Arizona DUI Laws & DUI Defenses
Facing a DUI charge in Arizona can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. However, you are by no means alone. Here at the Law Office of Michael Alarid III, we are understanding of each of our clients' scenarios and stop at nothing to provide aggressive representation to ensure the most favorable outcome.
Let's look at the different categories of Driving Under the Influence charges.
Standard DUI / Regular DUI - ARS 28-1381(A)(1) & (A)(2)
In Arizona, a regular DUI charge is classified under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381 as an individual being impaired to the slightest degree by any amount of alcohol or drugs, or having a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) ranging from .08% to .149% within 2 hours of being pulled over by a police officer.
In Arizona, a regular DUI charge is classified under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381 as an individual having a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) ranging from .08% to .149% within 2 hours of being pulled over by a police officer
Even for a first-time regular DUI charge, the penalties and fines can be incredibly harsh. To begin, there is a minimum mandatory 10-days in jail (9 days can be suspended if alcohol screening is completed), a minimum of $1,480 in fines, your license suspended for a minimum of 90 days, an Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle for one year (may be eligible for only six months), and alcohol screening/follow up counseling. Then there may be other additional costs, such as jail costs, an increase in auto insurance, and vehicle impound to name a few.
Receiving a second or third Regular DUI conviction with a 7-year timespan is when the punishments can get very serious. You are now becoming a repeat offender.
With the second offense regular DUI charge, you could be looking at a minimum of 90 days in jail
With the second offense regular DUI charge, you could be looking at a minimum of 90 days in jail (30 consecutive days service with 60 days suspended after completing drug screening and treatment), a minimum of $3,500 in fines and surcharges, your license revoked for one year, an interlock device installed in your vehicle for one year after the revocation period, 30 days of community service, and alcohol screening/follow up counseling. All of which must be completed before reinstating your license.
A third DUI within a span of 7 years may be charged as a class 4 felony Aggravated DUI charge explained below.
Extreme DUI - ARS 28-1382(A)(1)
An Extreme DUI means that a person has a BAC of between .150% to .199% within 2 hours of being pulled over by an officer. For your first offense extreme DUI, the minimum mandatory penalty is 30 days in jail, fines and fees in excess of $2,500, a license suspension of 90 days, one year of an Ignition Interlock Device with no eligibility to get early release, and an alcohol screening/follow up counseling. There are other costs such as insurance rates drastically increase and so on.
For your first offense extreme DUI, the minimum mandatory penalty is 30 days in jail, fines and fees in excess of $2,500
If you are charged with a Second Extreme DUI within 7 years, the penalties you face increase even more. The minimum mandatory penalty is 120 days in jail, approximately $3,700 in fines, fees, and jail costs, your license is revoked for 1 year, you must install an Interlock Device for 18 months after your revocation, 30 hours of community service, and an alcohol screening/follow up counseling.
Super Extreme DUI - ARS 28-1382 (A)(2)
A super extreme DUI in the state of Arizona is charged if you have .20% or higher BAC within 2 hours of being pulled over by police. The minimum mandatory penalty for consequences for this particular type of DUI are punishable with a minimum of 45 days in jail, fines and fees in excess of $3,000, a license suspension of 90 days, 18 months of an Ignition Interlock Device with no eligibility to get early release, and an alcohol screening/follow up counseling. There are other costs such as insurance rates drastically increase and so on.
A Super Extreme DUI is a BAC of .20% or higher and a minimum mandatory penalty of 45 days in jail, fines and fees in excess of $3,000
If you are charged with a Second Super Extreme DUI within 7 years, the penalties you face increase even more. The minimum mandatory penalty is 180 days in jail, (which is also the maximum possible for a class 1 misdemeanor), approximately $4,700 in fines, fees, and jail costs, your license is revoked for 1 year, you must install an Interlock Device for 2 years after your revocation, 30 hours of community service, and an alcohol screening/follow up counseling.
DUI Drugs - Driving Under the Influence of Drugs ARS 28-1382 (A)(2)
ARS 28-1381(A)(3) states that a driver can be charged with a DUI for having any amount of any drug listed in ARS 13-2401 in their system, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and oxycodone to name a few. If the officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs, they may transport you to the local law enforcement station, where a urine screen and/or blood sample will be taken. Many of the officers in Arizona are trained as DRE's (Drug Recognition Experts.)
A first offense DUI for drugs carries a minimum mandatory 10 days jail,
DUI for drugs carries harsh penalties as well. A first offense DUI for drugs carries a minimum mandatory 10 days jail, 9 of which may be suspended upon drug counseling, around $2,000 in fines and fees, your license may be suspended for 90 days, and the ignition interlock may be waived at the judge's discretion.
