Councilman’s DUI Costs the City of Mesa Big Money
Arizona takes driving under the influence very seriously – no matter who you are, so it is important to hire a DUI attorney in Phoenix. That was proven recently when Mesa City Councilman Ryan Winkle was arrested for DUI and subsequently served time in jail and was dealt other penalties.
Not only has Winkle had to pay for his mistakes – both in terms of actual fines paid and in other penalties – but the city has also had to pay out a lot of money for legal fees and more in penalizing Winkle.
Winkle was arrested for DUI in May. An officer pulled him over after he was spotted weaving near Mill Avenue and Baseline Road. Officers said he also stopped abruptly at a red light and nearly hit three pedestrians. When he was tested, Winkle had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22 percent, which is nearly three times the legal cutoff of 0.08 percent.
Winkle pleaded guilty to the extreme DUI charge, and he was sentenced to 110 days in jail. The judge suspended 55 days of the sentence, and Winkle has to serve six days in jail, which he began at the start of September. He had to serve the other 49 days in home detention and pay nearly $4,000 in fines.
Police camera footage of the arrest also shows Winkle’s wife attempting to convince officers not to arrest him because of his position on the council. As things progress, she threatens the officers with reprisals if they continue with the arrest. The footage also shows Winkle denying that he had been drinking.
This is not the first time that Winkle was arrested for DUI. He had his first conviction back in 2009 in Scottsdale. He said that he changed his life and adopted healthier habits after that arrest. He then went on to be elected to the Mesa City Council in 2016, and he took office in January. He also worked as a community economic development consultant and was a co-founder of the Mesa Urban Garden.
After his arrest, Winkle said that he voluntarily attended addiction counseling and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
The Mesa City Council held a hearing to determine whether to discipline Winkle or to allow him to remain on the council. He asked to continue in his role as councilman, and he offered to pay $2,000 that could go toward the city’s general fund or to a charity of its choice.
At the time that Winkle made his offer, the city had already racked up quite a bit in legal fees — $36,000 to outside counsel to represent it during the disciplinary process. Winkle’s Phoenix DUI attorney was publicly critical of the city’s legal counsel, saying that it had tried to smear Winkle.
The city has had to spend extensive time and resources to examine the case, to consult with attorneys, and eventually to remove Winkle. Now, the city will have to expend more time and resources to find a replacement for Winkle. His absence from the council has also put a burden on other members to do the city’s work.
Residents who are interested in serving in a temporary role on the council have been invited to apply through the city’s website. The person selected will serve a term through fall 2018 and will then be subjected to re-election like other council members. The City Council will select Winkle’s replacement in a vote on Sept. 18.
Defending a DUI
Fortunately, most people don’t have as high a profile as this councilman, so they don’t have to worry about the whole public weighing in on what should happen or being publicly embarrassed. However, the consequences for a DUI conviction are steep, and they can have long-lasting repercussions including losing your job or your ability to get new work. It is essential that you work with an experienced DUI attorney in Phoenix who can help you fight the charges and protect your rights.
If you have been charged with DUI, call Phoenix DUI Lawyer to work with a DUI lawyer in Arizona. A DUI defense lawyer from our team will explore all the legal options for getting your charges dropped or having the penalties reduced so that your mistake does not follow you forever. Everyone deserves a strong legal defense, no matter their mistakes. Call us today to work with an Arizona DUI attorney who will fight for your rights.
Phoenix DUI Lawyer
668 N. 44th St., Ste 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Email: [email protected]
The Penalties for a First-Time AZ DUI Offense
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very dangerous and against the law. Driving under the influence puts you and other drivers at risk of serious injury or even death. The law takes this offense very seriously, and even if you are arrested for a first-time offense, you can face severe consequences.
It is important that you work with an experienced Phoenix, Arizona DUI lawyer who can advise you of your rights and your legal options if you are arrested for a DUI. But if you’re not sure, consider these serious penalties you could face for a first-time DUI offense if you don’t work with a DUI attorney to clear or minimize the charges:
Arizona DUI Penalties
The law does take it “easy” on you for a first-time DUI offense in that the penalties only get worse if you are arrested for a DUI a second or third time. However, few people would consider the penalties for a first-time offense to be “light.”
Arizona considers drivers who have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent to be guilty of DUI, as well as those who are under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications that affect their driving ability. Those who are arrested face:
• Minimum of 24 hours in jail or a maximum of six months
• Minimum fine of $250 or a maximum of $2,500 (combination of fines and fees)
• Suspension of driver’s license for 90 to 360 days
• Potential three-year probation
• Potential community service mandate
• Potential order to complete drug or alcohol education class
• Installation of ignition interlock device
A DUI conviction also stays on your criminal record for seven years. That means that if you are arrested on DUI charges any time in the next seven years, you will be looking at even more serious penalties, including longer jail time, higher fines, and longer license suspension. Other “costs” also include having to pay for a lawyer, paying more in insurance premiums, losing time from work, and having a very hard time finding future work. The consequences of a DUI, whether it’s your first time or not, are very serious.
