Arizona law takes driving under the influence seriously. Drunk drivers could find themselves in jail, paying steep fines, and stripped of their driving privileges. On top of all that, a DUI conviction leaves drivers with a criminal record, making it hard for offenders to find employment or housing.
If you face a DUI charge, you should understand Arizona DUI laws. The more you know about your charges, the better you’ll navigate the legal process ahead of you. Also, just because you received a charge doesn’t mean you will automatically get a conviction. You could hire an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney to help you build a defense. Read on to learn more about the state’s DUI laws.
You could face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 while operating a vehicle. Most people understand this aspect of the law.
However, you could also receive a DUI charge under other circumstances, including:
Arizona law says that these violations could result in a class 1 misdemeanor. However, you may face more enhanced charges and penalties if you have a record of DUI convictions, have an especially high BAC, or commit other criminal violations.
You could get charged with a DUI if you violate any of the above BAC limits within two hours of driving. So, if you receive a blood test after a DUI arrest within two hours of being behind the wheel, you could face charges if your test results confirm your impairment or an illegal BAC.
Not all DUI charges are the same. Instead, DUIs fall into three classes:
You could also receive enhanced charges and penalties in other situations, including:
As noted by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), you could face the following fines and penalties if you receive a DUI conviction:
You may face many other penalties for a DUI, including a license suspension, probation, points on your license, and mandatory substance abuse education. Again, your specific penalties typically depend on the severity of your offense.
If you face a license suspension, you can request an administrative hearing to review the suspension. However, you have a limited window to make this request, so you should act promptly.
Drivers who commit more than one DUI often see the harshest consequences. One reason for this is that the state wants to reduce the likelihood that drivers will drive drunk again in the future.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety notes that repeat DUI offenders may face several unique consequences to deter them from future DUI offenses. Some of these approaches may provide alternatives to jail time for certain offenders.
They could include:
If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, you may not know what steps to take next. After all, the legal process is often intimidating. However, know that you could have options to build a defense.
Because of the serious penalties related to these crimes, you might want to consider hiring an attorney. A DUI lawyer understands the laws regarding drunk driving offenses in the state, and they know how to build a case in your defense. They could comb through the existing evidence against you and refute the prosecutor’s claims.
Some common defenses in DUI cases include:
A lawyer could take other approaches to a DUI defense beyond those listed above and could work to show that you do not deserve a conviction.
During a criminal case, your DUI lawyer can:
A lawyer can also handle many other tasks related to your case, including the day-to-day business related to paperwork, communications with other parties, document management, and other matters.
Getting a DUI is often overwhelming, and the idea of receiving a DUI charge is just as alarming. Consider these answers to some common DUI-related questions:
As the Arizona Department of Public Safety points out, drinking alcohol quickly leads to impairment. After a 120-pound person drinks just two 5-ounce glasses of wine or 12-ounce glasses of beer, they could have an elevated BAC to the point that an officer may see them as possibly impaired.
Unfortunately, alcohol can also impair your decision-making, so drinking can also make it harder to know when you shouldn’t get behind the wheel.
Yes, you could get a DUI if you drive under the influence of drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, or other illegal substances. This also includes vaping devices or other vapor-releasing products that cause intoxication.
You could also receive charges for driving under the influence of controlled substances. Drivers should know that impairment by prescription medication may still constitute impairment and can lead to a DUI charge. Be careful with any over-the-counter or prescription medicines that could make you unfit to drive. Some of these drugs cause drowsiness, slowed movement, blurred vision, and other issues.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some medications that can affect your driving include:
You may need to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle after a DUI conviction, and if you do, you must only drive in a vehicle with the device installed. If you fail to do so, you could see your original timeframe for using the device extended by one year.
Even if you don’t own the vehicle that you drive, you need to have the device installed if you intend to get behind the wheel. For instance, if you drive your partner’s car, you need to install an interlock device on their vehicle.
If a drunk driver caused your accident, they could bear liability for your injuries and damages. While the criminal case may punish the driver, you can also bring a separate civil case to seek compensation from that party. Through a claim or civil lawsuit, you could recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other accident-related losses.
When you work with an Phoenix defense attorney experienced with Arizona DUI Laws, he or she might help by doing the following things:
Working with an experienced defense attorney might make it much likelier that you will obtain a favorable outcome in your case. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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