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Arizona DUI Law

Fourth of July 2014 DUI Patrols

** If you are looking for DUI Checkpoint Do’s and Don’ts, Click Here.

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Summertime is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. and more specifically, the Fourth of July is a time when people in Arizona head to the lake for some fun in the sun! With that comes increased risk of drinking and driving (or boating). Local law enforcement in Arizona is out looking to arrest people for DUI if they have consumed too much alcohol and think they are OK to drive a car or boat. Our suggestion is if you’ve had any alcohol, please get a ride. If you are out on the lake boating, make sure you have a designated driver because law enforcement may be conducting sobriety checkpoints (and looking for life jackets for every passenger!!) on the lakes in Arizona (Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant, Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Lake Havasu, Colorado River, and Saguaro Lake).

If you find yourself at one of these sobriety checkpoints and are not sure what your BAC level is, read our DUI do’s and don’ts HERE.  That page will provide you with all the knowledge necessary about what to do if stopped by law enforcement after you have been drinking. For example, don’t take the eye test or any coordination tests.  You are not required to do these and if the officer is asking you to do any test, chances are he/she is going to arrest you anyway.  The test results just help the prosecutors case.

If you found this page after being suspected or arrested for DUI on the Fourth of July 2014 weekend, we have a number of resources relating to DUI and OUI (Boating DUI) in Arizona.

The most important thing you MUST do is ask to speak with an attorney BEFORE agreeing to any test (breath, blood, etc.).   Put our phone number (602-307-0808) in your cell phone now and call us before speaking to police.


Denial of Right to Counsel – Arizona DUI Defenses

Denial of right to counsel is an important defense for DUI cases. When being arrested, you always have a right to legal counsel, but it is particularly vital in the case of a DUI arrest. If you are prohibited from talking to an attorney which prevents you from obtaining his advice, your body will naturally eliminate the evidence of blood alcohol content that can be used for or against you. The police may tell you that your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, but it may not be; in the meantime, your body is burning off the alcohol, making the determination more difficult.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense of Denial of right to counsel:

The key cases on this issue are Holland v. State of Arizona, Juarez v. State of Arizona, McNut v. State of Arizona, Edwards v. State of Arizona and the latest one, Penney v. State of Arizona. In Edwards v. State of Arizona, which went up to the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Edwards said, “I think I should talk to a lawyer.” The Court said that was equivocal, or ambiguous, and Mr. Edwards needed to be unequivocal when requesting a lawyer. Instead, Edwards should have said “I want to talk to a lawyer” or “I need to talk to a lawyer.” The minute you say this, the police have to get you to a phone and a phonebook in a private area so you can talk to a lawyer.

The Holland v. State of Arizona case deals with eleven specific questions a lawyer will ask you. These include, “what did you drink?”; “when did you start drinking?”; “when did you stop drinking?”; “when was the last time you ate?” Certain information needs to be known so the lawyer can approximate what your blood alcohol content will be so you can decide whether to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test. The attorney will also be able to tell you to request to be released in order to get an independent chemical test at a hospital.

The additional guidance a lawyer can provide is important. A lawyer can tell you not to answer any further questions, not to do any further physical tests, and probably get a blood or breath test because the police will likely get a warrant for it and get a test by force. But if you’re stopped for a DUI and you request a lawyer but were not given a lawyer or the police were not quick to respond, contact our firm. You can set up an appointment at www.DMCantor.com or call 602-307-0808 at any time to get a Free Case Review. An initial consultation is free and takes just 30 minutes.

Be sure to visit our DUI case victories for a sampling of DUI cases we’ve won in Arizona.


Arizona DUI Defense: No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

Law enforcement personnel must have “reasonable suspicionto stop and/or detain a motorist. Absent this, any resulting arrest is “pre-textual” and any charge(s) are subject to summary dismissal. Moreover, any evidence obtained is inadmissible in a court of law.

