State ex rel. McDougall v. Superior Court

In State ex rel. McDougall v. Superior Court, 191 Ariz. 182, 953 P.2d 926 (App. 1997), the defendant was arrested for a misdemeanor offense of driving under the influence although the officers never saw him drive. Id. at 186, 953 P.2d at 930. The arrest occurred after a citizen, who had seen defendant driving very erratically, offered to get into his car and drive for him. She then promptly drove to the police station where she reported his drinking and driving to two officers standing nearby. Id. at 184, 953 P.2d at 928. The officers saw the defendant staggering, smelled alcohol on him, and arrested him. Id. The Court reversed the trial court's ruling that the arrest was unlawful, noting that although "formerly, an officer could not effectuate an arrest for a misdemeanor without personally observing its occurrence, that rule has now been changed by a statute allowing arrests for misdemeanors based on probable cause. A.R.S. 13-3883(A)(4) (1989)." Id. at 186, 953 P.2d at 930. The Court additionally held that the officers had probable cause to arrest "based on their personal observations" of the defendant's apparent intoxication and the citizen's reports of his poor driving. Id.