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ARS 28-1381

Arizona DUI Defense – Blood Test Inaccuracies for 2019

Arizona DUI Defense – Blood Test Inaccuracies for 2019

How to Defend against a DUI Charge in Arizona:  5 Ways Blood Tests Can Be Inaccurate

In Arizona, drivers may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher. Blood tests are widely accepted as being the most accurate way of determining blood alcohol concentration in drivers suspected of DUIs and are often the only objective evidence of a defendant’s guilt, making the validity of the test a central question in a DUI trial.

Chart Showing Blood Alcohol Count - BAC Readings

Source: Stanford University

According to Stanford University, the effects of BAC levels can vary from person to person, male or female, slender or heavier; even medication can play a significant role on the blood alcohol readings. Stanford has published a BAC Graph showing the levels of blood alcohol.

Contrary to popular belief, blood tests are not always conclusive in proving that a driver’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. As explained below, many factors affect the accuracy of blood test results.

If your case involved the taking of blood or urine during your DUI arrest, you will need to wait and see if your BAC results come back at a reading of .08% or greater. This process can take between one (1) and six (6) months for your results to return. In the event your BAC readings are above a .08% the officer will send a suspension of driving privileges to the Arizona MVD office. You will then be notified with a “Corrective Action Notice” (i.e., notice of suspension). As soon as you receive this from the DMV, speak to our certified Phoenix DUI Specialist immediately so we can start the DUI Defense process and request a hearing on your behalf. This hearing request needs to be done within fifteen (15) days of the date of that suspension notice.


How can blood alcohol test results be challenged?

Below are 5 common categories of problems that may lead to the dismissal of DUI charges against defendants who have undergone blood alcohol testing:

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Arizona Laws for Legally Cultivating Marijuana

Arizona Laws for Legally Cultivating Marijuana

You might think that because Arizona and Colorado are neighbors, that Arizona might adopt the same laws as Colorado when it comes to marijuana. However, this is not the case. Arizona has some of the strictest laws in the country. In November of 2016, there was a measure that would have legalized marijuana. It was called Proposition 205. It failed by a narrow margin, and Arizona still has some of the strongest laws known in the United States.

Rules for Possession of Marijuana

The only way that you can legally grow marijuana in the State of Arizona is if you have a medical marijuana ID card. This must be given only by a licensed MD., DO, or N.D. in Arizona. When you have a medical card, this will allow you to possess 2.5 ounces every 2 weeks, and you will be allowed to grow up to 12 plants as long as you do not live within 25 miles of a dispensary.

Arizona marijuana is also known as cannabis. It is labeled as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This law also includes all the different forms of marijuana, including concentrates and edibles. If you are caught with any form of cannabis, you will face a felony charge under the ARS 13-3405. The charges for possession of marijuana will depend on how much you have, and what the specific charge is.

Medical Marijuana in Arizona

Proposition 203 was first defeated in 2002 but the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act eventually passed in 2010 by the voters in Arizona. If you want to use medical marijuana in Arizona, you will have to be registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services, and have a registry identification card. To qualify you must:

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Charged for DUI Drugs as a Medical Marijuana Card Holder in Arizona

Charged for DUI Drugs as a Medical Marijuana Card Holder in Arizona

Even though recreational possession and use of marijuana remains illegal in Arizona, it has been legalized in the neighboring states of California, Nevada, and Colorado. The possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes in Arizona is perfectly legal though for patients who qualify and are approved for it. What comes to issue for medical marijuana patients are Arizona’s impaired driving laws. It’s illegal to drive impaired in the state when under the influence of marijuana. A conviction is equivalent in seriousness as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Marijuana and Driving Under the Influence Laws

As per ARS 28-1381 (A)(3), a driver could be found guilty of DUI Drugs if he or she is determined to have been driving or was in actual physical control of a vehicle and was “impaired to the slightest degree” by any drug or its metabolite. That’s equivalent to a “zero tolerance” law. Under ARS section 13-3401, the definition of drugs includes marijuana. As per the Arizona Supreme Court, actual physical control is defined as having “current or imminent control” over the vehicle and presenting a “real danger” to yourself or the public. Current or imminent control over a motor vehicle is determined by a totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding a case.

Supreme Court of Arizona v. Hon. Harris (Shilgevorkyn) Case

On December 11, 2010, at about 10:30 p.m., Hrach Shilgevorkyn was stopped by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly speeding and making an illegal lane change. Police believed that Shilgevorkyan might have been impaired, and he was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests. After performing the tests, Shilgevorkyan said that he had smoked “weed” the night before. He was not using it for medical purposes. He was asked to submit to blood tests which he voluntarily submitted to shortly after midnight. It was determined that carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (carboxy-THC) was in his blood sample. Our criminal defense attorney from DM Cantor was obtained to represent Shilgevorkyan against these dui charges. What the case turned on was whether Carboxy-THC was an impairing metabolite. In a four to one decision, the Arizona Supreme Court determined that it was not. Here is a summary of the court’s decision and rationale. It focused on the interpretation of section 28-1381(A)(3).

