Holidays and DUIs: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Others

For many of us, the holidays are a whirlwind of parties and other festive gatherings with families, friends, and coworkers. Consequently, the holiday season often sees a dramatic increase in DUIs issued by law enforcement. Drinking and driving is never a good idea, and the consequences for doing so can be quite severe: you can lose your driver’s license, go to jail, or someone can lose their life.

DUI is defined as being under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs. It does not matter whether the drugs are illegal, prescribed, or over-the-counter. If you are intoxicated under their influence while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, you can be arrested for and charged with DUI.

If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI and then arrests you, it is important to know that they are legally permitted to test your blood alcohol content (BAC). This is because when you apply for and receive your Arizona driver’s license, you are assumed to have given your implied consent to be tested whenever you drive for your BAC, or for the percentage of alcohol in your breath or urine.

What BAC or level of drugs in your body is considered enough to render you “intoxicated” depends on your age. If your BAC is 0.08 or higher, or 0.04 if you are driving with a commercial license, you are considered to be legally intoxicated no matter how old you are. However, if you are under 21 years of age, your license may be suspended if there is any alcohol in your system at all, due to Arizona’s “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking.

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI and refuse to submit to a DUI test, or you do not successfully complete a BAC test, the penalties can be severe. You will automatically lose your license for 12 months, or 24 months for a second refusal within 84 months. Further, in order to get a restricted permit allowing you to drive to certain locations or to have your driver’s license reinstated, you will have to complete alcohol or drug screening. Further, you may face extended jail time, heavy fines, and the life-altering consequences of having been convicted of a felony.

If Arizona’s DUI penalties seem particularly harsh—they are. Arizona has some of the most severe DUI penalties in the country, even for first time offenders. If you are charged with DUI, you need to hire a skilled DUI defense attorney to represent you, this is simply not a charge you are able to defend yourself against on your own. Our skilled DUI defense attorneys at Arizona Lawyers are experienced in raising a number of possible defenses, including:

  • DUI tests were mis-administered
  • Breathalyzer devices were defective
  • The arresting officers were guilty of misconduct
  • What appeared to be intoxication actually had another mental or physical cause
  • You were misidentified as the driver of the vehicle

Our attorneys will listen carefully to the details of your case and use the information we gather to formulate the best strategy to defend you. We serve clients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Glenndale areas, and are one call away. Contact us today.