Arizona DUI Procedure

What is the Procedure after I Get a DUI in Phoenix AZ?

DUI crimes are prosecuted aggressively in Arizona. Finding self in the arms of the law for a DUI in Phoenix AZ is not a pleasant process. If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence in Phoenix AZ, it is significant for you to have a better understanding of the DUI process. Ideally, being in the know zone and adhering to the appropriate procedure of the DUI process can exceedingly benefit your case. The law firm of Arizona Lawyers has handled hundreds, if not, thousands of DUI’s in Arizona with amazing results. You can be arrested for DUI if you are under the influence while behind the wheel, when your blood alcohol content is above the recommended level upon measuring, or when a drug listed as 13-3401 is found in your system.

The DUI Stop

A DUI starts when an enforcement officer instructs you to pull over due to driving under the influence suspicion. However, before instructing you to pull over, an officer must have a legitimate reason, and they must communicate the reason to you. The officer starts by making inquiries in order to establish the need to open a DUI investigation. Usually, the first inquiry is self-incriminating, and the officer will ask you questions whose answers are self-incriminating. For example, an officer in Arizona will ask you whether you have been drinking that night, or ask you where you are coming from hoping that you will say a bar. In this scenario, you have the right to remain silent, in other words, invoke your 5th amendment.


If still in doubt, an officer can decide to conduct a field sobriety test (FST). There are various types of FST in Arizona, three of them are the most common, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, standing on one leg, and the walk-turn test. You have the right to decline the FST, in fact, Supervising Attorney, John W. Blischak recommends NEVER to attempt taking any type of FTS. However, if you agree, you can be released upon completing at least one of the field sobriety tests. The officer can opt to use your physical appearance such as acting drowsy, acting impaired, or a smell of alcohol and other drugs as a probable cause for opening a DUI. In such a case, you have no option, and there is nothing you can do. While in this scenario, remain silent and refrain from confirming anything to the officer. This move helps to prevent self-incrimination. The officer can also try to obtain a probable cause for opening a DUI case by asking you to take a portable Breathalyzer test (PBT). In Arizona, you have the right to decline the PBT.

Responding to a DUI Stop

After a DUI stop, it is advisable that you remain calm and observe courtesy. It is not recommended to try to bargain your way out of the situation. Additionally, during a DUI stop, respect is paramount, and it is essential to request a space to speak to an attorney. At this point, clients are able to call Arizona Lawyers for free at 602-999-1951, even though the request might be turned down by the officer.

DUI Arrest

If the officer gathers sufficient evidence that you are committing a DUI crime, the officer will temporarily arrest you and obtain a blood test, a urine analysis (UA), or make you blow in to an Intoxilizer 8000. Refusal to take the test results in automatic suspension of your driving license for one year as compared to a 90-day suspension upon compliance. If the officer has enough probable cause and you still refuse to take the tests, they can easily obtain a search warrant, and you will be required to take the tests by force. It is highly recommended to comply and take the tests. While in Arizona’s police custody, the officer will continue to ask you self-incriminating questions, for example, how many drinks you had, did you rest, did you take a meal while drinking, and much more. These questions show the reasons for being reckless while driving and results in more incrimination of self. The officers will usually read to you the Miranda rights as a procedure before they ask you additional incriminating questions. If the tests indicate that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .149 or below, no restrictions are placed on you, and a sober individual can come over and pick you up. However, if your BAC is .15 and above, a 30-day restriction is placed on your vehicle. Arizona’s motor vehicle department (MVD) is informed about the arrest, and the department immediately initiates the license suspension process.

Scheduling an MVD Hearing

In Arizona an MVD hearing is an informal hearing without a jury where potential suspension of a driving license is discussed in detail. An MVD hearing is scheduled after a license is suspended. You have fifteen days to request a license hearing with MVD. MVD strictly deals with the rights of an individual to drive as opposed to criminal hearing. Failure to request the hearing within the given period will result in automatic suspension of your license. However, you can continue using the temporary driving license issued after a DUI arrest. This temporary license is valid until the confiscated license is permanently suspended or secured after an MVD hearing. The final decision regarding your driving privileges is made during an MVD hearing. In an MVD hearing, the accuracy of the test results and the validity of the officer’s reasons to pull you over are discussed under the Administrative Per Se Hearing. Implied Consent Hearing discusses whether you were actually in control of the vehicle during the arrest and whether you refused to take the required tests. Another hearing under MVD is the discussion of whether a license ought to be suspended based on your previous history of traffic violations. When an MVD hearing decides to suspend your license, you are required to promptly surrender your driving license and other permits related to driving which are acknowledged by Arizona Laws.

The Criminal Hearings

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense in Phoenix Arizona, and it can be added in your criminal record. Criminal hearings for DUI arrests in Phoenix Arizona are conducted in Arizona’s Municipal Courts, Arizona’s Justice courts, or if accused for Felony aggravated DUI, then, all hearings will be conducted in the Superior Court of Arizona. It is not advisable to proceed to a court hearing without the guidance of an experienced attorney. During a criminal hearing, the charges are read and explained to you in a detailed manner after which you will be asked to plead. You can plead guilty or not guilty, or in other criminal hearings, you may be offered deals where you will be required to plead guilty and receive a lighter sentence or successful completion of probation. However, during a criminal hearing, you might opt to hire Phoenix DUI lawyers, such as Arizona Lawyers, and you can call us for a consultation at 602-999-1951. Supervising Attorney John W. Blischak has been practicing for over 38 years; Mr. Blischak was also a former Deputy Maricopa County Prosecutor for Maricopa County, and also a former Federal Agent.

By working with an experienced DUI Arizona criminal defense attorney, you can increase your chance of the charges being dismissed or reduced. You also have a better chance of mitigating the potential damage of a guilty verdict.

Call us today to schedule your confidential case consultation with an Arizona DUI defense lawyer.