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Can You Get a DUI While Driving an ATV / Quad in Arizona?

Can You Get a DUI While Driving an ATV / Quad in Arizona?

Drunk driving is one of the top concerns among law enforcement, both in Arizona and in other states. Driving under the influence of alcohol has the ability to cause accidents, injuries and may even lead to death. In addition, drunk driving penalties can cost a lot of money in court if you’re found guilty. You may also be required to attend and pay for alcohol education classes, commit to community service or serve time in jail depending on the circumstances of your case.

As a result, it is recommended that you never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, some people misunderstand the law when it comes to operating a vehicle while after drinking. Truthfully, it can be difficult to know when you’re over the limit without a variety of scientific tests. It is important to remember that everyone processes alcohol in different ways. In most cases, DUI charges (see: Arizona Revised Statute ARS 28-1381) are brought against people who are stopped for driving a car, truck or other common on-road vehicle. The question is, can you be charged with a DUI while operating an off-road vehicle?

Can You Get a DUI on an ATV in Arizona?

The answer is: Yes. Like in other states, AZ DUI laws state that a motorized vehicle is one that uses a mechanized engine for power. This means that you can’t be charged with a DUI while on a bike, skateboard, horse or other modes of transportation that don’t require an engine. You can, however, be charged with a DUI while operating an ATV or quad because these are classified as motorized vehicles. ATVs are treated the same as cars and other on-road vehicles. Furthermore, you can be arrested for a DUI on an ATV while off a commercial roadway, but unless you are egregious in your driving, you likely won’t be stopped on your own property.

Understanding Arizona DUI Laws

  • You can be arrested for DUI on an off-road vehicle
  • A vehicle must be operated by a mechanized engine to be considered motorized
  • Never drink and drive
  • Remain silent if arrested to avoid self-incrimination

…Click Here to Read the Full Article


Stopped at a Phoenix DUI Task Force Checkpoint

Stopped at a Phoenix DUI Task Force Checkpoint

What is the Arizona DUI task force?

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) strives to prevent motorists from driving while impaired or intoxicated. AZGOHS awards grant funds to local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Funds are awarded based on the need for the project as determined by the ratio of the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths to the total number of accidents and fatalities in the geographic area. The Phoenix, Arizona, Department of Public Safety (#AZDPS) DUI task force is a multi-agency effort with federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Despite the efforts of the Phoenix, Arizona, DUI task force to increase their presence on the highways, Phoenix parents still tried to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol over the 2018 Halloween holiday. A 41-year-old woman taking six children under the age of 10 trick or treating in her SUV careened off the road and into a ditch at 8:30 P.M. on Wednesday evening. Her speech was slurred, and she reeked of alcohol when police arrived at the scene. Her blood-alcohol was twice the legal limit. She faces five counts of aggravated DUI, and she was drinking from an open container. Of course, she lost custody of the kids. In another incidence, a Phoenix police officer was injured when a vehicle rolled over onto him early Sunday at 27th Avenue and Camelback Road. The driver, charged with driving under the influence, was in possession of controlled substances at the time of his arrest.

What is a First DUI Arrest?

A first DUI arrest is not the end of the world, but you will do at least minimal jail time, pay a fine, and loss of your driving privileges. Your car insurance premiums will drastically increase when you get driver’s license back. When you get pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be offered an opportunity to prove your innocence. The officer will decide what test of sobriety to provide you with. The officer may request that you get out of the car and walk in a straight line. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately.

How Can I Get My DUI Charges Reduced?

If you endangered children or injured others while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’ll face serious criminal charges. If your first DUI arrest involves an accident, our Phoenix DUI lawyer may be able to get your bail or charges reduced. Our lawyers can represent you in criminal court, traffic court, and civil court to try to salvage your rights and your freedom so you can return to work and your family or friends. Our criminal defense attorney can represent you in:

  • Criminal court
  • Drug court
  • Traffic agency hearings
  • DHS agency hearings
  • Civil litigation

…Click Here to Read the Full Article


Halloween East Valley DUI Task Force

David Cantor explains the East Valley DUI Task Force for Halloween:

Halloween East Valley DUI Task Force

Happy Halloween!  Tonight the East Valley DUI Task Force will be out in full force and pulling over anyone who has committed a minor traffic violation.  The East Valley DUI Task Force is best known for their Thanksgiving, July 4th and holiday DUI stops and arrests.  Halloween has become a party holiday where people dress up and go out to the bars rather than stay at home.  The East Valley DUI Task Force knows this and they saturate the streets and pull anyone over; especially near bars and areas full of night life.