What You Should Do if You’re Arrested
If you are arrested for a DUI, you may be shocked and even scared. If you are under the influence, you may also react inappropriately. However, it’s important that you try to remain calm and cooperate with the officer on the scene.
You do not have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test in Arizona. The state has an “implied consent” law that requires you to take the test if the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are intoxicated and arrests you. If you do not take the test, you will have to surrender your license on the scene, and the consequences of your conviction can be more severe.
Always remain calm and cooperate on the scene. As soon as you have the opportunity to contact a DUI lawyer in Phoenix, do so, whether that’s from your call in jail or from home as soon as you are released.
Benefits of Hiring a DUI Attorney
Never try to go it alone if you are arrested for a DUI. A dedicated DUI defense lawyer can work to protect your legal interests, making sure that you don’t make your problem worse at a minimum. But in most cases, a good DUI lawyer will actually be able to have your penalties minimized, and can sometimes have the charges dismissed entirely.
The benefits of those two things are vast. You can save money, protect your criminal record, and protect your ability to get employment. Your DUI attorney may be able to keep you out of jail, protect your driving privileges, and ensure you keep paying good rates for insurance.
Defending the first DUI charge will also save you from more extensive penalties if you are ever charged with a DUI again.
Phoenix DUI Lawyer is ready to help if you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, whether it’s your first offense or your fourth. We believe that everyone has a right to experienced and dedicated legal counsel, no matter what mistakes they have made. A DUI defense lawyer from our team will review the details of your case and put together the best defense to help you beat the charges or to reduce the penalties. Contact us in Arizona today to start talking to a DUI attorney!
Phoenix DUI Lawyer
668 N. 44th St., Ste 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Email: [email protected]
Whether you’ve been arrested before or not, you are probably familiar with what your Miranda rights are. We’ve all heard the words repeated often in movies and television shows whenever a character is arrested onscreen:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
You have probably heard these lines so many times that you can recite them from memory.
If you are ever arrested for a DUI in Arizona, you will likely be read these rights either while you are being arrested or immediately afterward. If you are not read those rights before you are interrogated, you should consult with a Phoenix DUI lawyer right away because you likely have a legal claim.
Before Your Arrest
You must notified of your Miranda rights only when you are arrested and are about to be interrogated. You do not have to be read your rights when the officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, and you don’t have to be read your rights when you are arrested unless the officer wishes to question you. That means that anything you say from the moment the officer approaches your window until the moment you are arrested, can be used as evidence in court.
The officer may ask you casual questions like “Have you been drinking tonight?” or “How much have you had to drink?” You are not required to answer these questions. You are also not required to take a breathalyzer test or to submit to field sobriety tests, like being asked to walk along a line or to touch your nose while standing on one foot.
Once you are arrested, you are required to take these tests under the Implied Consent Law in Arizona. If you refuse to take the tests at that point, you could have your license suspended for a year even if you are not found to be drinking and driving.
When You are Not Read Your Rights
You don’t have a case just because you are not read your Miranda rights when you are arrested. In many cases, the police officer has already collected all the information needed to convict you long before the arrest is made. The officer is taking note of anything you say during the stop, and the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests will be used as evidence of your intoxication.
However, if you are interrogated without being read your rights, anything you say during that interview will likely not be admissible in court. You might admit to drinking a full fifth of whiskey and then plowing through a field of crops, but if you did it during an interrogation without being advised of your rights, the prosecutor likely won’t be able to mention it at all.
Every case is different, so it is important that you talk with a DUI defense lawyer in Phoenix as soon as possible to understand your rights and your legal risk. Your DUI lawyer will analyze the details of your case and let you know what evidence can be presented against you, what your options are for your defense, and what the challenges will be.
If you do have a case that your rights were violated, your DUI defense lawyer will let you know and will help you build the right case.
My AZ Lawyers is ready to help you if you’ve been arrested on DUI charges. Our DUI defense lawyers have been working in the field for many years, and they are ready to use their experience and expertise to help you avoid or minimize the penalties and preserve your driving privileges. If you feel that your rights have been violated, we can also represent you in a claim against the department. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer in Arizona to learn more about your legal options and to start building your case.
DISCLAIMER: The information offered by Phoenix DUI Lawyers and contained herein, regarding Arizona statutes and claimants’ rights is general in scope and should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Arizona.
DUI For Marijuana and under 21 Can Hurt You More than Your License
Finding a good Avondale DUI Lawyer or Marijuana Lawyer in Arizona can be really helpful if you have been caught driving under the influence of THC. Especially if you are under twenty-one years of age, this can really hurt you in terms of driving in the future. Finding a good DUI Lawyer when you have been caught is your first step to avoiding irreparable damage to your future. This can be true of any kind of DUI, whether drugs or alcohol are involved. So here are some ways that a DUI for Marijuana use and being under twenty one years of age can hurt you.