“Lack of reasonable suspicion to stop” is a valid legal defense to a DUI charge. As the label implies, “reasonable suspicion” requires a rational basis. Race, physical appearance, dress, or mere presence in a particular area is insufficient legal grounds for reasonable suspicion or detention. Rather, police must have some specific objective factual basis to suspect criminal activity. Thus, the fact that you were driving in an area where there are many bars during the wee morning hours does not, by itself, constitute reasonable suspicion to stop.

David Cantor explains the DUI Defense, No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop:

Arizona’s controlling legal precedent on reasonable suspicion to stop is a case called Livingston v. State of Arizona. In that case, officers from a specialized drug task force claimed to have seen the defendant weave six inches across the yellow line three times. At the time, the motorist was driving through a large curved area of highway near Globe, Arizona at about 50 miles per hour. During the subsequent vehicle stop and search, officers found several hundred pounds of marijuana.

The court later rejected the officers’ “hunch” based on the motorist’s alleged erratic driving and race as insufficient legal justification to reasonably suspect illegal activity. Consequently, it ruled the initial stop “pre-textual” and dismissed the entire case.

We frequently see similar scenarios in DUI cases. For instance, a common situation involves an officer staked out near a local bar who claims that our client weaved in the road, made a California stop, or improper turn. We are able to get many of those DUI charges dismissed due to lack of reasonable suspicion to stop. See the “Victory” section for details about specific cases we have won in such instances.

Contact us today via email or phone for a free initial consultation and expert case evaluation. DM Cantor is available 24 hours a day by calling (602) 307-0808 or via our secure and confidential web form.


Waste Management Phoenix Open 2014

The Waste Management Phoenix Open 2014 has officially started and is in full swing!

If you are planning on going to the Waste Management Open 2014 and drinking there, make sure you take a cab there and a cab home.  There is a new driving service App called UBER, which will pick you up close to the venue so you do not have to wait in the infamous Waste Management cab line.  UBER cabs arrive very quickly so plan accordingly when ordering a car.

If you do not take a cab or UBER and still decide to have a few drinks then drive, there are a few things you should know in case you get pulled over and questioned for DUI.  No matter what question the police officer asks you, you need to reply the same way as if you are being questioned for murder or robbery.  The answer is “Officer I am not going to answer any questions or do any tests until I talk to my lawyer”.  By saying that you did not lie to the officer nor did you confess, you simply said “let me talk to my lawyer”.  In trial the officer cannot comment on your right to remain silent so the jury can only consider the evidence before them; which would be very minimal.

Put our 24/7 phone number, 602 307-0808, in your phone right now under “lawyer” just in case you get questioned for DUI or any other crime and call us.  Set up a Free Initial Consultation Here and we would love to meet with you and help you out.


Holiday DUI Enforcement Checkpoint 2013

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the East Valley DUI task force will be stopping thousands of drivers on the roads. Approximately, 20 percent will be arrested for DUI. If you are pulled over and asked if you have been drinking, your answer should be that you won’t answer any questions or submit to any field tests until you talk to your lawyer. You have the right to decline these tests, and there are no legal repercussions for doing this.

If you have been suspected of drunk driving, call the DM Cantor. There is an answering service available 24 hours a day, and a lawyer will call back in just 5 minutes. Keep in mind that these phone consultations are a free public service. Our lawyers will assess your situation and advise you on whether or not to take the blood or breath tests.

At the trial, the police officer can’t comment on the fact that you invoked your right to remain silent and refused to take fields test. The officer can only offer his subjective view of the events such as he pulled you over, smelled alcohol, and arrested you. The jury may wonder why you were arrested if there wasn’t any hard evidence of your being drunk. The burden of proof is on the state.

For anyone out celebrating and drinking, it’s best to take a taxi or choose a designated driver even if you only had a few drinks. If you do get arrested, call DM Cantor at (602) 307-0808. To schedule a free case review with a lawyer, give us a call or send us an email by using our confidential web form.


How to Find an Interlock Device for your Car

This is a Guest Post from Barry Saunders owner of Ignition Interlock Company, Quick Start AZ.

