ann

A federal judge in Maricopa County Arizona threw out a lawsuit to abolish the county’s Spanish-language DUI courts. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas argued that the Spanish DUI programs were unconstitutional. Thomas claimed that defendants in a Spanish-language DUI program who violate the terms of their probation consistently get shorter jail sentences than defendants in the general population. In his opinion, the Judge found that Thomas had no right (‘standing’) to bring the suit because he was not a party to any action in a DUI court.

Thomas plans to appeal the issue to the US Supreme Court if necessary. A spokesman for Thomas said that “This was a technical ruling. It’s not a decision on whether race-based courts are legal. We object to it because it creates unequal courts and that is unfair to everyone.”

The DUI “courts” in question are not courts, but actually probation programs for defendants who have already been convicted of felony DUI and have spent four months in prison.  In DUI court, a judge and probation officers review the defendant’s performance in seeking treatment and complying with their probation.

The DUI courts are conducted in Spanish and English, with special provisions for Native Americans.

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One Response so far

What a dumb lawsuit. This Andrew Thomas idiot, probably with a highly inflated sense of himself, takes on an issue and starts a fight than not one person in 1,000 cares a dime about.
I’d much rather have potential drunk drivers given instructions and receive education– in whatever language, Spanish, English, Navajo, whatever– to help prevent further drunk-driving disasters, than pick some stupid English-only fight where it doesn’t belong. Andrew, you moron– Spanish has been used in Arizona for centuries before English came along, it’s there and it’s there to stay. Es la realided en este estado y en muchos otros.
Just chill, watch some hot Latinas on Spanish TV, and learn some Spanish yourself. It’s not hard to learn, and you might actually get some hot dates with Latina babes rather than pissing around wasting everybody’s time on a program that if anything should be available in more languages, not fewer.