While marijuana is already legal in two states, and more are on the way to legalizing it, medical marijuana is legal here in Arizona. Unfortunately, this also means that you can get a DUI from utilizing such a substance. This increases concerns for parents because they are afraid that it will reach their children easier than it would if it was still illegal. Lawmakers are also concerned about this, as making the legal age to use it is set at the same as alcohol, twenty one years old, they think there are still ways that minors can obtain the substance.
Arizona has some of the most strict DUI laws in the country, so it would be reasonable to assume that their marijuana use laws are just as strict. Since the use of medical marijuana is legalized, they do have some restrictions in place for those under 21. Just like having alcohol in your system, having marijuana in your system could lead to criminal charges if you are caught driving. If you are under twenty one, then there is a zero tolerance law in place. Even if you are not impaired, you could still be charged for smoking and driving. This means that having any amount of marijuana in your system will induce criminal charges and ultimately make life difficult for you.
Another difficulty of this is that THC stays in your system for much longer than alcohol does. Even if you smoked it the week before, and you are no longer impaired from it, you could still be hit with drug related charges, which could also complicate things for you. This is an unfortunate side effect of marijuana use, because there is no certain way to tell of someone’s toxicity level at that current moment. A test could indicate that you are completely impaired, while in reality, the effects have worn off indefinitely and you are no longer impaired by the THC.
More complications could include future job prospects. Having the “DUI-D” indication on your license could really hurt your employment options. Even if they do not look at your driver’s license, the charges will surely turn up on a background check, and it could bar you from being employed there. Also, you could lose your current job from under twenty one marijuana DUI charges. These are just some of the repercussions that you might face when trying to find suitable employment after a DUI incident, so make sure you find the proper legal defense to reduce or absolve any criminal allegations.
The only viable reason to have marijuana in your system if you are under twenty one is if it is for medical use only. Even then, however, most laws do not differentiate from medicinal marijuana use and recreational use. Your best solution is to not drive immediately after you have been smoking. If you still get caught, then you need to speak with a professional DUI attorney in Avondale who can either dissolve or reduce the charges that have been brought against you.
If you are in need of a DUI or Marijuana Lawyer in Arizona, come to My AZ Lawyers, where our professional litigators can help you with your DUI charges. Our experienced professional Avondale lawyers can help you with even the most grievous of charges. Driving while under the influence of Marijuana may seem harmless at the time, but it can lead to a serious criminal offense. Make sure that you have the proper defense in order to help you with the charges you face. For more information about our DUI or Marijuana charges, contact us today.
You know that when you drink and drive, you put yourself and other drivers on the road at risk. You just don’t the ability to make good choices or to react quickly, which means that you are more likely to cause a serious accident. Yet the drinking can also be responsible for making the poor choice of getting in the car to drive in the first place.
If you drive with a child in the car, the legal consequences can be even more severe. You are charged with “aggravated DUI with child in the car,” which is a felony and can lead to your immediate arrest. You will face jail time and very serious fines and penalties if you are convicted.
Working with an Avondale DUI lawyer is very important when you are charged with any DUI, but because of the more severe penalties that come with a charge of aggravated DUI with child in the car, getting the right legal help is even more important. Without a good DUI defense, you could have a felony on your record and lose important rights like the ability to vote or own a gun, you could have a hard time getting work, and you could even face the loss of your children from social services.
Increased Fines and Penalties
A charged of aggravated DUI with child in the car is made when the child is under 15 years old. In most cases, you will be arrested on the spot if the officer sees the child in the car and determines that you are under the influence.
Your car will be impounded if you are arrested, and family will be called to pick up your child. If no family can be reached in a timely manner, Child Protective Services will be called to collect your child or take him home. When CPS becomes involved, that can prompt an investigation into your parenting overall. Have you been arrested for DUI in the past? Do you have a history of destructive drinking at home or in front of your children? Is there substance abuse in the home? Depending on what CPS finds, your children could be removed from your home – even those who were not in the car at the time of your arrest.
Other sentencing will depend on whether you have been charged with a DUI before and how high the alcohol content of your blood. You could be sentenced to as little as 10 days in jail, or you could get as much as 45 days. Your fines and other fees could be as little as a couple thousand dollars to more than $7,000.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in the past, you can expect all of those penalties to be increased, including jail time and fines.
Being convicted of aggravated DUI with child in the car will also mean losing your license for a year. Not only will that make it hard for you to keep your job or take care of your child, but it will also cost you a lot of money to get your driving privileges restored. You will have to get an Interlock Ignition Device installed on your car and may need to go through additional driver education. You will also have to carry a more expensive insurance policy for high-risk drivers and will pay more for your regular insurance.
By working with an experienced DUI lawyer, you may be able to avoid conviction or to minimize some of these penalties.
Mounting a Strong DUI Defense
An experienced lawyer who has intricate knowledge of Avondale DUI laws can help you mount a strong defense to protect your rights even for the most serious DUI charges. There are many ways to challenge a DUI charge, and it requires evaluating all of the circumstances that led to your arrest.
