By: Max Nicholas Hanson, Esq.
During the holiday season, many of us enjoy getting together with co-workers,
friends, and family for food and fun at parties and other holiday events
which, often, include the consumption of alcohol.
At Owens & Perkins, we would ask that everyone enjoy the holidays by
making sure to drink responsibility and never operate a car or other vehicle
after drinking. Utilize a designated driver, Uber, Lyft, or even take
the old fashioned route - call for a cab instead.
However, if you find yourself in a situation in which you have been stopped
by police and are suspected of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol,
here are some important considerations to keep in mind.
What are the penalties for a DUI in Arizona? Driving under the influence of alcohol in Arizona is a Class One Misdemeanor,
with a maximum possible sentence of six (6) months in jail, up to $2,500
in fines, not including surcharges or assessments, and up to three (3)
years of supervised probation as well as associated penalties from the
Motor Vehicles Department. The
minimum penalty for a first offense non-extreme DUI (i.e., having a Blood Alcohol
Content “BAC” of 0.08 to 0.149 within two hours of driving)
in Arizona is at least one day in jail, between $1,500 to 1,800 in fines,
surcharges, and assessments, a ninety (90) day suspension of your driver’s
license, and a requirement to install and utilize an interlock ignition
device, at your expense, on your car for at least six months to a year.
will require jail time with any conviction of a DUI and suspend your driver’s license even
if it is your first offense.
What are your rights if you are stopped for a DUI? You have certain inalienable Constitutional rights anytime you are confronted
by law enforcement. You have the right to remain silent – beyond
identifying yourself to officers with name, address, and driver’s
license, etc., you have the right to refuse to answer any other questions
and to invoke your right to remain silent. You also have the right to
decline to perform field sobriety or coordination tests as well as any
eye or penlight tests.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Refusal of the blood and/or breath testing will automatically cause you
to lose your driver’s license for up to a year, so you may need
to comply with the officer’s request in this regard. You also have
the right to consult with your attorney prior to any questioning by police
or any blood, breath, or urine testing, unless it would cause undue delay
in the testing. Finally, you have a right to request that a sample of
any blood, breath, or urine taken by law enforcement be preserved for
an independent test and evaluation and/or have your own independent test
done at your own expense.
What should I do if I have been stopped or charged with DUI? As set forth above, we would encourage you to exercise your Constitutional
rights if you are stopped on suspicion of DUI and would strongly suggest
and encourage you to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Based on
the severe ramifications to your life from a DUI, an experienced attorney
can make all the difference in navigating through the process and helping
you to obtain the best result possible.
If you or a loved one are arrested for a DUI this holiday season, or just
wish to obtain more information about DUIs, please call
OWENS & PERKINS at
(480) 630-2464 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.