Are you in need of an interlock device for your car? If so, you are probably interested in having one of these installed for one of two reasons:

  • You have been required to do so by law due to a recent conviction of driving under the influence
  • You realize you have a problem with drinking and driving, and are attempting to fix your issue before it gets you into trouble

Either way, you need to realize that there are steps you can take to find the best interlock device for your car.

What is an Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) or Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) checks your blood alcohol concentration before allowing you to start your vehicle.

If the alcohol analyzed in your system from your breath is above legal limits,  the IID will disable your ignition system, rendering your vehicle inoperable. Even after you have passed your initial breath test to start your car, the system will at random times require another breath sample. For a failed breath test in a moving vehicle, an alarm (e.g., honking horn , flashing lights) will sound and will not turn off until the vehicle comes to a complete stop and the ignition turned off.

How to Find the Best Interlock Device

It is one thing to say you are going to purchase an interlock device, but another thing entirely to find and install the one that is best for you and your vehicle.

When searching for an interlock device, pay close attention to the many models that are currently on the market. There are several to consider, so you want to take your time and be patient before making a final decision. Making the wrong choice can prove very costly.

Here are standard factors to consider when searching for the best interlock device:

  • Product Features
  • Reputation for Reliability
  • Ease of use
  • Product Support
  • Price

The latest models of the best interlock devices have as standard features these essential functions:

  • Adjustable breath sample volume which is essential for those with breathing difficulties like asthma.
  • An understandable clear bi-lingual user interface with text and voice messages.
  • Remote Lockout Override via phone to reduce expensive towing and service calls.
  • Durable ergonomic construction that fits well in your hand and in your vehicle with no small parts to break off easily.
  • Vehicle Mechanic Mode for easy car servicing by a phone call. This option is used if the vehicle requires automotive (non-Interlock) service by a mechanic.
  • Breath alcohol validation via ethanol specific fuel cell technology that eliminates problems with failed tests attributable to cigarette smoke or vehicle exhaust. Fuel cell units are considered the ‘gold standard’ of all alcohol monitoring units.
  • Redundant buttons in the event that any of the controls used to operate the unit becomes inoperable, the remaining buttons will assume that function.

Questions to Ask yourself

Now that you have some basic information as to the features to consider when buying an interlock device, there are sure to be a few questions on your mind. Here are several questions to ask and answer before making the crucial buying decision:

  • Does the interlock device have a reputation for being 100 percent reliable?
  • Is there an authorized dealer in my area that can offer installation services?
  • What is the process for using the interlock device, and will I receive training from the company that installs it on my vehicle?

When you answer these types of questions, among others, you will find it much easier to make a final decision on which device to purchase.

At this point, you should have a better understanding of how to find an interlock device for your car.

 

About the Author: Barry Saunders

Barry Saunders is the founder and owner of www.QuickStartAZ.com. QuickStart Ignition Interlock AZ is the premier ADOT certified provider for your Ignition Interlock Device. As Arizona’s exclusive INTERLOCKCUP PROVIDER, his clients can avoid the embarrassment of an interlock device.


Third Offense Felony Aggravated DUI Penalties in Arizona

Watch as David Cantor explains a 3rd Offense Felony Aggravated DUI in Arizona:

A third offense felony Aggravated DUI in Arizona is a DUI in which an individual has any two prior allegable felony convictions. These priors do not necessarily have to be Aggravated DUI charges, but they can be any prior felony convictions. For example, if an individual has two prior felonies for possession of marijuana and theft, the DUI is considered a third offense felony Aggravated DUI. Even if the individual did not complete any jail or prison time on the two priors, the new Aggravated DUI will result in severe punishments.

When convicted of a third offense felony Aggravated DUI in Arizona, the individual will be required to complete a mandatory minimum of six years in PRISON. However, the prison time can reach a maximum of 15 years, with a presumptive prison term of 10 years. As a result of the prison term, individuals will most likely lose their mortgage and home, and their license will be lost for years. The standard offer by the state of Arizona is six years in prison. However, if the prior felonies are found to be lacking information such as a missing fingerprint, paperwork (particularly from out of state priors) or an attorney-client waiver form, the sentence can be significantly reduced. For example, rather than serving six to fifteen years on a third offense, the individual might then only serve four months in prison on the basis of a first offense Aggravated DUI.

