Arizona DUI: Impaired to the Slightest Degree

Arizona has some of the toughest laws and penalties in the Country for DUI arrests and convictions. It is important to understand the strict laws, and harsh consequences of a DUI conviction, especially if you plan to excursion in Arizona.

The legal limit in Arizona is 0.08 percent Alcohol Blood Content (BAC). The state of Arizona is serious about prosecuting those who are suspected of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. A person may also be convicted of DUI if their BAC was.08 percent or more within two hours of driving.

But in Arizona, it is also possible to be charged and convicted of a DUI already if a driver’s BAC below 0.08 Percent. This is known under Arizona Law as being “impaired in the slightest degree” under A.R.S. §28.1381, due to intoxicating liquor or drugs.

Being aware of the laws and penalties can help you insulate yourself from the worst case scenario of a DUI convictions and penalties. Any kind of DUI is a criminal offense that, in the least, calls for jail terms, suspension of driver’s license, substance or alcohol abuse screening and counseling; and more. Arizona has some of the toughest penalties in the country. A conviction will consequence in negative consequences that will impact your freedom and future, and many aspects of your life.

Arizona DUI Laws: Below.08 Percent, Impaired to the Slightest Degree, or Non-impaired with Marijuana

According to Arizona Statute §28.1381, it is unlawful for a person to excursion or be in actual physical control of a means in this state under any of the following circumstances:

• While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, or a vapor releasing substance that impairs the person to the slightest degree;

• If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the means and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving;

• While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.

A Recent Arizona Appellate Court ruled that a person found with idle trace compounds of Marijuana in their bloodstream, could be prosecuted for DUI, already if they were not driving impaired to the slightest degree. The Ruling in that Arizona Circuit Court was that Marijuana fell within the third item of “any drug defined in section 13-3401”, under 28-1381 which may include both active and idle metabolites.

Penalties for Impaired to the Slightest Degree DUI in Arizona

According to Arizona Statute § 28.1381, a basic DUI below.08 with no irritating factors will be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious of all misdemeanor offenses.

A basic DUI conviction calls for a minimum of 10 days in jail; $1,200.00 in fines, fees, and assessments; Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for 6 months to a year; driver’s license suspension for 90 days; alcohol and substance abuse screening or counseling; and probation. Other penalties may apply at the discretion of the court.

In general, the higher the BAC, the more harsh the DUI penalties, including length of jail time; suspension or revocation of driver’s license, and use of court ordered IID.

Penalties in general are far more harsh sentencing than Misdemeanor DUI. So a person may have been driving “impaired to the slightest degree”, but if aggravated factors were present at the time of the DUI, it will be classified as a felony DUI. Aggravated factors include third DUI with two prior DUI convictions; impaired driving with a passenger age 15 or under in the means; and DUI on a suspended, revoked, or invalid driver’s license.

Penalties for Aggravated DUI are considered a Felony. All felonies in Arizona expose a person to prison sentencing as high as 4 to 8 months prison terms. This could transform to years or life in prison if an accident involving serious injury or death results from the Aggravated DUI. Other penalties include driver’s license revocation for 3 years; IID for 2 years following reinstatement of driver’s license; fines, fees, costs, and assessments of $4,000.00, restitution if it applies, alcohol or substance abuse counseling; possible forfeiture of means; and community service.

No matter what the circumstance of your case may be, a DUI allegation has the possible to turn your life upside down. But keep in mind that an arrest is not a conviction. By law you nevertheless have the right to defend your charges. The most effective way to do this is to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, and defend the DUI charges on your behalf. There may be defenses that you are not aware of that could rule to a popular outcome in your case.

With such extreme consequences, it is important that you take the time to consider your defense options and discuss your case with a qualified DUI defense attorney in Tempe who understands the time of action that goes into defending an alleged DUI.

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