If you’re charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, you’ll be facing some of the harshest penalties in the nation. Once, you've been charged it is extremely important that you take the right steps to mount your defense. Having a knowledgable defense attorney that can lead you in the right direction and help you achieve the best possible outcome is essential. Reach out to Burges McCowan, Phoenix DUI Attorney for a free consultation on your case. In the meantime, learn more about the actions you should take once arrested and the different charges you can face.
3 Things to Do when You've been arrested for a DUI
1. Exercise your right to remain silent
Always treat police officers respectfully and politely, having your license, registration, and proof of insurance ready for them. However, make sure to keep the conversation short and not say anything that could be used against you in court.
2. Refuse to take roadside tests
Always follow the officer's instructions to exit the vehicle, but remember to respectfully decline any balance or breathalyzer tests. Read more about these tests here.
3. Ask to speak with your attorney
If you are arrested, make sure to ask to speak to an attorney before consenting to a blood draw or breathalyzer test. Your attorney will be able to determine the best course of action for you from there on out.
Types of DUI charges
DUI | ARS 28-1381
The government can accuse you of a DUI in two different ways: ARS 28-1381A1 & ARS 28-1381A2. The first, ARS 28-1381A1, is driving while "impaired to the slightest degree". This means that if you have any alcohol in your system, even just one sip, and it impairs your driving performance, you can be convicted of DUI. In this case, it doesn't matter how long ago you drank or the quantity, just that it impaired your driving.
The second, ARS 28-1381A2, is driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) above the legal limit. Today the BAC limit is 0.08. In order to double their chances of getting a conviction, the police will most likely be charging you with both. Having the right attorney represent you is crucial in defending yourself against these charges.
Extreme and Super Extreme DUI | ARS 28-1382
In addition to the already severe penalties Arizona has for DUIs, they increase those penalties if your BAC is above certain levels. You can be charged with ARS 28-1382A1, if your BAC is over 0.15. This increases the minimum mandatory jail time to 30 days. If your BAC is above 0.20, you can be charged with ARS 28-1382A2, which increases the mandatory minimum jail time to 45 days. Check out some of our DUI case successes here.
Aggravated/Felony DUI | ARS 28-1383
In Arizona, when a DUI is charged as a felony it is referred to as an Aggravated DUI. Being charged with an Aggravated DUI, you're looking at a minimum of 4 months in prison and in most cases losing your driver's license for at least 1 year. Having a felony conviction also means not being able to vote or possess a gun. If your license was suspended when you were arrested for the DUI, it can be considered an Aggravated DUI (ARS 28-1383A1). If you have at least 2 prior DUIs in the last 7 years , it can be considered Aggravated DUI (ARS 28-1383A2). Lastly, if you had a passenger under the age of 15 when you were arrested, it can be considered an Aggravated DUI (ARS 28-1383A3).
DUI Drugs | ARS 28-1381 A3
As we stated earlier, Arizona is known for their tough DUI laws. In the Grand Canyon state you can be charged with a DUI if you have drugs in your system, even if they are a prescription. Additionally, if the drug is illegal, the government doesn't even need to prove that you were impaired. As it turns put, medical marijuana is treated the same way. Even though the charge is based on drugs in your system, if you get convicted you have to face the same penalties as if you were involved in an alcohol-related DUI. This means attending alcohol counseling and installing a device in your car that requires you to take a breathalyzer test in order to turn the car on. Check out some of our DUI Drug case successes here.
With such a variety of penalties and charges you can face when arrested for a DUI, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. A knowledgable attorney can help you understand the charges you're facing and guide you through the process.