With a drug-related DUI, it is critical to contact DUI defense attorney Michael Alarid III immediately to start working on your case. Your Phoenix DUI lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your innocence and potentially get your case thrown out.
Felony Aggravated DUI – ARS 28-1383
There are four ways to be charged with Aggravated DUI or Felony DUI: 1. You get charged with DUI while your license is suspended, restricted, or revoked; 2. You get charged with DUI while there is a child in the car under the age of 15; 3. You get charged with your 3rd DUI within 7 years; 4. You get charged with DUI while travelling the wrong way on a highway, meaning virtually any street.
The minimum mandatory penalty for a first offense Class 4 felony DUI is 4 months in prison, up to 10 years of probation
Each of the above DUI's are Class 4 felony charges except the kid in the car version which is a Class 6 felony. The minimum mandatory penalty for a first offense Class 4 felony DUI is 4 months in prison, up to 10 years of probation, approximately $4,700 in fines and fees, license revocation for one year, 2 years of the ignition interlock after the revocation, and an alcohol screening/follow up counseling.
If you are charged with a felony DUI, you will need help from a Phoenix DUI lawyer immediately. Because the penalties are so harsh, you need an attorney to fight to try and beat the case on a technicality or at least help lessen your sentence and minimize the amount incarceration you will be required to serve. Keep in mind that without the help of a DUI defense attorney, you can easily receive the maximum penalty by trying to represent yourself.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is listed under Arizona DUI Laws for individuals who were caught driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The device can test your BAC levels at the very start of the vehicle and in random 15-minute intervals.
If the device detects any amount of alcohol in your system, the engine of your vehicle will not start and will report the failed test. Failing an interlock test can lead to severe consequences to the point a judge may extend the ignition interlock requirement even longer.
Once the court orders you to install an ignition interlock device, you will need to contact your local licensing agency of this device. Once an appointment is made, you will then have to pay all monthly costs for the device as well as the installation fees. Your average ignition interlock device costs an average of $60-$90 per month.
Common Defenses Used in an Arizona DUI Case
1. No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop
The first area that could result in your case being dismissed is a challenge to the stop itself. If your attorney can prove the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place your lawyer can file a motion to dismiss all charges.
2. No Probable Cause to Arrest
The second area that could result in your case being dismissed is a challenge to the probable cause to arrest you. If your attorney can prove the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you in the first place your lawyer can file a motion to dismiss all charges. When a field sobriety test is given, the officer has a strict set of guidelines that they must go by while it is being conducted. If for some reason, they deviate from these guidelines, your attorney can help you challenge the probable cause to arrest which may result in dismissal of all charges.
3. Coerced Consent for Blood Draw
Another area that your attorney may get your case dismissed is a review of whether the officers coerced you into consenting to a blood draw by using threats or promises to get your consent.
4. Inaccurate Intoxilyzer BAC Levels
There are many ways to challenge the BAC results police obtained from breath through the intoxilyzer device. The intoxilyzer device has many ways an experienced attorney can challenged the accuracy of the results such as health conditions like GERD or acid reflux which may greatly impact the results, body/breath temperature, blood to breath partition ratio, and others. If you blew into an intoxilyzer you will need an experienced DUI attorney to help prove your innocence with the cops.
5. Inaccurate Blood Tests
There are multiple ways that can lead to inaccurate blood tests. To challenge the blood BAC results, a close review of the blood draw, the chain of custody of the blood, the conditions under which the blood was stored prior to testing, whether the analyst followed the proper procedures and protocols, while testing, and whether the instrument was working properly when your blood was tested are necessary to see if mistakes were made. An experienced DUI attorney who understands the science behind the blood testing is necessary to have a fighting chance in these cases.
How a DUI Defense Attorney Will Benefit Your Criminal Case
- Professional advice on how to prepare yourself mentally for all court proceedings and Arizona DUI laws
- Reduction of maximum sentencing
- Possibility of your criminal case being dismissed by the courts with the right Phoenix DUI attorney
- In most cases, your attorney will have prior cases against the prosecutor
- A DUI defense attorney can possibly have your DUI charge wiped from your record
- In the long run, an attorney can save you money on court fees and paperwork
If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, representing yourself could lead to much harsher penalties. This is because Arizona is well-known for having some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation.
By hiring DUI defense attorney Michael Alarid III, your chances of potential jail time and costly fines are significantly reduced, as opposed to representing yourself. Your attorney will be at your side throughout the entire process to fight your charges strategically and aggressively.
The extensive knowledge of Arizona DUI laws and effective defense tactics proven to reduce or even dismiss entire cases makes the Law Office of Michael Alarid III a great choice to protect your freedom. Call today (602) 818-3110 to schedule your free consultation.