Every year people in the greater Phoenix area gather at local bars and restaurants to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The entire weekend of May 5th has become a time for people to eat Mexican food and consume margaritas, tequila and beer. Not coincidently, police saturate patrols and look for drivers who may be impaired. Undoubtedly, 2023 will be no different. Officers in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa will establish local task forces aimed at detecting, arresting and prosecuting drivers who may have consumed to much alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, impaired driving continues to be a significant problem in the greater Phoenix area. In fact, a recent news story mentioned that Arizona ranks very high with respect to deaths caused by drunk driving accidents. Consequently, police are much more likely to focus efforts aimed at impaired drivers and enforce the "zero tolerance" policy this State is well known for.
Aside from the safety risks and potential for injury or death associated with drunk driving, people should be aware that Arizona imposes some of the harshest penalties in the country upon individuals convicted of DUI. If treated as a misdemeanor DUI, Extreme DUI or Supe Extreme DUI, the punishment can involve:
- Up to 45 days or more in jail
- Fines of Several Thousand Dollars
- Mandatory Classes
- Loss of Driver's License
- Required Ignition Interlock Device in Your Car
A second offense within seven years or prosecution for a felony, Aggravated DUI can result in more jail time, increased fines and the possibility of a prison sentence.
What to do if Suspected of DUI
If stopped by police and investigated for a DUI, there are a number of important steps you can take to protect your rights. Although you might not avoid being arrested, it is best not to provide information which can later be used by the prosecution. You should:
1. Stay Calm - Provide required documents to police when requested and be polite. If you are aggressive or panicked, police will be more likely to further an investigation
2. Remain Silent - You are not required to answer any questions about your activities, your destination or alcohol consumption.
3. Refuse Field Sobriety Tests - Participation in the field sobriety tests is completely voluntary. Consequently, you should politely refuse to do any field tests.
4. Don't Make a U-Turn to Avoid a Checkpoint: - Unless there is a parking lot nearby to enter, do not make a U-Turn to avoid a DUI checkpoint. Doing so will probably be a traffic violation in itself and result in you being stopped by police.
5. Call a Lawyer - If arrested for DUI in Arizona, you have the right to consult privately with an attorney prior to taking a blood, breath or urine test. You should request to speak with a lawyer immediately upon being arrested. Consultation with an attorney can help you decide whether to participate in a breath or blood test, arrange for independent testing and avoid serious MVD consequences. You should meet with and retain a lawyer after being released.
Can a DUI Charge Be Defended?
Although DUI cases are difficult, an experienced attorney can be of great benefit in helping you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Some potential issues and defenses which must be examined include:
1. Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control
2. No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop You
3. No Probable Cause to Arrest You
4. Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Tests (FST's)
5. Denial of Your Right to Speak with an Attorney
6. Violation of Miranda Warnings
7. Inaccuracy of the Breath Testing Device
8. Inadmissibility of Portable Breath Testing Device (PBT) Results:
10. Inaccurate Blood Test Results
11. Denial of or Interference with an Independent Test:
Call (480) 833-8613 For Help With Your DUI Case
Undoubtedly, a DUI conviction will result in very severe penalties. If you are charged with DUI in any city within the greater Phoenix area, you should immediately consult with an experienced DUI lawyer for assistance. Attorney Raymond Kimble is a former police officer, DUI and felony prosecutor and has represented thousands of people charged with DUI in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Phoenix and other cities throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties over the last twenty years. Ray Kimble will have a clear understanding of all the circumstances in your case, along with the knowledge, skill and experience to protect your drivers license and achieve the best possible outcome for you.