Driving Under the Influence

A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(1); A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(2); A.R.S. §28-1382(A)(1); A.R.S. §28-1382(A)(2); A.R.S. §28-1383

What is Driving Under the Influence or a DUI?

A DUI means that you are driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or a vapor releasing substance. The most common DUI arrest is for driving with an alcohol concentration that is above the legal limit of 0.08. Since Arizona is a zero tolerance state, you can be arrested for an alcohol related DUI even if you are under the legal limit.

In Arizona, there are five different types of DUIs related to alcohol:

  1. Impaired to the Slightest
  2. Standard DUI
  3. Extreme DUI
  4. Super Extreme DUI
  5. Aggravated DUI

Impaired to the Slightest is the DUI that represents Arizona’s policy of zero tolerance. Under this law, A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(1), you can be arrested just based upon the officer’s observations of your driving, without regard to your actual alcohol concentration. In other words, unlike the other DUI offenses, there is no minimum alcohol level that the prosecutor needs to prove. Instead of relying upon the legal presumption that you are under the influence, evidenced by the breath or blood test, the Maricopa County prosecutor will highlight your bad driving and poor performance on the field sobriety tests.

The Impaired to the Slightest degree charge is usually accompanied by other DUI charges relating to alcohol or drugs, and is rarely charged by itself. This is because it is not an easy charge for the prosecution to prove, especially if your blood alcohol level was tested and equaled less than 0.05. Under A.R.S. §28-1381(G)(1), there is a presumption that a person is not under the influence at .05% or less. Therefore, in this case, the prosecution would have to present evidence to rebut this legal presumption.

A Standard DUI, charged under A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(2), means that your blood alcohol level was at least 0.08, which is the legal limit. The law says that if a driver has .08% or more alcohol concentration, it may be presumed he was under the influence. It does not matter if you can prove that the alcohol did not actually impair your driving. Unlike the Impaired to the Slightest DUI, the prosecutor only has to prove that you had a specific alcohol level- through a breath or blood test- within 2 hours of driving.

An Extreme DUI, found under A.R.S. §28-1382(A)(1), means that your blood alcohol level is between 0.15 and 0.20, and the Super Extreme DUI, found under A.R.S. §28-1382(A)(2), means that your blood alcohol content is .20 or more. These DUIs are similar to the Standard DUI in that they all find strict criminal liability merely based on the reading of a breath or blood test; however, the Extreme and Super Extreme DUIs carry harsher penalties.

An Aggravated DUI, found under A.R.S. §28-1383, will be charged by the Maricopa County District Attorney if special circumstances are present, such as the following: (1) your license is suspended, revoked, cancelled or refused; (2) this DUI is your 3rd offense within 84 months; (3) you were driving with a child under the age of 15 in the car, and/or (4) you were required to drive with the Ignition Interlock Device. Unlike the other DUIs mentioned above, this is the only one that can be charged as a felony.

What are the Consequences?

Since Arizona is a zero tolerance state, Arizona has tough penalties for a DUI offenders. The majority of DUIs are all misdemeanors; yet, the penalties differ between each one. The consequences that you face depend on the amount of alcohol found in your blood, and whether there were any aggravating circumstances present.

The penalties for Impaired to the Slightest DUI and the Standard DUI are at least:10 days in jail, $2,000 in fines, an interlock ignition device installed in your car for six months, and possibly a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (“MADD”) program or a community service program.

With regards to the Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, the judge will order you to serve at least 45 days in jail, pay $7,500 in fines, install an interlock ignition device for eighteen months, undergo alcohol screening, and attend MADD and/or community service.

Finally, an Aggravated DUI, which is a felony, will cost you four months in prison. However, if you are a first time aggravated DUI offender, you will not have to go to prison. Rather, the prosecutor can reduce your charge to what is known as a DUI Endangerment Combo, which means you will be charged with a felony called Endangerment and a misdemeanor DUI.

How We Can Help You

Of all the cases that go to trial, DUIs are the most likely. Therefore, you need a Phoenix DUI Lawyer who is comfortable with taking your case to trial, and of course knows how to win. Unfortunately, not all defense attorneys have trial experience, especially if they were not a former prosecutor or public defender. Due to Lavy Law’s experience as a former prosecutor, she tried DUIs with almost every kind of defense and won 100% of them.

Why are DUI cases most likely to go trial? This is because they are filled with many different variables that can affect the truth of your impairment and the level of your alcohol content. For example, one variable that can be challenged is the police officer’s observations of your driving and your performance on the field sobriety tests. Another variable is the scientific evidence itself – the blood and breath tests. Although they may sound impressive, just like all technology, such instruments are subject to error and must be operated correctly.

Lavy Law’s Phoenix DUI Lawyer will prepare for your DUI case by first obtaining and reviewing all police reports and officer’s notes, photographs, DVDs and video files, physical evidence, accident reports, event data recorder, restitution claims, victim history reports, recorded statements, GPS data, dashcam footage, audio recordings and more.

After this discovery phase, Lavy Law’s Phoenix DUI Lawyer will try to negotiate with the Maricopa County District Attorney assigned to your case by highlighting the mitigating circumstances in your situation, as well as pointing out the weaknesses in the case. If you are an immigrant or green card holder, Lavy Law’s Phoenix Immigration Lawyer will try to obtain an immigration safe plea for you by presenting a legal memorandum to the prosecutor that outlines how the immigration laws affect you. Finally, if the District Attorney cannot give you a good offer, we will take the case to trial.

We urge you to read our Recent Cases to see that we have won a case just like yours.

If are you being accused of a driving under the influence offense, Contact Us for a free consultation by a Phoenix DUI Lawyer.

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