When you go out drinking and end up having too much to drive yourself home, the best thing you can do is get a ride from someone sober. Right? While this is generally true if you catch yourself before you get behind the wheel, if you start driving and then decide to stop, getting a ride home could still lead to a DUI.
Recently, we have been contacted by several individuals who have received DUIs after calling rideshare. In these cases, the rideshare drivers have returned these individuals to their vehicles and then called 911.
That’s right. Even if you do the right thing and get a safe ride home, you could find yourself getting turned in to the police.
Why are Rideshare Drivers Turning In People Who Need Safe Rides Home?
Why are rideshare drivers doing this? We’re not entirely sure. Some rideshare drivers might believe they are doing the right thing, while others might not want drunk passengers in their cars. Whatever the case may be, once you have been returned to your vehicle and the police are on their way, you can face an uphill battle when it comes to avoiding prosecution for a DUI.
This is particularly true if the only way your vehicle could have gotten to its current location is by you driving it after you had been drinking.
Ways to Defend Against a DUI Charge After Getting Dropped Off By a Rideshare Driver
With that said, there are ways to fight a DUI if a rideshare driver calls the police and leaves you with your vehicle in a parking lot or on the side of the road. For example:
- Did your BAC rise between the time you stopped driving and the time the police showed up? It takes time for the alcohol you consume to enter your bloodstream. As a result, when the police test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), it is entirely possible that your BAC could be significantly higher than it was when you were driving. If your BAC reading does not accurately reflect your level of intoxication at the time you were behind the wheel, then it might not serve as evidence against you.
- Is it possible that you never moved your vehicle? Is it plausible that you never got behind the wheel? When you get charged with a DUI in Arizona, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you were in “actual physical control” of your vehicle while you were intoxicated. If the prosecution cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, they should not obtain a conviction in court.
- Did the police fail to follow all necessary protocols and legal requirements? From administering your BAC test to performing the field sobriety tests (FSTs) and deciding to arrest you for questioning you in custody, the police must strictly adhere to all necessary protocols and legal requirements. If they did not (for example, if they failed to read your rights), this could serve as a defense in your DUI case.
- Is your breath, blood, or urine sample unreliable? Unfortunately, numerous issues can render breath, blood, and urine samples unreliable. For example, if you ate a breath mint while in the rideshare, this could have elevated your BAC. Or, if the police administered your test or handled your sample improperly, then your test results might not meet the standard for admissibility as evidence at trial.
- Is the prosecution’s case lacking in any respect? Since the prosecution has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, if the prosecution’s case lacks any respect, this could be enough to save you from a conviction. Our DUI attorneys can meticulously take apart the prosecution’s case, and we can identify any opportunities for fighting your DUI charge.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Charged with DUI After Calling a Rideshare?
So, you tried to do the right thing. You called a rideshare because you were concerned about your ability to drive, and it ended up landing you with a DUI. What do you need to do now?
1. Write Down Everything You Can Remember
Try to write down as many details as you can remember—starting from the moment you called the rideshare. For example, did you take a breath mint? Did the arresting officer inform you of your rights? The more you can remember and write down, the better.
2. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
At this point, you should exercise your right to remain silent. You should also avoid discussing your DUI charge with anyone but your defense lawyer. It would help if you were very careful, and you cannot afford to say something that the prosecution can use against you accidentally.
3. Make Sure You Know Your Court Date
Your first court date after a DUI arrest is your arraignment. You must attend—and you should do so with your defense lawyer. So, make sure you know your court date, and make arrangements to be there on time.
4. Learn about Your DUI Case
In Arizona, DUI charges carry substantial penalties, but there are also many potential defenses available (including, but not limited to, those listed above). Therefore, it is important to learn as much about your case when facing a DUI charge as possible.
5. Contact a Phoenix DUI Defense Lawyer
Fighting a DUI charge in Arizona is not easy—no matter the circumstances involved. To give yourself the best chance of attaining a favorable outcome, you should discuss your case with a Phoenix DUI lawyer right away.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney at The Weingart Firm
Have you been charged with DUI after calling rideshare? If so, our Phoenix DUI defense attorneys can help fight your charge. To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, call 480-405-7922 or request an appointment online now.