Frequently Asked Questions About DUI:
1. What should I do if pulled over for a DUI?
You should be polite to the officer. There is nothing to be gained by being argumentative or trying to outsmart the police. You are required to provide the officer with your driver's license, proof of insurance and registration. You must also step from the vehicle if the officer asks you to. However, you do not have to answer any questions about whether you've been drinking, where you are coming from, etc. If you believe the officer will be investigating you for DUI, you should immediately request to speak with a lawyer.
2. Do I have to take the Field Sobriety Tests?
No, you are not under any legal obligation to take any of the roadside tests such as Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“the eye test”), Walking on a Straight Line or Standing on One Leg. These tests are used by the officers to determine whether you can perform mental and physical tasks at the same time. The officers will then use the results to argue that you were impaired by alcohol to drive a car. Many people will perform poorly on the tests for reasons other than alcohol consumption. Several reasons you may not do well on the field tests include nervousness or anxiety, poor coordination, being tired, physical difficulties or injuries, being overweight or age.
3. Do I have to take a breath test at the scene?
No. Many officers will ask you to take a preliminary breath test at the side of the road. You are not required to take this breath test. These handheld devices are not adequately maintained or calibrated for accuracy. Consequently, the results of preliminary roadside breath tests cannot be used against you in court.
4. When Can I speak with an Attorney if Arrested for DUI?
You should request to speak with an attorney immediately upon being investigated or arrested for DUI. Arizona law requires that police give people a “reasonable opportunity to call an attorney” when they are suspected of DUI. This must be done prior to any breath, blood or urine testing as long as it doesn't interfere with the officer's investigation. Specifically, the officer should provide you with a phone, phone book and a private room in which to consult with a lawyer
5. Do I have to take a Breath, Blood or Urine Test after I'm Arrested for DUI?
Arizona law requires that all people who have been arrested for DUI provide a sample of their breath, via an intoxilyzer machine, blood or urine upon request by the police. If you refuse to take a chemical test, you are at risk of losing your driver's license for one year. Moreover, officers will usually apply for a court order, or warrant which will permit them to take a sample of your blood.
Generally, it is advisable that you take the test after you've been arrested for DUI. However, if this is your second offense within the last seven years, or if you are being arrested for a felony Aggravated DUI, or you have been involved in an accident involving death or serious injury the advice may differ and you typically should not take any chemical tests.
6. Should I answer the Officer's Questions After Being Stopped or Arrested for DUI?
Absolutely Not!! You have a right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions asked by police outside of your name. Anything you say regarding what you've had to drink, whether you feel impaired or intoxicated, etc. will certainly be used against you in court.
7. What are the usual penalties for DUI?
DUI in Arizona is a class one misdemeanor. The maximum penalties are six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. You can be placed on probation for up to five years. Aside from fines, fees and classes, DUI's in Arizona require mandatory time in jail. For a “Regular DUI” where your alcohol concentration is between .08 and .149, the mandatory penalty is between 1 and 10 days jail. For an Extreme DUI with an alcohol concentration between .150 and .199, the penalty increases to 30 days for a first offense. Finally, a Super Extreme DUI (above .20), carries a mandatory term of 45 days jail.
The jail time, fines and fees for misdemeanor DUI offenses in Arizona increase substantially if it is your second DUI offense within seven years and can involve up to six months in jail and a loss of license for one year. Felony, or Aggravated DUI's can result in a three year revocation of your driver's license and
a minimum of 4 months in prison.
8. What Causes a DUI to Become a Felony?
A misdemeanor DUI can be prosecuted as a felony in several situations. Specifically, if this is your third DUI within a seven year period or if your license was suspended or restricted at the time you were arrested for a DUI, you will face felony prosecution. Also, if you were arrested for DUI while a person under the age of 15 was in your car, you can be prosecuted for a felony as well.
9. Will I lose my License from a DUI?
If this is your first offense, a DUI conviction, or alternatively even a breath or blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit will result in a loss of license of up to 90 days. You may be eligible to apply for a restricted license or “work permit” after the first 30 days of your suspension. If you have refused to take the chemical test or if this is your second offense within seven years, your driving privileges can be revoked for one year. Following any DUI offense, you will be required to pay re-instatement fees to the Division of Motor Vehicles and will have to put an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) on your vehicle for a minimum of six months.
10. Can I be Arrested for DUI If I was Only Sitting in my Car?
Yes, some people are arrested for DUI after pulling off the road, or
sitting in a parking lot. Police rely on a concept called “Actual Physical Control” of a car. Basically, if the car is running and you are seated in the driver's seat, you are at risk of being investigated or arrested for DUI.
11. What should you do if you are an out-of-state visitor and you are arrested for DUI?
It is extremely common that someone who is visiting Arizona from another state is arrested for DUI. Our firm handles many such cases. On a client's request, we make every effort to have you appear telephonically with both the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
An Arizona DUI may affect your driving privileges in the state you reside in. Consequences vary by state. In addition, depending on the court in which your DUI is being prosecuted and the facts of the case, you may be able to resolve your DUI without retuning to Arizona.
12. Why should I hire an experienced DUI attorney?
Arizona DUI law is extremely complicated and has severe consequences. DUI law is commonly referred to as a minefield. An attorney must be competent in the Arizona Rules of “Criminal” Procedure, the Arizona Rules of Evidence, the United States and Arizona Constitutions, and the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles Rules and Regulations.
An attorney cannot do anything for you unless he or she has extensive experience in these areas. Police officers are only human and do commit legal errors. However, only an experienced DUI attorney will be able to find these errors and use them to help his or her client.
When you are charged with a DUI, you should hire a qualified DUI attorney. An experienced Arizona DUI attorney can analyze your case for legal errors and defenses. He or she can have blood samples independently analyzed, look for suppression issues, review calibration and COBRA records of breath machines, find the right expert witnesses for your trial, and assist you with your driver's license issues.
Law Office of Raymond A. Kimble | DUI Attorney in Tempe
CALL (480) 833-8613 FOR HELP TODAY
Contact the Law Office of Raymond A. Kimble today for a free consultation regarding your DUI charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. This includes Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and surrounding areas. Raymond Kimble is an experienced DUI lawyer and will help you achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular situation.