Think you can't be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below .08? Think again, pursuant to A.R.S 13-1381, the State can charge a regular, non-extreme DUI two separate ways. The first way is if your BAC is above a .08, or the alternative way is if you were impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol or drugs, you can be convicted of a DUI.
If you receive an impaired to the slightest degree DUI it will most likely be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. In regards to punishment, there are not many differences between a DUI with a BAC greater than .08 and a DUI impaired to the slightest degree as the minimum fines/fees/jail are the same. These consequences may require six months served in jail and/ or fines up to $2,500 in fines. Many courts in Arizona will proceed forward if your blood or breath test comes back below a .08 if signs and symptoms of impairment are present. Below is the statute for a DUI impaired to the slightest degree:
28-1381. Driving or actual physical control while under the influence
A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:
1. While 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 if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
Keep in mind that the classification and punishments above are maximum penalties for first time DUI offenders. If you have received a prior DUI the charges may be increased. For example, if you have two or more DUI arrests in the past five years or you are driving on a suspended license, than you may be charged with aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI is classified as a Class 4 Felony and can lead to up to 3 years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines.
In Arizona there is a Zero-Tolerance policy, so any amounts of alcohol or substance abuse can lead to a DUI. Here at the Rosenstein Law Group, we understand that being arrested for a DUI is a very scary time, but we are here to help. All of our attorneys are well educated in all levels of DUI defense and will work with you to create an individualized plan of representation, and make sure that you are well informed in every step of your case. Give us a call today at 480-248-7666, to set up your free consultation.