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Where were you arrested? A DUI is a state offense, but each jurisdiction handles them slightly differently.

DUI charges do not only cover alcohol

In Arizona, it is a well-known fact that driving under the influence of alcohol can result in serious criminal charges. However, it is not only having an excessive blood alcohol concentration that can result in DUI charges. In fact, if you are impaired in any way by alcohol, illegal drugs or even prescription medication, you could be charged. Even the effects of medicines you can buy over-the-counter can get you into trouble.

Some of the drugs that may affect you include painkillers, antidepressants, antihistamines or anything else that could limit your ability to react in a timely fashion, make good decisions or generally operate your vehicle safely. In order to test for such impairment, officers will often use a series of tests described as field sobriety tests. A chemical test might also be requested.

As this article on criminal defense explains, you do have the option to refuse such tests. However, as possession of a driver?s license binds you under implied consent laws, refusal can result in the suspension of your license for several months, or even longer. Also, it could affect your final sentence if you still go on to be convicted.

It is a lot to think about and it can be hard to know what to do and where to turn when faced with such charges. Fortunately, an attorney may be able to help. He or she can explain the charges you face and might also be able to assist you with building your defense and working to escape conviction.

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