What Are the Arizona DUI Laws?
Arizona is known for having some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. These laws were enacted to protect those traveling on the state’s roadways. Someone convicted of DUI in the state can face stiff fines, other financial penalties, jail time, and use of an ignition interlock device. Anyone facing DUI charges in Arizona needs to enlist the help of an attorney well versed in Arizona DUI laws. An attorney can help negotiate your sentencing and help you get your life back on track after your conviction because a DUI conviction can haunt you for years to come.
What Does Implied Consent Mean in Arizona?
If you are driving in Arizona, you should be aware that it is an implied consent state. That means that if you are operating a vehicle, you are willing to take a chemical test to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer who pulls you over can choose which kind of test to conduct, and you will be taken to the police station or to a testing facility for your test to be performed. Specific protocol and certain guidelines must be followed for the test results to be accurate and binding. If the officer fails to follow these guidelines, your test results might not be admissible in court.
Despite Arizona being an implied consent state, you can still decline the chemical test. That means you can refuse to take a blood test or a breathalyzer test. However, you should be aware of the consequences of declining such a test. You will face a minimum of a one-year suspension of your driver’s license for declining the test. However, if you do take the test and your blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent, you will only face a 30-day to 90-day suspension of your driving privileges. You do need to seriously consider the facts and the punishment for your choice regarding a chemical test.
Can I Refuse A Field Sobriety Test?
If you are pulled over by police because they believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will most likely be asked to perform a field sobriety test. As per Arizona DUI laws, you have a legal right to refuse this test. This test could imply that you are intoxicated when you are not. After all, you can face Arizona DUI charges even if your BAC is less than .08 but if the officer has reason to believe that you are drunk. You might have a lower BAC but fail the field sobriety test. That could come back to haunt you. Some people who are not drunk but who have specific medical problems cannot successfully complete a field sobriety test. As an example, someone who has a condition that affects balance or someone who has a back problem, or a missing limb might not be able to meet the field sobriety test requirements but might be able to successfully pass the BAC chemical test. For that reason, a criminal defense attorney recommends that you politely decline the field sobriety test.
What Should I Do If I Am Accused of Arizona DUI?
If you are accused of DUI in Arizona or if you have been charged with Arizona DUI, you should consult with an Arizona criminal defense attorney right away. With the help of a lawyer, you can ensure your rights are protected. If you are guilty and convicted, a lawyer can help you negotiate your sentence, so you aren’t spending the maximum time incarcerated. Sometimes an alternative sentence might be possible, so you can continue with your job and spend less time in jail.