DUI is the most common crime for people of all ages and economic background. Because of how common they have become there are many myths and false beliefs associated with them. Here is short list to help one understand what really matters in a DUI arrest and investigation.
1. Government does not want to waste time and money on my case: False – This is a common misconception many people make when facing a DUI arrest. I’m frequently told won’t they dismiss this case since I’m a good person and this will just waste taxpayer time and money. The short answer – NO, they won’t dismiss the case to save money. A matter of fact is that DUI is a huge revenue generator for the State. So dismissing cases would actually cost the State money.
2. I’m a good person won’t they dismiss the DUI? No, Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the country especially for first time offenders. Prosecutors see thousands of DUIs every single year and most of them are first time offender DUIs. While it is great that your a good person with no criminal record. But what is really important is that you have a experienced DUI Attorney who knows how to aggressively fight your case while using the fact that your a good person to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case or reduce the charges.
3. Always refuse to give Blood or Breath: Short Answer – False. I hear this a lot from people who are neither lawyers or people who ever had to deal with a DUI. In Arizona, you should always refuse a portable breath test (PBT) that is usually done on the scene of the stop. But, if you refuse to give Blood or Breath at a DUI van or the police station then the MVD has the power to suspend your license for 1 year. Before accepting or refusing to take a Blood or Breath test you should tell the police that before you make the decision you want the opportunity to speak to a lawyer. In most cases an experienced DUI lawyer will likely tell you to take the Blood or Breath test. But, there are unique situations where refusing may help your case. But, you should never automatically refuse until you talk to a lawyer.
4. You can only get a DUI if your impaired by alcohol: False. In Arizona, you can be convicted of a DUI if your impaired by any alcohol or drug (legal or illegal) to the slightest degree. Further, when it comes to DUI with drugs the State only has to prove that you have the drug metabolite in your system at the time of driving. This means a person could be sober at the time of driving, but if an officer pulls that person over and thinks they have showed signs and symptoms of drug use the officer could arrest them for DUI. In this scenario if blood is taken and drug metabolite from weeks ago is still in the blood stream then that person could be convicted of DUI. This type of case is very technical and needs an experienced DUI lawyer to fight aggressively to prove the person was sober at the time of driving.
5. Can’t I do community service instead of jail time: No, in Arizona all DUI offenses from the very lowest to the most severe come with mandatory jail time. While it is admirable that you are willing to do community service it will not suffice in satisfying the jail time that is required. Arizona’s DUI laws are harsh and require serious consequences like jail time and interlock devices. To prevent a DUI conviction or to minimize the consequences you should consult with an Attorney who has real DUI experience.