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How Is A DUI Defined In Arizona?


In the state of Arizona, a DUI is defined as driving while impaired to the slightest degree. Ingesting of alcohol or illegal drugs contributes to a determination of impairment, of course. However, impairment is additionally determined in the way a driver is behaving on the road as well. Whether it’s drifting lanes, failing to obey traffic laws, speeding or driving too slow, all of these things are indications of impairment when combined with alcohol or drug use. Being impaired to the slightest degree can be even less than the legal limit of alcohol or drug ingestion. As long as it has an impact on the way a person is driving and causes them to break any traffic laws they can be found guilty of DUI.

Is There A Typical DUI Client That You See In Arizona?

DUI is one of the few crimes that have no restrictions when it comes to who is typically charged with. It has no specific category or type of person. However, repeat offenders tend to be either young drivers who typically aren’t thinking about all the potential consequences or persons with true alcoholism and addiction issues. Those charged with DUI are men and women, people of all ethnicity, people of all ages, people with families or without, students, people with jobs, people without jobs; it really runs the gamut.

How Public Is The Knowledge Of A DUI Arrest In Arizona?

There are hundreds of DUI arrests every week in Arizona, especially here in the Phoenix area. Therefore, unless there is a newsworthy reason for the arrest or the incident, most go unnoticed. Some individuals have a duty to report an arrest or charge to an employer. However, most individuals have jobs where that is not necessary and manage to avoid having to bring this to anyone’s attention. Much like other criminal cases, unless someone is specifically searching or looking for it, it is not often readily available.

There are select cases that involve a more serious DUI incident which draw more public attention such as someone driving the wrong way down the freeway or a DUI involving a serious accident. However, the run-of-the-mill DUI can be resolved fairly quietly other than the consequences to your pocket book. Additionally people can even get through certain types of incarceration without having to have too many other people involved as well.

How Accurate Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests? How Much Weight Do They Carry In A DUI?

Standardized field sobriety tests can be introduced in a DUI trial to strengthen an officer’s suspicion that a DUI had taken place. An individual’s inability to perform basic mental and physical activity in those situations can be an indicator there is impairment. If the officer already notices bad driving, then smells alcohol, noticed bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, those things are reasons the officer will want to conduct the standardized field sobriety tests.

The typical tests are counting backwards from a certain number to one, walking in a straight line, and standing on one foot. These tests serve to show an individual’s ability to both respond to direction and perform those tests physically. There are other indications that the officer can use to determine whether an individual’s impaired in any way. In addition to the field sobriety tests, there are also what are called HGN tests, or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Most people commonly know this as a test where an officer will have the person follow a pen or a light from left to right. They are looking for a little bit of a bounce in the eyeball which can be an indicator of impairment.

For more information on DUI Charges In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 456-1982 today.

Jared Allen, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (602) 456-1982.

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