Some options for your DUI defense include:
- Casting doubt on the effectiveness of the testing equipment or methods used to determine your level of intoxication
- Showing that there was no just cause for the officer to stop you
- Showing that you were not in actual physical control of the vehicle (such as if you were parked while calling someone to pick you up to drive you home)
- Proving that other mitigating factors were present
Your attorney will review all the details of your case to determine the best DUI defense.
At My AZ Lawyers, we work to help clients avoid a DUI conviction or to reduce the penalties they face and protect their driving privileges. With a charge of aggravated DUI with child in the car, it is even more important to get the best DUI defense possible since the stakes are so high. We comb through every detail of your case to find the legal strategies that will be most effective for your particular circumstances. Contact us in Avondale today to learn more about how a DUI lawyer can help you.
Driving Under the Influence is becoming a pandemic. Annually, the average number of people arrested for drunk driving is approximately 1,500,000. The average amount of people who die yearly from a drunk driving related accident is about 10,075. The number of DUI arrests per 100,000 drivers is around 1,250. Out of any age group, drivers between the ages of eighteen and twenty nine are the most likely to be arrested for a DUI. Drivers between the ages of eighteen and twenty four make up nearly 25.3% of all DUI arrests and 54% of DUI offenders report that they were only drinking beer.
The statistics are startling. Half a percent of our total United States population is being charged with DUI offenses. This does not include drunk drivers who are not caught and this also does not include the sober lives who were affected or terminated by a drunk driving accident.
The properly protect oneself, it may be a good idea to learn about the top drunk driving states. Read on to learn more about the most dangerous states for drunk driving and information about dui lawyers and dui defense attorneys that can help you.
You may be surprised about Arizona’s placement on the list!
It is hard to imagine a place as serene and beautiful as Hawaii could have such a serious drunk driving problem. However, Hawaii has the highest rate of alcohol impaired driving. Nearly 492 out of 1000 people interviewed admitted to driving while inebriated. That is nearly half! Hawaii also reported 995 drunk driving incidents annually per 1000 people. This means that nearly every person in the state of Hawaii is unfortunately involved in a drunk driving accident yearly.
Nebraska sports a disturbing 955 out of 1000 rating of people who have admitted to driving while drunk. Since new legislation was passed in 2011, Nebraska has seen a serious increase in the amount of breathalyzer interlock devices installed on vehicles and subsequently a decrease in drunk driving fatalities. Nebraska is also putting up more sobriety checkpoints as well, and hopefully will see a safer future.
Out of Montana’s 1000 people surveyed, 885 admitted to driving drunk. Unfortunately, Montana legislature has done very little to reduce their drunk driving problem. Consequently, nearly 38% of all car accident fatalities in Montana were during drunk driving accidents.
In Vermont, 881 people out of 1000 people surveys admitted to driving while drunk. Vermont has created an optional ignition interlock program for convicted drunk offenders in 2010, but has seen a 50% decrease in drunk driving related fatalities as a result since 2014. Should Vermont decide to make their interlock program mandatory, they may see an even greater decrease in unfortunate drunk driving deaths.
This snowy state, based on 1000 people surveyed, showed that 855 people have admitted to drunk driving. Not only that, but North Dakota was ranked number one in drunk driving arrests and vehicle fatalities in 2015. This could be because North Dakota is a state where high alcohol consumption is more popular, and that factor is paired with potentially dangerous driving conditions such as black ice, snow, and hail.
It is hard to believe that a quaint little state like Connecticut could have such a serious drunk driving problem. Approximately 567 out of 1000 people in Connecticut have admitted to driving while drunk. Nearly 40% of all traffic deaths in Connecticut were related to drunk driving in 2015 as well. However, in 2014 Connecticut passed legislation that offered great improvement to the state’s ignition interlock law, which is required for all drunk driving offenders, including first time offenders. Hopefully the state will see some improvements.
Illinois sports a rate of 513 out of 1000 drunk drivers annually. This could be due to Illinois and Wisconsin’s cultural love of beer, but nobody can be completely sure. Regardless, the state has been taking greater precautions to enforce a no tolerance policy.
Believe it or not, Arizona is very low on the list of drunk driving. Only 300 out of 1000 people surveys admitted to driving while under the influence. Arizona is beat in low drunk driving statistics only by New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah. Utah reigns as the safest state to be in when it comes to drunk driving, with only 217 people out of 1000 admitting to driving drunk. Arizona’s good placement may have a lot to do with Arizona’s ignition interlock law. This law requires drunk drivers to install a breathalyzer mechanism into their vehicle in order to drive. As a result, drunk driving incidents have dropped nearly 45% since 2007.
How can we reduce drunk driving?
There are many ways to reduce drunk driving and the injuries and fatalities that come with it. Do not afraid to let a friend know that they have had a little too much to drink and cannot drive. Have several ridesharing apps like Lyft or Uber handy to get home safe. States and communities could also apply certain interventions such as sobriety checkpoints in areas where there is a high concentration of bars or drunk driving accidents. Better enforcement of the minimum drinking age and aggressively requiring the use of ignition locks, also known as sobriety testing devices that must be passed in order to start a vehicle, could also help drastically.
I have been affected by a drunk driving accident. Who can help?
