Zero Tolerance And Impaired To The Slightest Degree

›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation

Interviewer: In Arizona, I’ve heard talk of “zero tolerance for drunk driving” and “impaired to the slightest degree.” Can you talk about that and how that works?

Munoz: Well, the zero tolerance for drunk driving is essentially the warning by law enforcement in Arizona that they will have zero tolerance in terms of DUI. Their position is if you’re driving under the influence, they’re going to arrest you. Impaired to the slightest degree is the actual legal definition of 28-13-81-A1 of the Arizona revised statute. That’s the actual law that says if a person is driving a motor vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol, liquor or other drugs, and that person is impaired to, at least, the slightest degree while driving, they could be convicted of a DUI. That is a catch-all statute, and a lot of people don’t know it even exists. Everyone is more familiar with the DUI statute where if you have over a blood alcohol concentration of .08.

Interviewer: But if you have a blood alcohol concentration of below a .08 and above nothing, .00, what may you be charged with?

Munoz: That’s where you can be charged with the impaired to the slightest degree DUI, 28-13-81-A1. Because while you’re not over the .08 blood alcohol threshold, if the state is able to prove to a jury through your driving behavior and field sobriety tests and any other evidence they have, if they can prove to a jury that you were driving while impaired to, at least, the slightest degree, a person could be convicted of a DUI. This situation is exactly why people should refuse to take field sobriety tests and a portable breath test.

Interviewer: The impaired to the slightest degree seems like such a low standard, that’s why you say that any evidence you help them collect will definitely be used to help substantiate that.

Munoz: Exactly. If you’re stopped for DUI, it’s the police’s job to gain evidence against you to make an arrest. You have rights to protect yourself, and if you exercise your rights, you’re giving yourself a better fighting chance if you are arrested.

By Michael Munoz

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