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Arizona Law Dean's Blood Test Clears Him of DUI Charges

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 28, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Lawrence Ponoroff, dean University of Arizona law school, might be popping a champagne bottle soon. After all, he needs to toast his victory: his May DUI charge was recently dismissed.

But Ponoroff should probably get a designated driver to escort him back home after his celebratory toast. He wouldn't want to run the risk of repeating the events that led to the DUI charge in the first place.

It all began when a Tucson police officer noticed that Ponoroff was speeding May 6.

The officer claimed that Ponoroff displayed signs of intoxication. His eyes were red, watery and bloodshot. There was a slight odor of alcohol wafting out of his car. He was also wearing his shirt inside-out and appeared lethargic.

Sounds suspicious right? The responding police officer certainly thought so. It didn't help Ponoroff's case that he told the deputy that he had a few glasses of wine with his dinner that night. That and he failed a Breathalyzer test.

Ponoroff was arrested. He then refused to voluntarily undergo a blood test.

Why did Ponoroff resist? Doesn't the Arizona law dean know that Arizona has an implied consent law? Drivers who refuse to consent to substance testing can face penalties and fines.

In the end, with most all Arizona DUI stops, resistance was futile. Deputies obtained a warrant and took a blood sample from the law dean. They went through all that trouble only to discover that his blood-alcohol level was actually below the legal limit.

The dean's response to the charges being dropped: he's considering filing a lawsuit for wrongful arrest, according to the Tucson Sentinel.

Not too surprising. Ponoroff's reaction seems typical of most lawyers. Either way, it is at least one small victory against the Arizona DUI machine that has snagged the likes of Diana Ross and Charles Barkley.

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