As Phoenix DUI Attorneys, our goal is to get all charges dismissed, an acquittal at trial, or get your charges reduced to a level lesser than a DUI. However, this isn’t always possible. Nevertheless, your chances of acquittal and achieving success in your Arizona impaired driving case will be greater if you contact our Experienced Phoenix DUI Attorneys.
It is very important for you to familiarize yourself with all the issues that arise in a typical DUI case so you can most effectively participate in building your case and make educated choices. Therefore, communication is key. Plus, it’s best for you to communicate to your Phoenix DUI lawyer all the facts of the case to allow your best possible defense.
In Phoenix and throughout Arizona, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) refers to the act of driving a vehicle while intoxicated. This intoxication may be due to alcohol or drugs to an extent that makes the driver unable to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Additionally, it is not necessary to be visibly drunk or impaired to be subject to arrest on DUI charges. Whereas, a conviction can be obtained if the individual was caught driving with a breath alcohol content (or BAC) or blood alcohol level (or BAL) of .08 or more.
Regardless of how well a person can function or control their vehicle. They are still able to be charged with a crime if blood alcohol level is tested at .08% or higher. This is Arizona’s Per Se law, which states that it’s against Arizona law to drive with a BAC above .08%, regardless of the individual’s impairment level. Additionally, another consequence of a DUI arrest is that the DMV will be notified and authorized to take appropriate action regarding your driving privileges. Also, DMV involvement could result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
A DUI, also referred to as a DWI or Driving Under the Influence, is the criminal charge for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated. A DUI conviction can have negative consequences for your financial, personal, and professional life. It is important that you understand what a DUI arrest is like and what risks you are facing if you choose to get behind the wheel after even one drink.
Arizona has the strictest DUI laws in the United States. Being convicted of a DUI comes with serious consequences that will follow you for years to come. Having a DUI on your record can also affect your professional and social life. A DUI arrest can make it harder to get certain jobs, and losing your license will make commuting to work and visiting friends and family difficult. That being said, having an attorney can help you minimize the impact a DUI arrest has on your life. An attorney may be able to find technical issues in your case to get you acquitted, or negotiate a more favorable plea deal than you could on your own. You should, at the very least, consult with an attorney before entering your plea. You can go with a public defender, but many private attorneys offer free consultations so you can decide which option is best for you.
Firstly, you should do your best to remain calm and polite with the police officer. Being argumentative or belligerent will only be additional proof if you are intoxicated. You should not state how many drinks you have had if you think you may be above the legal limit.
Field sobriety tests are tests of coordination and balance that police officers may use before resorting to breath, blood, and urine tests. You may be required to stand on one foot, walk in a straight line, or stare into a light for a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
Before pulling you over, the police officer will be looking for signs of intoxication, like running through red lights and stop signs, failing to use your turn signal, weaving between lanes, and speeding. The police officer will then observe for signs of intoxication like red eyes, slurred speech, and the scent of alcohol. If the police officer suspects you of being intoxicated at this point, they will begin field sobriety testing. The next step would be breath testing. If your BAC indicates intoxication, you will be taken into custody and chemical tested (blood or urine).
You can refuse field sobriety tests without any consequences. However, it is important that you understand what is a field sobriety test and what is a chemical test so you don’t risk a one year administrative suspension of your driver’s license.
BAC is short for Blood Alcohol Content. The standard legal limit for a DUI is a BAC of .08. However, in Arizona, a police officer can use their discretion to determine whether a person is too intoxicated to drive for BACs between .04 and .079. The legal limit is .04 for certain commercial drivers. The severity of penalties for a DUI can be increased for higher BACs. If your BAC is .15 or higher, you will be charged with Extreme DUI. You will be charged with Super Extreme DUI if your BAC is .20 or higher. The baseline fines and jail time are increased for these offenses.
For the most part, breath tests are accurate in measuring a driver’s intoxication. A few extraordinary circumstances could affect the monitor’s reading, but the device should also be able to self-identify these issues. There may be radio waves present, particularly those caused by the police’s walkie talkies, that can affect the monitor. Some pre-existing conditions of the driver may also affect the BAC reading.
If you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, you can still face serious consequences. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will result in an automatic one-year administrative suspension of your driver’s license. This is because driving, and having a government-issued driver’s license, is considered a privilege with one of the costs being implied consent. Implied consent is the concept that by simply driving on the road, you are implicitly agreeing to BAC testing if a police officer has probable cause to suspect you of intoxication. You will have to attend an administrative hearing at the DUI to explain why you chose to refuse the sobriety test.
All three levels of DUI carry the possibility of a one year license suspension and the required use of an interlock device for one year. An interlock device requires you to blow into it to test your BAC each time you start your car. Interlock devices are not only inconvenient, but can be expensive.
The minimum fine for a DUI in Arizona is $3,000, and increases to $3,250 for an Extreme DUI, and $4,250 for a Super Extreme DUI. The judge may order a higher fine for aggravating circumstances, like previous DUI arrests and property damage. A standard DUI comes with a minimum 30 days in jail, and increases to 60 for an Extreme DUI and 90 for a Super Extreme DUI.
Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 45 days, at which point you may be eligible for a restricted license. Terms of the restricted license may include where the driver is allowed to go, like to work, medical appointments, and to their child’s school, or the times of day the person may drive.
Your CDL can be affected by a DUI received in either your commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle. However, if you receive a DUI in a commercial vehicle, it will be considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which is more heavily punished than a standard DUI. A first CDL DUI will result in a one year suspension of the CDL license, and a second DUI will result in a lifetime CDL suspension.
You will be required to obtain high-risk car insurance after a DUI conviction in Arizona. On average, Arizona drivers can expect a 52% increase in their car insurance fees when switching to high-risk insurance.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Phoenix DUI Attorney
Call our Phoenix DUI Office today and set up a confidential consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. Working with My Arizona Lawyers, you can assure peace of mind knowing that an elite team of top driving under the influence lawyers on your side. Contact us to learn more about the many defense options available. Also, get more information regarding working with our proven legal team by calling (480) 833-8000. Our Consultations are either in office or by phone. All consultations are free and with no obligation. We look forward to assisting you.