Have you been injured in a drunk driving accident and you need a DUI lawyer? Have you been accused of drunk driving and need a DUI defense attorney that will fight for you? Phoenix DUI Lawyers is the law firm you can trust in Arizona. When you need a DUI lawyer or DUI defense attorney, we can match you with a team of attorneys that have the experience and expertise to help you.
Earlier this year, the Phoenix Arizona Supreme Court decided that police no longer have the power to force a drunk driver suspect to submit to alcohol testing. The decision was made for basically one reason: Suspects can absolutely refuse to submit to alcohol testing. Forcing a citizen to do so actually violates their right against unreasonable searches without a warrant, also know as their Fourth Amendment right. If there is a case where a driver was misjudged for being under the influence and they are forced to take an alcohol test, a DUI lawyer in Phoenix or DUI defense attorney in Phoenix representing the suspect could hold the officer responsible for violating the driver’s rights.
Officers now have to ask suspects to consent to alcohol testing rather than tell them it is required. Police must also tell drunk driving suspects that by refusing an alcohol test they many face serious consequences such as losing their driver’s license for over a year.
Understanding Arizona DUI laws
Phoenix, Arizona is considered a no tolerance state. This means that you can absolutely be arrested for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than the national legal limit of 0.08 percent. There are several types of DUIs in the state that take into account blood alcohol content levels and additional factors that include previous offenses and the presence of minors.
The three types of DUIs in Arizona are as follows:
- A.R.S. §28-1381 (A)(2) DUI-Impaired to the Slightest Degree. This law makes it unlawful for anyone to drive a vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicating substance or drug such as alcohol. When it comes to this law, the government must prove that you were driving a vehicle while impaired by a drug. Blood alcohol content levels do not matter when it comes to this law. Proof is the most important element to this law, and the government will have to prove that even though you were under the legal limit, you were influenced or impaired in a dangerous way that threatened the safety of others. This law is usually held along with one or both of the following laws to aid in a conviction.
- A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(2) DUI-Blood over .08 Percent. This is the most common and well known conviction for a DUI. If a driver’s blood alcohol content is over 0.08%, which is considered the national blood alcohol level limit to drive, they can be arrested and charged with a DUI. If one’s alcohol content level is 0.08% or more within a couple of hours of driving, they can be convicted. In order to be charged with this strict liability statute violation, it must be factually proven that your blood alcohol content level was over 0.08% within a couple hours of driving and that you were absolutely the one driving the vehicle. When it comes to actual impairment, your ability to safely drive is disregarded and your blood alcohol content level is the only important factor to deciding on a conviction.
- A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(3) DUI-Drugs. This DUI violation entails that it is completely unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of impairing drugs or while a ‘metabolite’ of the drug is within the body. A metabolite is the substance your body converts the drug too once ingested or inhaled. Drugs commonly included in this law are marijuana, prescription medication, and their metabolites. Recently, Arizona laws have changed so that medical marijuana users may drive while the marijuana metabolite is in their system as long as it can be proven that the presence of a metabolite did not impair or influence the driver while operating the vehicle. The suspect in question or their representing DUI lawyers or DUI defense attorney will be able to defend themselves with proof that the suspect was a legal medical card carrying citizen and that they were in no way impaired by the inactive metabolite while driving. This recently changed law also covers prescription drug users who can prove they were using their medication as directed and have a valid prescription for the drug.
Should I consent to alcohol testing?
This is really up to you. As the law states (and the officer who suspects you of drunk driving must legally tell you) you may be asked to consent to alcohol testing if you are suspected of drinking and driving. Refusal to do so can result in the suspension of your license. However, it is not outright required for you to take an alcohol test and there are no criminal consequences for refusing. More often than not, it may be a wise idea to submit to testing. However, if an officer forces you to do so, your rights may be violated and a case could stand up in a court of law.
If you have been wrongly forced to submit to alcohol testing, it would be wise to seek out a DUI lawyer or a DUI defense attorney to see if you have a case against the officer who violated your rights.
The best law firm in Arizona
If you need to find a DUI lawyer or DUI defense attorney, look no further than My AZ Lawyers, PLLC. Our team of talented, experienced, and niche attorneys are experts in DUI law. Do not risk your future by putting it in the hands of lawyers who do not have the right knowledge. The team at My AZ Lawyers, PLLC will match you with an ideal lawyer that will fight for you. Give us a call today for a consultation on your case.
Call My AZ Criminal Defense Lawyers in order to discuss the specifics of your case:
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Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION with our firm today to get information and discuss your options.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Arizona, our legal representation can help you minimize the damage. Our attorneys are the most qualified to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Not only are we experienced and knowledgable concerning Arizona DUI law, but also understanding when helping you deal with the stress and impact that comes with a DUI arrest. Our Criminal Defense Staff will be with you through the entire process to protect your rights, represent your best interests, and provide the best defense for your particular case.
