What If You Were Arrested for DUI but Not Drunk?

arrested for dui but not drunkIt is a Friday night and you and some friends from work got off a little early and decided to head out for a bite to eat. You all had a few beers with dinner, but nothing too much for you. You know you need to get home to your kids. You know better than to get behind the wheel after you have had too much to drink.

What you did not know was that one of your headlights was burnt out, something that did not matter when you drove to the restaurant in the daytime. Now it is dark out and you just drove right by a police officer.

The blue lights are scary at first, especially because you know you were driving just fine.

What if the officer suspects you are drunk?

Unfortunately, you are not left with many options if the officer asks you if you have been drinking. Even though you were pulled for a headlight, that all goes away in Arizona, a state with some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Being honest is your only route to take because the officer is going to ask you to step out of your vehicle.

The legal limit in Arizona for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08%. If an officer asks you to submit to a breathalyzer test and you refuse, that means your license will be suspended automatically for one year. At this point, so many things are going through your mind.

  1. If you take the test and blow over .08%, you will get arrested and charged with DUI.
  2. If you refuse, you can fight the charge in court, but you lose your license and you will still get arrested.

Regardless of how the traffic stop goes, you are going to need a qualified and experienced attorney to have your back to aggressively defend you.

The Penalties

As we said, Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. They have three levels of DUI and they all vary in severity of penalties. (Second offenses occur if you have had a DUI conviction within the past seven years)

Standard DUI (BAC above .08%)

  • 10 days jail time
  • $1,500 fine
  • 90 license suspension
  • Interlock device for 1 year
  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment program

*Second offense for standard DUI raises jail time to 90 days, the fee to $3,500, license suspension for 1 year, and adds 30 hours of community service.

Extreme DUI (BAC above .15%)

  • 30 days jail time
  • $2,780 fine
  • 90 license suspension
  • Interlock device for 1 year
  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment program

*Second offense for standard DUI raises jail time to 120 days, the fee to $3,740, license suspension for 1 year, and adds 30 hours of community service.

Super Extreme DUI (BAC above .20%)

  • 45 days jail time
  • $3,240 fine
  • 90 license suspension
  • Interlock device for 1 year
  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment program

*Second offense for standard DUI raises jail time to 180 days, the fee to $4,650, license suspension for 1 year, requires an interlock device for 2 years, and adds 30 months of community service.

What You Can Do Now

We know that getting arrested for a DUI is something that is incredibly difficult to deal with. The best way to get ahead of the charges and beat them is to immediately secure a skilled and competent attorney who understands the laws and how to get to the bottom of the charges.

There are ways to reduce the charges you have or even get them thrown out altogether, but relying on a public defender may not be in your best interest.

Click here to find out how to get your license back after a DUI conviction.