What Are The Scientific And Factual Ways People Are Charged With DUI In Arizona?

Interviewer: In Arizona, there is a facet of the law called “impaired to the slightest degree.” Does that mean someone below a 0.08 will still get charged with DUI?

Brian: Yes, in Arizona, there are two standard initial ways of being charged with DUI. The first one, you are driving or your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree by the use of alcohol, drugs- illegal or prescription, and/or vapor-releasing substances.

That is a more factual way of proving DUI. It is basically impairment. Also, it is driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle.

The second way is more scientific. You were driving and you had a blood alcohol level at or above a 0.08, tested within two hours of driving; or you had illegal drugs or medication in your system. Illegal can be prescription medication that is not taken as prescribed.

So impairment can be by way of prescription medications, even if you are taking them completely as prescribed. It is not a defense to you, being impaired by prescription medications. It can also be impairment by vapor releasing substances, which we most commonly see with paint huffing. You can see it, absolutely, with alcohol.

In Arizona, there are presumptions of impairment. Someone tested at or above a 0.08 alcohol level is presumed, under Arizona law, to be impaired. If they are between a 0.04 and a 0.08, the law has no presumption. If they are between a 0.01 and a 0.04, they are presumed not to be impaired.

However, in theory the prosecutor could still choose to go forward at trial and argue impairment, despite the law’s presumption that someone is not impaired to that degree.

For example, I was talking to that guy today whose blood alcohol level came back at a 0.054. Under Arizona law, there is no presumption of impairment. However, there was a horrendous car accident they want to blame on my client, so they are doing the exception to the rule. They decided to charge him with DUI.

There is no presumption. It is a case that would normally be dismissed. Prosecutors would decide not to file it. However, there was a pretty bad accident, and they are going forward with such a low blood alcohol content and no drugs.

Interviewer: A typical person on a chemical registers a 0.08 or above. Does the person actually face two different charges: impaired and driving or operating a vehicle; and the concentration of alcohol in their blood is above a certain level?

Brian: Yes, just about everyone charged with DUI is charged with two or more counts. That is two or more ways the prosecutor can try to prove them guilty at trial. Under count one, they can try to prove the person was impaired to the slightest degree. Under count two, they can prove they were above the legal limit, a 0.08.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career focused on DUI Defense representation, having defended more than 4,100+ DUI clients in the past 18+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, then I can comfortably say: “I’m not the one for you”.

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are “aggressive”, or “will fight for you”, are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because that is what they think people want to hear. The truth of the matter is, being “aggressive” rarely gets the client anywhere in these court systems. Being “aggressive” isn’t the same as being good.

The same is true for the lawyers that claim to do DUI Defense… and Criminal Cases…, and Accident cases…, and Divorces. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none. By handling all different sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up to date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI defense, at an exceptional price.

I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.

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