Even though everybody knows that drinking and driving is not only an illegal, but also an exceedingly stupid thing to do, there seems to be no cessation in drunk driving arrests, accidents, and fatalities in Phoenix stemming from alcohol or drug use. The main reason that drivers still get behind the wheel, even though they “know better” is because they never think that it will hit them. But it is not a question if they get arrested or injured, but when. The facts, speak for themselves and so in today’s blog, we have compiled a list of drunk driving questions and answers that should have you sober up in no time at all and prevent you from ever driving under the influence again.
Here are the most important drunk driving questions answered!
How big is the correlation between drinking and fatal car accidents?
Obviously there is a connection between driving impaired and causing an accident. In fact, alcohol plays a role in 40 % of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. and wreck up costs of about $50 billion annually.
According to a study published by the CDC, 9,967 people dies in car accidents in 2014. This makes it one third of all fatal car accidents. That also means that about 27 people die due to drunk driving every day.
Additionally, more than 1 million drunk drivers were arrested in 2014 for drunk driving, which is only 1% !!! of the total amount of self-proclaimed drunk drivers. And if this is not bad enough, consider this, about half of all children that die in a car accident with alcohol involvement are driving in the car with an alcohol impaired parent.
What is the most common type of alcohol consumed?
Beer is the drink of choice for drivers in Phoenix and beyond. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA). It holds the pole position in both fatal crashes and DUI arrests. In addition, it can also be credited to be the top choice for underaged drinkers and binge drinking, probably because it is affordable and easily accessible. Often, drivers are misguided, because of beer’s relatively low alcohol content compared to other alcoholic beverages.
Underaged drinking is an immense issue, despite the Zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21. In fact, almost a quarter of 16-20 year olds that were killed in a drunk driving related incident in 2006 had a BAC of at least 0.08
Does gender matter?
It does. Men are much more likely (twice as much) to drive under the influence and to be involved in a fatal car crashes. And that is despite men being able (in theory) to drink more than women in order to achieve the same level of BAC.
For example, four drinks for a man weighing about 180 lbs results in an approximate BAC of .08 whereas a woman weighing about 140 lbs will have a BAC of .13 when drinking the same amount as her male counterpart. This may not be fair but is something worth considering nevertheless.
Do DUI Laws work?
Sadly, despite Arizona’s rather harsh drunk driving laws, many drivers are not deterred at all. The shocking truth is that up to 75% of those who have lost their license due to a drunk driving conviction are still on the road driving-without license.
Plus, those drunk drivers that are involved in fatal crashes are seven times more likely to have gotten arrested on a prior DUI charge. Whether or not DUI laws work to lower the odds, is debatable. Some claim yes and others the opposite.
In Phoenix, DUI checkpoints have reportedly seen a decrease in drunk drivers it is not significant enough to prove or disprove either statement. However, by filtering out a certain amount of drunk drivers, it is possible to reduce the occurrence of drunk driving incidents by approximately 10%.
What’s shocking about these statistics is that there seems to be no end in sight and that drivers in Arizona have been and continue to be willing to drink and drive and gamble with their own lives and those of others.
Every effort is made to minimize the odds of drunk drivers on the street such as zero tolerance for drivers younger than 21 and the installation and use of interlock devices for those convicted of drunk driving, but even that is only temporary and many return to their bad habits once the devices has been removed. However, as long as the interlock device is in the car, we have seen a reduced arrest rate of repeat offenders by as much as 70%.
The message is simple: don’t drink and drive. That being said, if you feel that you are facing unjust DUI charges or question the legality of an Arizona sobriety checkpoint, we encourage you to contact an Phoenix DUI defense attorney.
My AZ Lawyers has been representing clients who are facing DUI charges successfully for many years. Contact us today to learn more about our DUI defense strategies and to schedule your free consultation.
My AZ Lawyers
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222
Phoenix DUI Checkpoint Survival Tips
You have a few drinks at dinner with friends, but you think you feel fine. You start the drive home, and you still think you feel fine. But a few minutes down the road, you see the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. The next thing you know, you’re being asked to get out of your car and walk a straight line to show that you aren’t intoxicated.
Everything you do or say when the officer comes to your window can come back to haunt you later. One wrong move and you could undermine your DUI defense later and end up facing jail time and other serious consequences.
Here are a few things you can do to get through a DUI checkpoint in Arizona without jeopardizing your defense later:
Always Be Polite
From the moment the cop spots you on the road, everything you do can be used against you. If you waver on the road, look around nervously, or act erratic in any way, it could be used as evidence of your intoxication. If you are rude or belligerent, that can also be seen as a sign of your intoxication.
Always be polite, and cooperate with the officers. Don’t agree to do anything that you don’t have to do, but be communicative and polite at all times.
Provide Your ID
The first thing the officer will do is ask for your ID. Do not refuse, and do not become combative. Provide the ID, and don’t fumble for it. If you appear confused or uncoordinated while you are looking for your ID, the officer will make note of it in the report, which could be used as evidence that you are inebriated.
Do Not Answer Questions
The officer might start asking you questions like, “How much have you had to drink tonight?” or “Were you out drinking with friends?” You should not answer any of these questions. Just politely reply that you will only answer questions under the advice of a DUI lawyer. Anything you say to the officer can be used to make a case against you.
