DUI: DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE IN ARIZONA
It is against Arizona law for any person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug. You give consent to test for BAC or BADC when you apply for and receive an Arizona drivers license. BAC or BADC is Blood Alcohol Concentration or Drug Content. The Implied Consent Law means that if you hold an Arizona drivers license, you understand that if you are requested to submit to a BADC test, you must comply. A BADC test of breath, blood, or urine may measure the amount of alcohol or drugs present in your bloodstream. If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you are driving impaired or under the influence, they may subject you to a test.
ARIZONA DUI DEFINITIONS
The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) of Arizona defines levels of DUI by blood alcohol concentration.
DUI – A standard DUI offense is driving a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher (commercial vehicle .04% or higher), or if you are under the age of 21 years old and have any percentage BAC.
EXTREME DUI – A DUI offense with a BAC of .015% or more.
AGGRAVATED DUI – An offense where a DUI is committed when a drivers license suspended, cancelled, or revoked, it is a 3rd offense within 84 months, or a DUI is committed while driving with a child (passenger under the age of 15).
DUI PENALTIES – Each classification of DUI in Arizona has different penalties. The more severe DUI, the more severe the consequences. In some cases, depending on the discretion of the court and specific circumstances of the arrest, Arizona residents have been charged with DUI even if they have less than the defined BAC legal limits.
ARIZONA’S BEST DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY
When an arrest concerns to alcohol and drug related cases, you need the expertise of an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer and criminal defense law firm. My Arizona Lawyers are experts in Arizona DUI law and will fight for your rights. Our experienced attorneys will benefit your defense.
Seeking the legal representation from a competent DUI attorney could mean reduced or dismissed charges or sentencing. For example, a DUI charge has the possibility to be reduced to Reckless Driving. This is an example case where you need the best Arizona DUI defense attorney.
Fighting a DUI charge means you need a competent attorney who will examine the case. And, they will determine whether or not you can or should pursue a defense. In fact, there are several cases where charges were dropped. In order to reduce charges or seek a reduced sentence, get the legal representation of an attorney with a very strong understanding of the law and legal DUI case precedents.
Our law firm and DUI team will explore every detail in your case. We will also prepare a solid defense to come to the best possible resolution for you case and charges. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation and consultation with an attorney. You will be able to ask an expert DUI attorney about your case, and you will get honest advice and answers.
ARIZONA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Consider some factors when deciding if you want to make a call to seek the assistance of an attorney for a DUI arrest. Take advantage of the no hassle, no obligation, free consultation that we offer Arizona residents. Discover how knowledgeable the attorneys are with the AZ DUI law. It is also important that you choose a law firm that is familiar with the DUI laws.
Also, you need to choose a law firm that has considerable experience representing DUI cases in Arizona. Our Criminal Defense DUI attorneys dedicate themselves to defending DUI cases. We also have expertise in the DUI laws that are specific to Arizona. My AZ Lawyers Criminal Defense team communicates with their clients throughout the course of the case. Furthermore, My AZ Lawyers Criminal Defense team know the courts, they know the legal system, and they know the prosecution.
If you have been arrested for DUI of any level in Arizona, you are facing some serious charges and harsh penalties. An effective attorney will protect your rights and defend your charges. If you have a competent attorney representing your DUI charge, the chances of getting a criminal charge dismissed or lessened increase. Also, My AZ Lawyers provide affordable legal help for Arizona. The attorneys and staff that make up the Criminal Defense team dedicate themselves to winning, professional, and aggressive when it comes to defending your rights.
ARIZONA DUI LAWS
Driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more is breaking the law in Arizona. The law states a specific limitations; however, just because a BAC is measured under .08%, does not mean you cannot be arrested for and prosecuted for a DUI. It is unlawful for a person to be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of any drug, intoxicating liquor, vapor releasing substances containing a toxic substance if the person is impaired to the slightest degree. “Impaired to the slightest degree” are the key words in the Arizona statute.
If your BAC is .08 or higher and you are arrested for DUI, you surrender your drivers license to the officer immediately. A 30-90 day suspension and restriction of you driving privileges will be issued. This suspension turns into 12 months if the driver refuses to take the BAC test.
THE BAC BASICS
BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration. It is the measurement of alcohol in your system. It is illegal to drive in Arizona with a BAC of .08% or higher. There are many factors that affect BAC. Each person metabolizes or absorbs alcohol at different rates, so it is difficult to exactly determine how many alcoholic drinks equals a given BAC level. The following chart provides an estimation of BAC levels. Download the My AZ Lawyers app for a BAC calculator.
DUI ARREST IN ARIZONA
An Arizona police officer use field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine and assess whether a driver may be impaired. A DUI arrest requires probable cause, and a DUI stop requires reasonable suspicion. To pull a driver over, an officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is breaking a law. A DUI checkpoint is an exception to this rule. An officer can legally justify a DUI arrest by supporting probable cause with evidence.
