Get the Best Defense Against DUI Charge With Our Phoenix DUI Attorney
Dealing with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) issues in Phoenix, Arizona, can be overwhelming if you are not legally well-versed. Whether you live here or are just visiting, knowing the ins and outs of DUI laws and how to protect yourself is crucial if you ever get caught in a DUI situation. In Phoenix, Arizona, where many residents engage in daily driving, the implications of a DUI charge can be profound.
However, our legal team at the Snader Law Group is at your service to provide guidance should you be confronted with such a predicament. We are dedicated to serving as your legal advocates, recognizing that DUI cases often entail intricate legal intricacies and evoke intense anxiety. We aim to ensure you are well informed about your legal entitlements and outline the possible options for protecting your interests. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know about DUI charges:
- DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is illegal when influenced by alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle.
- The implied consent law requires blood alcohol concentration or drug content testing (BADC) if arrested for DUI, involving blood, breath, urine, or bodily substance tests.
- Penalties for DUI include immediate license suspension, fines, alcohol or drug screening, ignition interlock devices, and community service.
- DUI offenses can lead to jail time, license revocation, and severe consequences.
- Field sobriety tests assess coordination and balance, while chemical tests measure alcohol or drug levels in your system.
- Consult with our Phoenix DUI lawyer for reliable DUI defenses, including challenging traffic stops, arguing ‘driving’ elements, impairment defenses, and test result accuracy.
- The timing of intoxication can be a defense, with the potential to discredit observations by the arresting officer.
Our lawyers are here to give you advice and support. We will work with you to formulate a plan to defend yourself if you face DUI charges.
What is DUI?
It is illegal for anyone influenced by alcohol or drugs to operate or have control of a vehicle.
When you apply for and receive the privilege to drive in Arizona, you automatically agree to undergo testing for blood alcohol concentration or drug content (referred to as BADC) if arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That is what we call the implied consent law.
If a law enforcement officer has a reason to suspect that you have been driving while under the influence, they will ask you to take a BADC test. That involves testing your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances to measure the levels of alcohol or drugs in your system.
What are the Penalties for DUI?
If you are stopped for DUI and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher (0.04% for commercial drivers), or if you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately. You must also complete an alcohol or drug screening before receiving a restricted license or having your license reinstated.
You can still be convicted of DUI even if your BAC is less than 0.08% if you are visibly impaired. If you are under 21, your license can be suspended for any amount of alcohol in your system.
If you refuse or fail a blood or breath test, your license will be suspended for 12 months (or 24 months for a second refusal within 84 months). You are also required to complete an alcohol or drug screening before getting a restricted license or have your license reinstated.
If you are convicted of a second or third DUI, your license will be revoked in addition to other criminal penalties.
If you have at least one aggravated DUI conviction and any other DUI convictions, your license will be revoked for three years.
The penalties are listed below:
- First offense: Ten consecutive days in jail, a fine of at least $1,250, alcohol screening/education/treatment, ignition interlock device, and community service
- Second and subsequent offenses: 90 days in jail, a fine of at least $3,000, license revoked for 12 months, alcohol screening/education/treatment, ignition interlock device, and community service
- Extreme DUI: (BAC of 0.15% or higher)
- First offense: 30 consecutive days in jail, a fine of at least $2,500, alcohol screening/education/treatment, ignition interlock device, and community service
- Second and subsequent offenses: 120 days in jail, a fine of at least $3,250, license revoked for 12 months, alcohol screening/education/treatment, ignition interlock device, and community service
- Aggravated DUI: (DUI while suspended or revoked, third DUI in 84 months, DUI with a minor in the car, DUI while under an ignition interlock device requirement)
- Prison for up to two years, license revoked for one year, alcohol screening/education/treatment, ignition interlock device, and community service
If you have been charged with DUI, it is crucial to consult with our experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer to discuss your case.
What are the Tests Administered?
There are two types of tests administered for DUI in Arizona:
- Field sobriety tests: These are simple tests that law enforcement officers can perform at the roadside to assess your coordination and balance. Some general field sobriety tests include:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test: This test checks for involuntary eye movements that are a sign of impairment.
- Walk-and-turn test: This test checks your ability to walk a straight line and turn around.
