Getting a DUI, especially in the state of Arizona, will change your life. The penalties in our state are some of the most severe whether it is your first or fourth. If you find yourself being charged with a DUI follow the do’s and don’ts listed below and be sure to give our firm a call for legal representation.
DUI Do’s and Don’ts
Phelps, the Olympic gold-medallist made headlines this November when he
was arrested for driving under the influence. The fact that
Americanseven sports heroes and role modelscontinue to make this error
in judgment demonstrates the pervasiveness of the problem. Sadly, with
public awareness at an all-time high, drunk driving still claims
thousands of lives each year.
In 2001 alone, 1.4 million drivers
were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
That’s one DUI arrest for every 137 licensed drivers in the United
States. The statistic is even more sobering when you consider 41 percent
or 17,419 of traffic fatalities recorded in 2002 were alcohol-related.
Chances are most of us know someone who has either been arrested for
drunk driving or has been injured or killed in an alcohol related crash.
By educating yourself, you can avoid becoming one of the statistics.
RULE #1: Don’t do it. If
you consume alcoholeven in small amountsjust don’t drive. Consider
the possible consequences when compared to a $40.00 cab ride. The fines
in some cities and states for driving under the influence can exceed
$10,000, to say nothing of its effect on your insurance.
Drunk driving is a misnomer.
majority of DUI arrestees will tell you, “But I don’t feel drunk.” The
fact is they probably don’t. Most states have adopted the .08% Blood
Alcohol Level (BAL or BAC in most states) as the measuring stick for
DUI. It is defined as the amount of alcohol in your blood stream
recorded in milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood. That is a very
small amount of alcoholso small that you may not feel any effect at
Your BAC has NOTHING…repeat, NOTHING to do with alcohol tolerance.
Even if you can drink 4 martinis in two hours and only ‘feel’ a little
tipsy, the truth is you were probably over the .08% level two martinis
ago. Your alcohol tolerance rises and falls with the frequency of your
drinking, but our BAC remains constant.
RULE #2: “But, I wasn’t weaving.”
Guess what? It doesn’t matter. You can be pulled over for a minor
traffic violation like a cracked taillight and still be arrested for
drunk driving. Officers can determine you were driving under the
influence based solely on your performance during a field sobriety test.
It doesn’t matter if you were driving perfectly when you were pulled
over. If the officer did happen to witness you weaving or displaying
signs of impaired driving prior to the traffic stop, it only serves to
strengthen his or her case against you after your arrest.
RULE #3: The Field Sobriety Tests.
an officer finds reason to detain you, he or she will most likely ask
you to perform a voluntary Field Sobriety Test or FST. Contrary to
popular belief, you will not be asked to recite the alphabet backwards
or rub your stomach and pat your head while standing on one foot. But
you will have to perform a number of simple tests designed to determine
if your balance, coordination, and comprehension are impaired by
RULE #4: Take a deep breath and blow, but only when you have to.
There are typically two types of breath tests for a DUI: the one given
before arrest and the one given after arrest. The pre-arrest test,
sometimes called the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, is
typically administered once you have completed or have failed to
complete a Field Sobriety Test.
Remember:You have the right to refuse this test. So, REFUSE THIS TEST.
of you might have heard that sticking metal in your mouth will fool the
test. This is simply an urban legend. You can suck on batteries, stick a
penny under your tongue, or lick all the tin foil you want. The test
will still be accurate. So, if you’ve made a habit out of driving home
from the local pub with a Duracell in your mouth, you should consider calling a taxi instead.
the post-arrest test is a different story. In most states, such as
California, you have a choice between submitting breath, blood or both.
But you CANNOT refuse to give at least one. This test is mandatory and
refusing to take it means an automatic license suspension. If you ever
find yourself faced with this decision, choose the breath test over the
blood. Why? Well, a breath test is open to various challenges in court.
The state must prove that the machine was accurate, calibrated, and that
you did nothing to affect the results like burp, hiccup, sneeze, or
vomit. On the other hand, blood is hard evidence, sealed in a glass
vial, tested by professionals, and rarely challengeable. So if in doubt
blow, don’t bleed.
Ultimately, however, the first rule is still
the best: don’t drive when you’ve been drinking. Any amount of alcohol
will impair you in someway, even if just slightly, so why risk it? Your
family, friends, and loved ones deserve and expect better of you. Plus
taxi drivers need our supportespecially around the holidays. In the
end, it only takes a moment’s worth of caution to avoid years of grief