Are you looking for a Tempe, AZ DUI Lawyer? In Arizona there are numerous people that have decided to not drink and drive, and plenty of others have decided to simply never drink, period. While these are some fantastic ways to avoid ever dealing with the issue of a DUI, there are other ways you can get a DUI in this state besides drinking alcohol and driving. Regardless, if your DUI is from alcohol or another substance, we suggest seeking out a qualified and experienced attorney.
The majority of DUI cases in our state typically start in a similar fashion. Law enforcement will pull over a driver for one violation (stop sign violation, weaving, speeding, broken tail light, etc). However, these types of simple traffic stops can quickly advance to an investigation when the officer involved sees a visual behavior that draws him to the conclusion that the driver is likely to be impaired through alcohol or other substances, both legal and illegal.
In Arizona you can legally drink and drive. That is, unless the alcohol that you’ve consumed is impairing your driving ability, or you’re above the .08 legal limit for blood alcohol concentration. Similarly, drugs that have been prescribed to you legally aren’t against the law unless it is impairing your driving ability.
Penalties in Arizona
The penalties involved for someone convicted of impaired driving in Arizona are tough. There’s a serious impact on the life of a loved one or your own if you operate a motor vehicle while either intoxicated (known as a DWI) or under the influence (known as a DUI).
For those who are a first time offender the consequences of a conviction include a minimum of 24 hours of jail time. 2nd and 3rd offenses may land you with a significant amount of time in jail or prison. Some of the other criminal penalties with a DUI or DWI conviction vary from community service and traffic survival school, to counseling, to fines and significant jail time based on several various circumstances. These circumstances include:
- What was the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC)?
- Is there a history of previous DUI/DWI violations?
- Was there was a child in the vehicle at the time of the DUI/DWI violation?
- Was the driver was under the legal drinking age at the time of the DUI/DWI violation?
- Did the DUI/DWI violation occur simultaneously with another dangerous moving violation, such as reckless driving?
- Was impairment caused by prescription drugs or an illegal substance?
- Did the DUI/DWI violation involve a car accident in which property damage occurred or in which another person was injured or killed?
- Was the driver operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI/DWI?
In these types of circumstances it is very important to have an understanding of the law and your rights, and to know what your legal options are if you are suspected of a DWI or a DUI.
What Should You Do if Stopped?
You of course will want to cooperate with law enforcement, but it is also important that you don’t waive your rights unintentionally. Always be aware that anything you say can, and likely will, be used against you. If you are asked provide your registration, proof of insurance, and your license. However, after that it may just be in your favor to decline to answer any additional questions they may have for you.
It is vital that you know that you don’t have to tell an officer how many drinks you’ve had. You also do not have to submit yourself to any roadside tests. In Arizona you can refuse a field sobriety test with no consequence. These are simply designed to help an officer to find probable cause for “real” testing.
ALWAYS ask to speak with a lawyer before you submit to a chemical test. If they request it you should submit to a test of your breath, blood, and other bodily substances. In Arizona the law permits testing, and refusing to submit leads to an automatic suspension of your license for 1 year without any chance for a restricted license (if this is your first offense).
Be Sure to Protect Your Rights! Anything you say can, and likely will, be used against you.
Remember, it is your right to insist on speaking with an attorney. Simply asking for a lawyer doesn’t hurt your case in court whatsoever. Qualified and experienced attorneys can help to guide you in your responses to policy questions and requests, and if charged can help you figure out if you have a valid defense to your DUI or DWI charge. The right attorney will negotiate aggressively in your favor even when there is no valid defense, and will work to get you a plea agreement with less severe penalties.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice please feel free to contact us at (480) 461-5300. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.
Udall Shumway PLC
1138 N Alma School Rd Suite 101
Mesa, AZ 85201