Arizona’s New DUI Laws Reveal Both Good and Bad News for the Accused
As a bedrock constitutional provision, Americans are entitled to a trial by jury in criminal offenses. However, Arizona has decided to repeal the right to a jury trial for some first-time DUI offenders and allow judges to decide guilt or innocence. Even though the change was to save ailing Arizona the time and expense of using juries, the result is a giant step backwards in constitutional protections for the accused.
SB 1200 not only affected DUI jury trials, but ignition interlock devices (IIDs), alcohol monitoring programs and license suspensions. Additionally, counties are now allowed to implement continuous alcohol monitoring programs while certain DUI offenders are released from jail on home detention. The person must serve 20 percent of their jail sentence before becoming eligible for the program.
The changes to Arizona’s DUI laws also crack down harder on the use of illegal or prescription drugs while driving. If test results show the presence of drugs in a driver’s body and they do not have a valid prescription for it, the result is an automatic license suspension of 90 days or more.
Consulting an Arizona DUI Attorney
These are merely a few of the many changes SB 1200 made to Arizona’s DUI laws. Because these laws are new and very nuanced, judges may try to interpret them in a variety of ways. For that reason, it is crucial to seek the help of an experienced attorney to help secure the best outcome possible for your case.