Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is dead wrong about the state's inability to prosecute criminal speeders using photo enforcement evidence, says State Attorney General Terry Goddard.
In an official memo to Roger Vanderpool, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Goddard explains that "Mr. Thomas' conclusions do not appear to be supportable as a matter of law."
Thomas believes that since the statewide speed camera system was restricted from being used to apply penalty points on driver's licenses, thus preventing any suspension of driving privileges, the law must not have intended to use photo enforcement for even more serious penalties, like a criminal charge.
Goddard says that's not so, and lists several legal arguments he says allow motorists zooming by cameras at 100 mph or more can, indeed, face criminal punishment. Look for Thomas' response to Goddard following a planned news conference at 4 p.m.
Goddard, a Democrat, must be thrilled about this chance to diss the Republican Thomas, who, along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has been engaged in a questionable investigation of the attorney general.
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On the other hand, this is bad news for opponents of photo enforcement, since Goddard's opinion may help solidify the system's use by drawing attention to the worst drivers the cameras help nab.