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Arizona is known for its strict DUI laws and for having among the most severe penalties in the United States. It’s important to understand the potential consequences of DUI and to know your rights, so you can do all you can to avoid a conviction. If you are being questioned by the police on suspicion of drunk driving, your goal should be to do and say as little as possible. You do not need to comply with a request for field sobriety tests or a roadside breath test. It is always your right to request to speak to an attorney immediately. Whether you are charged with a basic DUI, aggravated DUI, Arizona Extreme or underage DUI, The Weingart Firm offers expert defense strategies honed by years of successful experience.
If you are arrested on charges of “Arizona Extreme” or Aggravated DUI, the police will often exercise their option to impound your vehicle for 30 days. Usually the basis for the arrest is the result of a portable breath test, which, in fact, you do not have to take. If stopped for a potential DUI, you have a right to refuse to take a roadside test, though you must submit to testing at the police station or hospital. Without roadside testing, the police cannot impound your vehicle. As always, a DUI arrest should prompt a request to call an attorney at once. If your car has been towed and you are married, community property laws allow your spouse to request a hearing to retrieve the vehicle quickly.
A DUI arrest puts your driving privileges in immediate jeopardy. All Arizona DUI arrests and convictions involve the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), which will quickly issue you a notice of 90-day license suspension (or a year if you refuse blood alcohol count testing in violation of implied consent laws.) The MVD form includes an option to request an administrative hearing to avoid or mitigate automatic suspension; if you make the request within 15 days, suspension cannot take effect until the hearing is held several months later. Contact The Weingart Firm for expert DUI defense representation.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, the penalty includes mandatory use of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). The Motor Vehicle Department (MPD) will initially contact you with notice that you need to pay to have the device installed in your car (along with the bimonthly check up fees and subsequent removal costs). Connected to a GPS system, your sobriety is monitored by the IID when you blow into it before starting your vehicle and at intervals while driving. An IID can be a positive for those whose license has been revoked or suspended for a year. Use of the device now allows you to drive legally during the revocation or suspension period.
Driving under the influence can sometimes result in a felony conviction, which comes with severe penalties, including a permanent criminal record. Aggravated DUI, alcohol-related vehicular assault, manslaughter, and negligent homicide are all felony charges. Consequences vary depending on the case and whether it is a first offense. A lesser Class 6 felony can be charged and punished as a misdemeanor, with a license revocation, while a Class 4 felony carries a four month mandatory minimum jail sentence, among many other consequences. If you are arrested on charges of felony DUI, the experienced attorneys at The Weingart Firm offer top-tier legal representation, and are prepared to mount your best possible defense.