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3 Important Facts to Know About Arizona DUI Cases

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense in Arizona. Being convicted of DUI can lead to mandatory jail, fines, sanctions, driver’s license suspensions and/or restrictions, and graduated punishments for a subsequent offense. Unfortunately, DUI is one of the few offenses for which most people know someone who has been arrested, charged or convicted.

Let’s take a look at three important facts regarding DUIs in Arizona.

YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH COMMITTING DUI IN MORE THAN ONE WAY

You may already know that Arizona does not make it illegal to have a drink and drive a motor vehicle. DUI can be committed in four ways in Arizona. These four ways are driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle: 1) while the ability to drive is impaired to the slightest degree by any intoxicating liquor or drug/substance; 2) while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more within two hours of driving; 3) while there is any illicit drug (for example marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc) in a person’s body; and 4) while driving a commercial motor vehicle that requires a CDL with an alcohol concentration of .04% or more. Phoenix DUI Lawyers can help you understand this is greater detail.

YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH DUI WITHOUT ACTUALLY DRIVING

Being under the influence while in “actual physical control” simply means that an individual can be convicted of DUI even if they are not driving a motor vehicle. Whether a person is in actual physical control is determined by the entirety of the circumstances and includes whether the motor vehicle is running, where the person is inside the motor vehicle, and finally whether he or she has the keys. What’s important to know is that if you are in a vehicle after drinking, you could be found to be in actual physical control and convicted of DUI (even if the car is parked).

THERE MAY BE ENHANCED PUNISHMENTS FOR DUI BASED ON CIRCUMSTANCES

Outside of these basic legal theories for criminal liability, there are other laws that can enhance or increase the punishment for a DUI.

The legal limit in Arizona is .08% breath or blood alcohol content. Having said that, a DUI with a B.A.C. of .150% or .200% may be considered extreme and/or super extreme DUIs. In that case, if the prosecution can prove you are above those limits, you could face increased punishment. A DUI punishment may also be increased if a defendant has a prior DUI. A prior DUI within seven years may require more jail time. Finally, if a defendant commits a DUI while driving on a suspended license (usually for a DUI), then they can be charged with Aggravated DUI, which is a felony offense in Arizona.

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