In Arizona, your driving record and any citations may affect your ability to maintain a license and drive without restriction. Moving violations in a car have associated points depending on the severity of the offense. Any DUI related conviction carries eight points and if you accumulate thirteen or more points within a twelve month period of time, your license will be suspended. Other offenses, such as speeding, carry two or three points and you may be eligible for Defensive Driving School to clear your record.
Reading little fine print is important. Because when you signed up for your driver's license in Arizona you consented to having your blood, breath or urine sample taken and analyzed if a stopping officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you are driving under the influence. That is what is known as the implied consent law. By getting your license and driving on Arizona roads you have agreed to those terms. You have no say in which test is administered; that is completely up to the officer who stops you.
Whether you know it or not, you have agreed to give an officer a blood, breath, or urine sample at their request if they have reason to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) above a .08%. It was one of the many lines in small print right above the signature line when you signed up to get your AZ driver's license issued. The agreement (that you probably didn't even know you entered) says that if you are found by MVD to have been driving with a BAC above a .08, than you will be forced to serve a 90 day driving suspension. There is no automatic hearing to make that determination. If the officer thinks your BAC is higher than a .08, then you get a suspension. Since driving is a privilege and not a right in Arizona, due process does not attach as stringently, which means that a Judge does not have to look at it. YOU have to request that a Judge reviews the material or else the suspension automatically goes into effect. Furthermore, YOU have to request that a Judge look at it within 15 days of the officer notifying MVD or else you waive your right to have a Judge look at it. From a practical perspective, it means that you can be totally innocent of DUI, be picked up and arrested in a holiday sweep, and if you don't know the system intricately enough to make timely request for hearing with MVD, then you are stuck losing your license for 90 days. No matter what your circumstance is, if you have been arrested for a DUI, you need to have a smart and aggressive attorney help you assert your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
The short answer is: maybe. Right now the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is figuring out how to implement some of the changes in the 2012 Arizona DUI Law, known as SB 1200. It is a common misunderstanding to think that the law reduced the interlock requirement in Arizona to 6 months. What it does is offer some people a deferment of 6 months after successful completion of 6 months. This deferment can be revoked at anytime and may not be offered. Its retroactivity to 2011 and earlier arrests is very much in question, but currently Arizona MVD seems inclined to only offer to people with dates of violation after Jan 1, 2012. This may change. What's more interesting are some provisions that will allow individuals to not have ignition interlock on at all. Yes- No interlock!! If you've been arrested for a DUI call a competent Arizona DUI attorney and see if they can help navigate you to a situation with no interlock requirement.
Arizona is by far one of the toughest states in which to get convicted of a DUI. The punishments in the Arizona Courts for DUIs are crushing-- even for first offense DUIs involving people with absolutely no criminal history-- as you will receive penalties from both the Court and the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). If you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, our Courts and Judges have no discretion to lighten punishments thanks to mandatory sentences imposed by our Arizona State legislators. However, on the flip-side, the punishments doled out by the Arizona MVD are relatively light compared to the MVDS (or DMVs) in many other States. Now, if you are from out-of-state and are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, you will also have an additional agency to deal with: your State's MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) or DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). So, if you are from another state, are accused of a DUI while visiting Arizona, and take a plea which requires you to plead guilty to DUI (Arizona is a plead to the max state, so almost every plea requires that), or are found guilty at trial, then your home state will be notified and the MVD or DMV in your State will take its own separate actions. Imagine being forced to go to jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, go to classes and be told that you will need a breath machine on your car for a year (all of which are punishments handed out by the Arizona Courts and Arizona MVD), and then, believing that you have paid handsomely, you return home and find out that your home state's MVD or DMV has suspended or revoked your right to drive for over a year, or some other similar punishment. As you can see, there are serious consequences for individuals who come to Arizona from other states and get accused of DUI here. Arizona has long been held as a vacation destination, and we see a fair amount of out-of-state drivers on the road here. So, whether you come to Arizona for a pre-season Spring Training baseball game, a work conference, or simply a golfing trip, when you come to Arizona with a driver's license issued by another state, the consequences of being accused of DUI in Arizona can be disastrous.
As many people know, any time you are stopped and cited for a traffic offense in Arizona, there likely comes with it points against your Arizona driver's license. Different driving infractions in Arizona carry with them different amounts of points against your AZ driver's license. For example, a civil speeding ticket in Arizona generally carries 3 points with it.