It's Friday, so naturally, as soon as you clock out of work, you head over to meet your friends at your favorite Prescott Valley bar. After a few drinks, you head home, all the while looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan. Only a few blocks away from home a police officer pulls you over. The next thing you know, you are in the back of a squad car and on your way to a night in the county lock-up.
In Arizona, like most other states, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is very serious. If you are facing a DUI charge, the following will give you an idea of what to expect.
Ways you can get a DUI
In general, there are two ways that you can get a DUI in Arizona. First, if an officer stops you and determines that you are "impaired to the slightest degree," you could end up with a DUI. In other words, if a police officer thinks that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to your behavior, he or she might issue a DUI. The second way you can get a DUI is if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more.
If certain circumstances are present, you could be facing a felony DUI charge. For example, if you have a child under the age of 15 in the car, you have a suspended driver's license or this is your third offense within a 60 month period. If one these situations occurs, you might have to serve a prison sentence, pay thousands of dollars in fines and suffer various other consequences.
Chemical test refusal
Arizona has implied consent laws, which state that by driving you have already given your consent to participate in a blood or breath test to detect the presence of alcohol or drugs. While you can refuse to take one of these tests, you will automatically lose your license for one year if you do.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Arizona, it is important to understand what might happen if the court convicts you. Also, keep in mind that you still have rights and options, especially when it comes to defending yourself in court.