Looking for Information about Arizona DUIs? Go to My Comprehensive Arizona DUI Information Guide with facts about how DUIs are handled in many individual courts, or to the information below.
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When you are charged with a DUI in Arizona, it is critical that you have an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney defending your license, your rights and your freedom. Arizona’s DUI laws are some of the harshest in the country, and taking a plea deal or pleading guilty before talking to a lawyer about your rights can be a huge mistake. I also understand that hiring the right lawyer for you can be a difficult decision. I want to help you gather the Arizona DUI Information you need to make a good decision and then work with you to protect your license, freedom and future.
DUI – Basic Definition
There are two main elements needed in Arizona to prove a DUI case against a driver:
Driving or Actual Physical Control of the Car or other Vehicle
The first element may seem very straightforward, but it can be complex in some DUI cases. This first element is met if someone testifies that they observed the defendant driving. If there is no evidence that the defendant was driving then the person can be in considered to be in “Actual Physical Control” of a vehicle. The Arizona Supreme Court has described Actual Physical Control as, a person is in actual physical control of the vehicle if the totality of the circumstances show that the person’s current or imminent control of a vehicle, while impaired, presented a real danger to himself or others at the time alleged. The Supreme Court also said many factors can be considered including, factors whether the vehicle was running, whether the ignition was on, where the vehicle was stopped and whether the driver had voluntarily pulled off the road. It is ultimately up to a jury to decide if a person is in Actual Physical Control.
Impairment (which has sub-categories based on severity)
In addition to driving or being in actual physical control of the car, the driver must also be impaired. The definition of impairment can be fairly wide.
Impairment to the Slightest Degree
A person is considered to be impaired if Alcohol or Drugs or any combination thereof impairs their normal mental or physical faculties to the slightest degree. Driving Under the Influence does not require any given alcohol or drug level and someone can be impaired at an alcohol level of less than the legal limit of .08%.
A driver can also be guilty of Driving Under the Influence even though they are not impaired to the slightest degree. A driver can be guilty of it can be proven that their alcohol level was .08% or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control, or if they have a controlled substance in their body and are not using the substance pursuant to a valid medical prescription.
While you certainly can be charged with a DUI in Arizona if your BAC is UNDER 0.08, the 0.08 threshold is important because if you test at or above 0.08% you need not be showing any visual signs of intoxication or impairment to be charged with a DUI.
If you have been arrested for DUI, don’t wait another day to get the answers and guidance you need. Facing DUI charges without an attorney is difficult, and you have a much better chance at a better outcome with an experienced DUI attorney on your side. I have been representing people charged with crimes and DUI for over 43 years, and offer a free consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call or email me right now.