A drunk driving charge in Phoenix are considered a very serious offense with a DUI conviction resulting in life-altering consequences As part of a DUI conviction you will face possible jail time and heavy fines, as well as many other punishments.
If you’ve reached this page that means you (or a loved one) have been charged with a DUI in Phoenix and you are here to learn more about how hiring a Phoenix DUI lawyer can help you. You’ve come to the right place. A lawyer can help you in the many way that we will discuss below. But first, we’d like to provide you with a short overview of Phoenix drunk driving charges.
Types of Drunk Driving Charges in Phoenix, AZ
In general, there are two broad categories of DUIs, misdemeanors and felonies. Under these two categories fall smaller categories such as underage DUI, multiple DUIs, or commercial DUI.
Misdemeanor Drunk Driving Offenses
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol is the lowest severity offense within the misdemeanor category. It is for people that were driving with only a “slight” impairment to their abilities. This type of charge results only from an officer’s suspicion of drunk driving, without exact proof of a chemical or blood test. A officer might arrest for a DUI, if your behavior, quality of driving, or performance on sobriety tests is inadequate.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
This is the next step up from a DUI. A DWI requires there to be physical proof that the suspect was operating a motor vehicle within the previous two hours with a BAC of at least 0.08 (8% alcohol in the blood). Physical proof is provided by either a urine, blood, or breath test.
This is the highest level of a misdemeanor drunk driving offense. A person will receive an Extreme DWI when they have a BAC of 0.15 or greater. Getting convicted for this type of offense carries much larger penalties than a DUI or DWI. In cases where the suspects BAC is 0.20 or greater, there’s even a category called “Super Extreme DWI”.
Felony Drunk Driving Offenses
A Felony DUI is basically is any of the above misdemeanor DUIs with one or more of the following circumstances:
- There’s a passenger in the car that is a child (less than 15 years old)
- The driver’s license is revoked, restricted, or suspended
- This is the driver’s 3rd or subsequent drunk driving offense within the last 7 years
Underage Drinking and Driving
This type of offense is called “Underage Driving Under the Influence,” and it applies to any individual that has ANY amount of alcohol or drugs in their system while driving and they are under the age of 21. Even if their ability to drive wasn’t impaired, they will still be charged. With this type of conviction, the individual will likely receive a 2-year license suspension. Often, a DUI and DWI are both tacked on to this offense totaling three separated drunk driving charges at one time.
Know Your Rights When Stopped For A DUI In Phoenix
Any time you are investigated by the police you have the right to remain silent. The laws in Arizona do not require you to answer any questions. If the police, regardless of the reason, stop you, just quietly provide the officer with your license, insurance, and registration. Do not say anything more than the minimum. This is a good rule for any interaction with a police officer. The most important thing here is to not admit to anything. You may be pressured to speak, but avoid it and remain silent. It’s your constitutional right and will not be used against you.
As soon are you are stopped by the police and figure out what they are investigating you for, request a confidential call to your attorney. In Phoenix, you are allowed to consult with a lawyer before you have go through a blood or breath test (as long as the investigation is not delayed).
The police officer stopping under the suspicion of a DUI may ask you to take various Field Sobriety Tests or an Eye Test. These tests are not always accurate and under Arizona law you are perfectly in within your rights to refuse these types of tests. Do not confuse this with chemical tests (blood and breath), which you should not refuse.
- Exercise your 5th amendment right and refuse to answer any questions
- Give the officer your license, insurance info, and registration
- Refuse all physical tests
- Request to speak an attorney immediately
- Submit to a blood/breath test after speaking with your attorney
- Ask the police to preserve blood/breath evidence for an independent test
- Demand to be released immediately for an independent test
Don’t let a DUI arrest lead to a DUI conviction
The sooner you get in touch with a Phoenix DUI lawyer the better your chances are for preventing a drunk driving charge or for getting the best possible outcome in your unique case. Nothing can substitute for the years of a experience that a Phoenix DUI attorney has in fighting drunk driving charges.
If you have already been arrested for a DUI, a lawyer can help you obtain a DMV hearing so you can receive a restricted license or even avoid the immediate effects of an automatic license suspension. Let a seasoned DUI attorney spot any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case by examining the circumstances for your DUI arrest, the lab reports, police reports, and chemical and field sobriety tests.