- One-leg stand test: This test checks your ability to balance on one leg.
- Chemical tests: These tests measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. The most common chemical test is the breathalyzer test, which measures your BAC. Other chemical tests include blood tests and urine tests.
You are not required to take any of these tests, but refusing to do so may result in an automatic license suspension. Remember also that field sobriety tests are not always reliable and can be inaccurate.
When are the Tests Administered?
Field sobriety tests are typically administered by law enforcement officers at the roadside immediately after you have been pulled over for suspicion of DUI. Chemical tests are administered at the police station after your arrest.
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. For example, if you cannot safely perform field sobriety tests at the roadside, the officer may choose to arrest you and take you to the police station for chemical testing. If you refuse the field sobriety test, the officer may also detain you and take you to the police station for chemical testing.
What are the Common DUI Defenses?
The best DUI defenses usually fall into one of the following categories:
Illegal traffic stops
If the police officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, the traffic stop was illegal, and any evidence obtained from the stop (such as your BAC results) cannot be used against you in court.
Arguing you weren’t ‘driving’
In a few states, the prosecution must prove you were driving the vehicle to get a DUI conviction. In other states, the prosecution needs to prove that you were in actual physical control of the vehicle, which means you were in a position where you could easily drive the car in motion.
Most DUI defenses focus on the impairment element of the crime. That could involve getting evidence of impairment thrown out, discrediting the accuracy of alcohol and drug test results, attacking the prosecution’s evidence of actual impairment, or disputing the timing of your impairment about when the driving occurred.
- Getting test results thrown out. Blood and breath tests are considered searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment. So, if the police officer violated your constitutional rights in obtaining a blood or breath sample, the results will not be admissible in court.
- Showing alcohol or drug test results are inaccurate. Chemical tests are conducted with various equipment and incorporate scientific calculations to produce results. Prosecutors generally must prove the procedures and equipment used for testing are reliable.
- The ‘It Just Looked Like I Was Drunk’ Defense. If chemical test results are unavailable, the prosecutor will have to prove actual impairment—that you were unsafe to operate a vehicle. Prosecutors often attempt to prove impairment by having the arresting officer testify in court. A good Phoenix criminal defense lawyer might be able to discredit the officer’s observations in various ways.
- Defense Related to Timing of Intoxication. If there is a long delay between when you were driving and when the blood alcohol test occurs, it is sometimes possible to use the rising-blood-alcohol defense. With this defense, you are arguing that although your BAC was above the legal limit when the testing occurred, your BAC was in the process of rising and was below the legal limit at the time of operation.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix DUI Lawyer?
DUI laws can be confusing, and they are different in each state. Our Phoenix DUI attorney knows these laws inside and out, ensuring your rights are protected and building a solid defense tailored to your case.
If you get convicted of a DUI, the penalties can be severe—hefty fines, losing your driver’s license, or even jail time. However, our skilled lawyer can often find ways to reduce these penalties or even have the charges dropped altogether.
What about all the required evidence, like breathalyzer or sobriety tests? Our Phoenix DUI attorneys can dig into it and spot any mistakes or errors that could work in your favor. Maybe the tests were done incorrectly, or your rights were violated.
Lastly, a DUI case can be a confusing journey with many steps. Our Phoenix DUI lawyers are there to guide you, explain everything, help you make decisions, and ensure you do not miss any crucial deadlines.
Call our Phoenix DUI Attorneys Now!
If you ever find yourself in a tough spot with a DUI charge in Phoenix, you do not have to face it alone. We discussed how complicated it can be, from the laws and penalties to finding the right lawyer.
Snader Law Group is here to stand by your side. With a proven track record of successfully defending DUI cases in Phoenix, our dedicated team of attorneys has the knowledge and skills to protect your rights and help you secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Take the first step in protecting your future by calling our law firm for a free consultation. During this consultation, you can discuss your situation, ask questions, and gain valuable insights into your legal options. Your rights matter, and Snader Law Group is here to ensure they are upheld.
We also handle other legal concerns, like family law, domestic violence, and violent crimes. Whatever legal challenge you face, we will provide the support and legal representation you need to protect your future. Call Snader Law Group today at (602) 825-3031, and let us be your trusted legal allies.