There is no reason to sugar coat the punishment, a 3rd offense felony Aggravated DUI charge is very, very serious. The presumptive PRISON sentence is 10 years, how does that sound? As stated above, if you have previous DUI charges, we might be able to help you get those thrown out so they don’t count, thus making the current charge less than a 3rd offense felony Aggravated DUI. What is your future worth to you?

 

For a Free Case Consultation, please call our offices at (602) 307-0808 to schedule an appointment. Our offices are available 24 hours a day by phone or by email.


Third Offense Extreme DUI Penalties Arizona

An extreme DUI is any time when your blood alcohol content is .150 to .199. A third offense means you have two prior DUI convictions within the previous seven years, and those other DUIs do not have to be extreme DUIs; they can be any DUI conviction within the past seven years.

Looking for the penalties for 1st Offense Extreme Misdemeanor or 2nd Offense Extreme Misdemeanor?

Watch as David Cantor explains the punishments for a 3rd Offense Extreme DUI in Arizona:

Technically, if you get your third DUI in seven years of any type it can be charged as a felony, or an aggravated DUI. The consequences can mean four months in prison as well as many other consequences. Occasionally, cities will charge you with a misdemeanor DUI and keep it in the city court system. If they do keep it in the city system, then the standard offer will be six months in jail (not prison), which allows you to obtain a work release for 12 hours, five days a week. The city may keep it in their misdemeanor jurisdiction because there is a proof problem with one or both of your previous DUIs. For example, there may be an out-of-state prior, and many times there are no fingerprints taken at the time you plea; there may be no attorney waiver in the file; or there may be no guilty plea proceeding form on the record. That means in order to prove the prior many times they would have to fly someone in from out of state, to make the prior admissible. That’s why it is important to get an attorney who knows how to challenge and attack prior convictions.

If you are convicted of a third offense misdemeanor extreme DUI, you will be sentenced to 180 days in jail, and the jail time will cost you $14,500. The fines associated with a 3rd Offense Extreme DUI will be $4,649. Just the fine and jail costs alone will be almost $20,000. There are other repercussions as well – your commercial driver’s license will be gone. If you are a healthcare provider, legal professional, real estate agent, hold an SEC license, or work with the government or military, you will probably be suspended or fired depending upon your occupation. You will also have to attend 36 substance abuse classes ($585), install an ignition interlock device for at least two years ($2,400), and have your license suspended for at least one year.

Get a Free DUI Case Review, Click Here.

If you choose to drive once you get your license back, your car insurance will go up $3,000 per year for the next three years ($9,000) and you’ll have to maintain an SR-22 policy on your car as well which is $500 per year for three years ($1,500). Go to our website at DMCantor.com and visit the Victory section – you’ll see how many extreme DUIs and second- and third-offense extreme DUIs we have beaten. Many times we are able to eliminate the prior DUIs, and then the 3rd Offense Extreme DUI charge can be reduced to a first offense. That drops the jail term from 180 days to 30. If reduced to a first offense regular DUI, then this also means one day in jail which will drop the costs from $26,000 to just $4,000.

Let’s review the punishment for a 3rd Offense Extreme DUI in Arizona:

  • 180 days in prison, with no work release available
  • $14,500 In Jail Costs
  • $4,649 in Fines
  • $1,500 for SR-22 Policy for three years
  • $3,000 annual insurance increase for the next three years
  • License suspension for at least one year

It’s important to hire a DUI defense attorney who knows what he is doing. Visit DMCantor.com and you can see our qualifications Please fill out a contact form to set-up a free initial office consultation. You can also call us (602) 307-0808 to schedule an appointment. If this applies to you, a loved one or a family member, give us a call – we would love to help you out.


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