Do Not Allow a Search of Your Car
If an officer has just cause to search your car, a search warrant can be issued. However, if the officer just says something along the lines of, “Do you mind if I take a look inside the car?” you can refuse. You should not be rude in your reply, but you should be firm and clear about your refusal. The officer may try to seem casual about the request, which can encourage you to comply, but you should not allow a search to take place without a warrant.
Do Not Take Any Field Tests
You have the right to refuse to take field tests. These are the stereotypical tests that you see depicted in movies, such as being asked to walk in a straight line, holding up one leg while counting, or following a light with your eyes. You do not have to take these tests, even if it seems like you do because the officer threatens to arrest you.
Agree to Take Breath, Blood or Urine Tests
These tests are not always offered, but if they are, you should take them. These tests will prove conclusively whether you have alcohol in your body and, if so, how much. Even if these tests show that you have exceeded the legal blood-alcohol content, your DUI lawyer can work on a defense that invalidates these test results, such as by showing the results of a different test.
Ask to Have a Test Sample Preserved
After you take one of these tests, you will be asked to sign a paper to waive your right to have a sample of the test preserved. You should not waive this right. In fact, you should always sign saying that you do want to have a test sample preserved. If your case goes to court, your DUI lawyer can have this sample re-tested to validate your blood-alcohol level.
Get Your Own Test
Immediately upon your release from questioning or from a jail cell, you should have your own blood-alcohol test conducted at a hospital or physician’s office. Your lawyer can use the results of this test to defend your case. Even if the test shows that you did have the blood-alcohol content that the officer’s test showed, it is important for you to have your own, independent results. The best Arizona DUI lawyer can help you decide what to do with the results.
Ask for a Hearing with the MVD
Being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license. If you don’t want that to happen — and none of us do — you need to schedule a hearing with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division within 15 days of being charged. Your attorney can advise you on how to handle this hearing so that you can preserve your driving privileges. This hearing is separate from the hearing you might have to defend your DUI charges.
Hire an Attorney
As soon as you are released from custody and business hours begin, you should start looking for a Phoenix DUI lawyer. The sooner you find the right lawyer, the sooner you can start putting together your DUI defense, which may include re-testing or re-evaluating other evidence. Without the right legal help, you could end up losing your license, serving jail time, and facing other serious repercussions.
My AZ Lawyers is ready to help you if you’ve been charged with a DUI. Our experienced lawyers have been helping clients throughout Arizona for years, and they can help you understand the laws and your rights within them. If you’ve violated some of these DUI checkpoint “rules,” your attorney can help you understand how to mount the best Phoenix DUI defense to overcome these challenges. By working with an attorney, you may be able to get the charges dismissed, or you may be able to avoid some of the more serious penalties. Call us today to find out how we can help you.
My AZ Lawyers
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222
Tips for Drivers in Phoenix and Maricopa County
Exercise your right to remain silent. You do not need to answer any questions, such as whether you have been drinking. Exercising your right to remain silent may cause you to feel awkward, but it is important. You simply need to hand your driver’s license, insurance, and registration to the officer.
You are not required to take field sobriety tests (walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, etc.). The tests are difficult to pass, even when sober. The tests are given for the purpose of building a case against you. You should politely decline to take the tests.
While you might be fined for refusing, you are not required to take a “preliminary breath test.” This test consists of blowing into a small hand-held device. The test is given before an arrest. You may politely decline to take the test. Note that the preliminary breath test is different than the “blood, breath or urine” test that may be demanded after an arrest. The penalty for refusing to take a preliminary breath test is an a fine. The penalty for refusal to take a “blood, breath or urine” test is described on the “refusing or taking a breath test” page.
You should ask the officer for permission to leave, and you should make this request frequently.
If you are arrested, the officer will read you an “implied consent advisory” and then ask you if you will consent to a “blood, breath or urine” test. The officer gets to pick the form of the test and it is usually a breath test. Effective July 1, 2012, refusing to take this test is a crime if you have a prior test refusal or a DUI conviction or diversion after July 1, 2001. Additional information about taking or refusing the test can be found on the “refusing or taking a breath test” page.
If you take a breath test, ask for an independent blood test. The request triggers a requirement that police take you to get a blood test at a local hospital or other medical facility.
Contact My AZ Lawyers right away. You have only 14 days to file a hearing request to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license
* These are generalities, not legal advice. For additional information, contact our experienced Phoenix DUI Attorneys.
What Happens to Me if I get arrested for first-time DUI in Arizona?
First-Offender DUI arrests: (not extreme DUI)
Offenders are arrested for DUI in Arizona if they are: driving impaired, or driving with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08 or higher.
Most likely, if you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Arizona, you will pay a $250 fine, spend one day in jail, receive probation, have your drivers license suspended for a minimum of 90 days, and submit to a drug/alcohol evaluation and treatment. (Over 90% of DUI offenders in Arizona plead guilty.)