There are frequent scenarios and common reasons that are on an officer’s radar and part of their determination of probable cause and suspicion for stopping a driver. Any traffic violation give police reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. A traffic accident or collision is another reason for the police to be involved. An officer will typically look for indications of intoxication when investing an accident. It is not uncommon for police to stop a driver because they are driving badly: swerving, driving extremely slow, or driving in the wrong directions. After pulling over a driver, police will look for evidence of impairment such as the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, different behaviors, or bloodshot eyes. Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests can prove an officer’s determination for probable cause.
Additionally, a police report is prepared by the police officer. This is a written record of your arrest and any evidence that needs to be documented. The police report record is shared with the prosecutor and court. This record can be made available to your attorney at the first hearing in court.
WHY YOU NEED TO TALK TO A DUI ATTORNEY
If there was lack of probable cause or there is no evidence to support reasonable suspicion, the court may throw out any evidence obtained after an illegal DUI stop. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause scenarios need to be thoroughly investigated and involve specific inquiries regarding the facts. This is why an attorney who knows the Arizona DUI law explicitly may be able to help you prepare a defense against a DUI charge. How does the Arizona law apply to your case? My AZ Lawyers can help you determine if you have a viable defense, and tell what your options may be.
A DUI charge may go to trial, and if so, you need My AZ Lawyers at your side. The protection needs to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If not, the jury should aquit. Our DUI staff and lawyers know what needs to be proven to get a DUI conviction, and trial or not, you are better off if you have the legal representation of an attorney.
COMMON DUI DEFENSES
There are some common DUI case defenses. You may have a case if you weren’t actually caught behind the wheel or weren’t actually driving/in physical control of the vehicle when you were arrested for DUI. Another defense is arguing that you were actually “impaired.” Often times the accuracy of the breathalyzer test is disputed or blood tests are challenged because of the manner in which the tests were given or other issues concerning the tests. Field sobriety test validity is also a justification by officers to make an arrest, and are oftentimes challenged.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
Drivers may be asked by an officer who suspects impairment to perform a field sobriety test. These tests are voluntary and developed to make determinations as to whether a driver may be under the influence. A driver’s performance on FSTs may give the legal justification or probable cause that an officer needs to make a DUI arrest. Some examples of a FST are the one leg stand, the horizontal gaze, and the walk and turn test.
You will lose your drivers license and the privilege to drive if you are stopped for DUI and a test shows your BAC to be 08% or higher. If you refuse to submit to tests after being arrested, you automatically lose your driving privilege for 12 months. Arizona has mandatory minimum penalties if you are convicted of driving under the influence. Court fines, jail time, and required interlock ignition device are imposed penalties. Your car insurance rates will likely increase after a DUI conviction.
A DUI first offense in Arizona includes jail time, fees, required ignition interlock device, and community service. If charged with DUI first offense, you will be required to undergo alcohol screening treatment and education. An ignition interlock device is equipment that is mandatory to install in any vehicle you operate. The device is a breath alcohol testing instrument which is connected to the ignition and power system of the vehicle. Before attempting to turn the ignition, the driver must blow into the device. The vehicle will not start if it detects alcohol above a certain level. The driver also blows into the device at random intervals while operating the vehicle.
When a person is convicted of having a BAC of .015% or higher, the penalties include jail time, fines, alcohol education and treatment classes, community service, and a required installation of an ignition interlock device.
Second and subsequent DUI and EXTREME DUI carry even more severe penalties.
When a person is charged with DUI when they are found guilty of operating a vehicle with a revoked, suspended, or canceled drivers license, has been arrested 3 times for DUI within 84 months, or makes a DUI offense while a passenger under the age of 15 is in the vehicle. Penalties for aggravated DUI includes a prison sentence, a revoked drivers license, required alcohol treatment and education, community service, and required certified ignition interlock device in vehicle.
SUPER EXTREME DUI
In Arizona, a DUI is Super Extreme if a driver’s BAC is .200 or higher. Super Extreme DUI is a misdemeanor, but carries a great jail term equivalent to those of most first time felonies. A convicted Super Extreme DUI individual faces an extended period of a required ignition interlock device. The individual needs to take care of the installation and maintenance of the device. Super extreme DUI offenders will serve an extended jail period. Also, there is a good chance that your name and/or picture will become the focus of a list of DUI offenders. There are increased penalties for a Super Extreme DUI.
DUI CASE EVALUATION
My AZ Lawyers understands that you have much to lose with a DUI conviction. A DUI could affect your family, your finances, your professional career, and your future. Call to speak with an attorney at My AZ Lawyers. An aggressive, knowledgeable attorney will take the information and specifics from your particular situation and examine evidence and analyze arrest details. Our best Arizona DUI attorneys that specialize in Driving under the Influence arrests in Arizona are familiar with the court proceedings and the law.
Our DUI law firm and staff is respected because they are skilled, experienced, and they give realistic options and honest advice. Because a DUI on your record can leave a serious impact on your life, you may need to consider discussing your case with a lawyer.
Lastly, allow our Arizona DUI lawyers to help you face your offense and represent your rights. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and let us help you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your charges. The DUI team at our law office can assess your case and build a defense for a reasonable and best possible desired outcome. Furthermore, we will help you prepare you for the court process, and help protect your reputation and your rights. My AZ Lawyers provides affordable, expert legal representation for Arizona.