DUI/DWI Defense

A driving under the influence of alcohol conviction can have devastating consequences under the laws of Arizona. A conviction for a DUI can lead to a jail sentence, large fines and fees, having an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle and the suspension of your license to drive. A driving under the influence conviction may affect you in the following ways as well as placing you in an extremely stressful situation worrying about what will happen to you.

  • Family relationships and social life
  • Maintaining employment or finding a job
  • Ability to pay bills
  • Jail time
  • Large fines and fees
  • Probation
  • Increased auto insurance
  • Criminal record
  • Vehicle forfeiture
  • Ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • Suspension or revocation of your license to drive
  • Community service
  • Alcohol/drug counseling and treatment

For these reasons it is extremely important that you have someone willing to fight for your rights. A criminal defense attorney who has the experience and knowledge to challenge the state’s case against you every step of the way in order to obtain the best outcome for you when charged with a DUI. Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Brian DiPietro is that lawyer you can depend on to aggressively look out for your best interests.

Driving or actual physical control while under the influence

No person shall drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state if the person is impaired to the slightest degree while under the influence of any of the following circumstances:

  • intoxicating liquor,
  • any drug,
  • a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance,
  • or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances.

If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle. While there is any drug or its metabolite in the person’s body. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a commercial driver license and the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more. It is not a defense to a charge that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of this state. This offense is a class one misdemeanor. As a defense to DUI drugs, the statute says that a person using a drug prescribed by a medical practitioner who is duly licensed pursuant to law is not guilty of driving under the influence of drugs.

Under the DUI laws of Arizona, there is a presumption that 0.05% or less alcohol concentration in the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance, the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05% but less than 0.08% alcohol concentration in the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance, there is no presumption that the defendant was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but that fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant. If there was 0.08% or more alcohol concentration in the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance, the presumption is that the defendant was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Extreme Driving or actual physical control while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor:

No person shall drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state if the person is impaired to the slightest degree while under the influence of any of the following circumstances:

  • Blood Alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more but less than 0.20. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor. This offense is a class one misdemeanor.

Super Extreme Driving or actual physical control while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor:

  • Blood Alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the super extreme influence of intoxicating liquor. This offense is a class one misdemeanor.

Aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence:

Aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs if the person does any of the following:

  • While the person’s driver license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked or refused or while a restriction is placed on the person’s driver license or privilege to drive.
  • If a person is convicted, the court shall order the motor vehicle owned and operated by the person at the time of the offense forfeited.

Emergency response expenses:

  • The state may seek from a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances, who causes an accident that results in an emergency response and who is convicted of any DUI is liable for the expenses of that emergency response.
  • The expenses of an emergency response are a charge against the person liable for those expenses. The charge is a debt of that person.
  • The public agency, for-profit entity or not-for-profit entity that incurred the expenses may collect the debt proportionally. The person’s liability for the expenses of an emergency response shall not exceed one thousand dollars for a single accident.
  • The liability imposed under this section is in addition to and not in limitation of any other liability that may be imposed.

Blood and breath tests:

  • If blood is drawn, only a physician, a registered nurse or another qualified person may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcohol concentration or drug content in the blood.
  • If a law enforcement officer administers a duplicate breath test and the person tested is given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for an additional test, a sample of the person’s breath does not have to be collected or preserved.
  • The person tested shall be given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for any physician, registered nurse or other qualified person of the person’s own choosing to administer a test or tests in addition to any administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer.
  • The failure or inability to obtain an additional test by a person does not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test or tests taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.
  • If a person under arrest refuses to submit to a test or tests, whether or not a sample was collected or a search warrant, evidence of refusal is admissible in any civil or criminal action or other proceeding.
  • The issue of refusal is an issue of fact to be determined by the trier of fact in all cases. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has violated the DUI law and a sample of blood, urine or other bodily substance is taken from that person for any reason, a portion of that sample sufficient for analysis shall be provided to a law enforcement officer if requested for law enforcement purposes.

Drunk driving is known by a variety of names such as:

  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • driving while impaired (DWI)
  • operating under the influence (OUI)
  • operating while impaired (OWI)
  • driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII)
  • driving while under the influence (DWUI)