Penalties for DUI first-offender in Arizona:
- FINES AND COSTS
- LICENSE SUSPENSION
- RECOMMENDED COUNSELING
- IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE
If you refuse to take a Blood Alcohol Test, your license may be suspended for one year — even if you are not convicted of the DUI charge.
In order to avoid jail time, first-time offenders must complete an alcohol abuse screening. You may be ordered by the court to seek counseling, treatment, or education if thy determine you have a substance abuse problem.
Do you know all your rights and the DUI law? Contact My AZ Lawyers, PLLC for a FREE CONSULTATION.
You may be entitled to a reduced punishment of a 30 day suspension and a sixty day restricted license, which means you would be able to have a drivers license to allow you to get back and forth from work, counseling sessions, or medical appointments.
DUI PENALTYS for COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
Drivers holding a commercial license are arrested for DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 or higher. Penalties include: sentencing no less than 90 days in jail (30 to be served consecutively, no parole), $500 fine, revoked license for one year, and possible sentence of community service. The judge, however may suspend all but 30 days of the sentence if the offender completes court-ordered alcohol or drug screenings, education, or treatment programs.
Getting pulled over and charged with a DUI in Arizona — offending the DUI law by driving, attempting to drive, or being in charge of any vehicle on the road or public place anywhere in Arizona — can come with a hefty price tag. Those arrested for DUI (Driving under the influence) face Arizona DUI costs, fines, fees, and penalties.
Taking the proper course of action and getting an experienced attorney to prepare a defense for your particular case is crucial in order for you to minimize the impact of a DUI. The DUI/DWI penalties are severe in Arizona — if the level of alcohol, drugs, or medication in you breath, blood, or urine exceeds .08 BAC (blood alcohol content), a person can be charged with DUI.
Don’t let a DUI ruin your life: you may be facing the social stigma, the inconvenience, and the financial burden associated with a DUI. Do you know your rights? Do you know the law? Do you know your options? Wouldn’t you like to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in representing clients to minimize the penalties or possibly even dismiss a DUI charge?
- legal fees
- lost wages
- driver’s license suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device (installation and maintenance)
- embarrassment within family and community and work
- your personal reputation
- future opportunities
- court appearances
Possibly Reduce the Arizona DUI Costs and Fees
Call a competent Arizona DUI lawyer to handle your case. The knowledgeable attorneys at My AZ Lawyers, PLLC are not only expert Arizona DUI law professionals, they will consult with you in order to help you understand the entire process and steps through the course of the DUI charge. Call My AZ LAWYERS, PLLC and speak with an expert in Arizona DUI law — an attorney will examine your case and look at the strengths and discuss your options.
If there is any chance that an attorney could help prevent an Arizona DUI conviction from going on your permanent record, do not fear the legal fees: a DUI conviction is COSTLY in Arizona. Plus, you may just need the assistance of an Arizona DUI attorney in order to help you make the DUI process a speedy one. This could mean less time away from your job and smaller lost wages.
My AZ Lawyers understands the damage that may occur financially by being charged with a DUI in Arizona. Ask about their payment options.
Feeling overwhelmed and scared is normal after a DUI arrest. It will ease your mind if you contact a lawyer who specializes in Arizona DUI law. Call the office of My AZ Lawyers, PLLC for a FREE CONSULTATION. You may discuss the details of your case with an attorney, and depending on the details of your case, get some information, some options, and some reassurance that there may be help for your situation.
CHARGED WITH A DUI? you need to know what to do first
It is normal to feel overwhelmed and frightened after being pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Arizona. You may or not be aware of the stiff Arizona DUI law/penalties. If you are unsure of the consequences, the costs, the repercussions, and if you are unfamiliar with the proceedings, the first thing you should do is to consult with an attorney experienced in Arizona DUI Law.
You may have questions for an attorney that are commonly asked by persons charged with a first-time DUI in Arizona
- What is a DUI conviction going to cost me?
- What do I do first? What do I do now?
- How much is it going to cost me to get a lawyer?
- Why do I need a lawyer to represent me if I’m guilty?
- Will I have to do jail time?
- Do I have a defense to fight this?
- Do I need to contact my employer?
- Will my DUI conviction be made public?
- What can you do for me to lessen the charge or dismiss it altogether?
- Can you help me through the process?
- WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
Take your drunk driving charge seriously and explore your options for how to most effectively fight it or deal with it. A criminal record can affect many aspects of your life and an Arizona DUI conviction will have lasting consequences. If you do not fully understand these consequences, then take advantage of a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced Arizona DUI Law attorney. Time is critical in a DUI case, so don’t hesitate to consult with an attorney.
Review your case with a lawyer experienced in Arizona DUI Law. They are the experts and will fight for your rights —- the outcome of your conviction could depend on choosing a lawyer who is qualified and concentrates on DUI cases. Call 480-833-8000 for a FREE CONSULTATION with a knowledgable AZ DUI attorney. If you don’t know Arizona DUI law, the penalties, consequences, and procedures, you someone who is well-versed and experienced in Arizona DUI cases to represent you and to help you to get a lesser or dismissed charge / sentence.