ARS 28-1383 Interpretation

In State ex rel. Romley v. Galati, 195 Ariz. 9, 985 P.2d 494 (1999), the defendant had been charged with aggravated DUI, among the elements of which is that the defendant twice previously had been convicted of DUI. A.R.S. 28-1383. The defendant had offered to stipulate to the two prior convictions, provided the jury would not hear about them. The state refused on the ground that the court could not preclude the jury from hearing evidence on those elements. The supreme court held that, "because the prior convictions to which the defendant agreed to stipulate constitute elements of the charged offense, he was not entitled to a bifurcated trial," 195 Ariz. 9, P 16, 985 P.2d at 497. The defendant was not entitled to have the fact of his prior convictions kept from the jury. See also State v. Newnom, 208 Ariz. 507, 95 P.3d 950, 2004 WL 1891497 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2004). In State ex rel. Romley v. Galati, 195 Ariz. 9, 985 P.2d 494 (1999), the Arizona Supreme Court analyzed A.R.S. 28-1383, the statute governing aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), which provides that a person is guilty of aggravated DUI if that person "within a period of sixty months commits a third or subsequent DUI." The Galati court held that the existence of the prior convictions was an element of aggravated DUI and that the jury must therefore hear the evidence on that element of the offense in order to decide a defendant's guilt. Id. PP10, 12. The court further held that the defendant was not entitled to a bifurcated trial even if he was willing to stipulate that he had the prior convictions. Id. P16. The Court held that the predecessor statute to A.R.S. 28-1383 "applies to persons whose out-of-state licenses have been suspended, cancelled, or revoked by the issuing state." State v. Kozlowski, 143 Ariz. 137, 139, 692 P.2d 316, 318 (App. 1984). In Kozlowski, the Court relied on the chapter's definition of "license," which "means any license . . . issued under the laws of this state or any other state pertaining to the licensing of persons to operate motor vehicles." Id. at 138, 692 P.2d at 317 (quoting 1983 Ariz. Sess. Laws, ch. 279, 4 (1st Reg. Sess.)). Like its predecessor, A.R.S. 28-1383 necessarily turns on the chapter's definition of "license." Because this definition remains unchanged, we decline to depart from our previous holding in Kozlowski and conclude that A.R.S. 28-1383 applies to out-of-state licenses that have been "suspended, canceled, revoked or refused." See A.R.S. 28-1301.6 (Supp. 2009).