We all know that drunk driving is illegal, but avoiding DUI charges can take more than surrendering your keys when you plan on drinking heavily. Arizona’s DUI laws are outlined in title 28-1381. Here’s a breakdown of the law’s provisions:
- You must not be in control of the vehicle if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means that if you interfere with your designated driver’s steering, for instance, you could be charged with a DUI.
- Though the legal limit is 0.08, Arizona law stipulates you can be charged with a DUI if you are “impaired to the slightest degree.”
- Law enforcement must obtain evidence through a blood, urine or breath test within two hours of arrest in order for the results to be admissible.
- DUI charges apply even for substances that you are legally permitted to use, such as narcotic painkillers or marijuana, but only if you are impaired. Trace amounts of prescription medication that you are authorized to use are not enough to convict you.
- For commercial vehicle drivers, the legal limit is 0.04.
- There is some wiggle room in interpreting the results of BAC tests. If you test below 0.05, you will be presumed innocent. Above 0.08 means you are presumed guilty. Between 0.05 and 0.08, you are not to be presumed guilty, but additional evidence such as field sobriety test results may be enough to convict you.
The statute goes on to define the consequences for first time and repeat offenders. The role of your defense attorney is to drop or negotiate those charges down, and if you are convicted, to fight for a sentence that helps you recover as soon as possible.