If you are pulled over and had been drinking, you want to answer the same way as if you were being questioned for robbing a bank, “I am not going to answer any questions until I talk to my lawyer,” then call us 602-307-0808.  You want to provide as little evidence as possible and asking to speak to a lawyer will help you out tremendously.  Once you call us, we can advise you on whether to take any tests and what your next move should be.  If they don’t give you a phone call, we can get the case thrown out with the defense of “Denial of Right to Counsel“.  If they pulled you over on just a “hunch” we can get the case thrown out with “No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop”.

The safest way to not get pulled over is to not drive, take a cab and be safe.  We hope everyone has a fun and safe night!

If this situation applies to you, a family member or loved one, fill out a form on our website or call us at (602) 307-0808 to set up an appointment. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it takes about 30 minutes of your time, and hopefully we’ll be able to find a way out of this for you.

Be sure to check out our DUI case victories.  When interviewing lawyers make sure and ask them for recent case results for this crime.


Arizona First Offense Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

When charged with a first offense DUI in Arizona, there are a couple of things that the state must take into account. The age, blood alcohol content (BAC) and the type of driver’s license are all factors to consider when charging someone with a DUI.

Other First Offense DUI Related Links: 1st Offense Extreme DUI, 1st Offense Super Extreme DUI, 1st Offense Aggravated Felony DUI, All Arizona DUI Laws.

Watch this short video about the First Offense DUI Penalties in Arizona:

First Offense DUI in Arizona

For one, if the offender is under 21 years of age, it does not matter what their BAC is. They will get charged with anything above a 0.00 BAC. The repercussions are not as harsh if the offender is under 18, but a repeat offender may be charged as an adult. If the driver is 21 years of age or older; then the BAC is taken into account during the arrest. If their BAC is equal to or exceeds .08, then they are charged with a DUI, or they can be charged if they are below .08 and are impaired by either alcohol or drugs. If the offender has a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then the provisions are a bit stricter. If a CDL driver’s BAC exceeds .04, then they can be charged with a DUI and harsher sanctions.

In Arizona, a person can be charged with a DUI, if they have a BAC between .08 and .149, or if they display overt signs of being under the influence. It is also possible to be charged with a DUI, if the police find the offender parked in their car with a BAC between .08 and .149 and their engine is running.

Penalties for First DUI in Arizona

A first offense DUI is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Arizona. In order to qualify for a first time offense DUI in Arizona, one must not have any prior DUI arrests within the past 7 years. If the DUI resulted in an accident that engendered the death of another individual, the offender cannot qualify for first time offense sanctions.

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The minimum jail sentence for someone charged with a first time offense DUI is 10 days, but most people will end up spending 24 hours in a jail cell and additional time in an alcohol screening program.

Fines will be another unwanted sanction for those charged with a first offense DUI. Fines and fees include:

  • A base fine, surcharges and assessments totaling: $1,537
  • Jail Cost for one day: $130
  • Alcohol Screening: $50
  • 16 – 36 Alcohol Classes: $135 – $585 total
  • One Year Ignition Interlock Device: $1,000 – $1,200
  • SR-22 Car Insurance Policy: $500 per year for 3 years = $1,500
  • Car Insurance Rate Increases: $3,000 per year for 3 years = $9,000

Grand Total: $14,002 (with car insurance) or $3,502 (without car insurance)

Once the offender submits to a chemical test, the driver will receive a 90-day driver’s license suspension. At the end of the suspension, offenders will have to install an ignition interlock devise (IID) at an official IID installation center. Finally, offenders may be required to take a state approved traffic school course to fulfill their sanctions.

Do I Need to Hire a DUI Lawyer?

A lot of people call our offices and ask, do I need to hire a DUI lawyer for my first DUI arrest? Did you read the penalties above? Do you want to deal with the consequences of a DUI conviction, first arrest or otherwise? Do you know the DUI defense strategies that work? Yes, you should hire an aggressive DUI lawyer to represent you in court. Our team of DUI defense lawyers know all of the best DUI defense strategies and we have years of experience working in the courts across the State of Arizona. If you are facing a First Offense DUI charge in Arizona, please call DM Cantor at (602) 307-0808 to get a Free Case Review, or click the ‘Contact Us’ link on this page and send us an email and we’ll call you back to schedule an appointment.

We’re very good at what we do, please take a few minutes to read through our DUI Case Victories. Click the following link for more information regarding the different charges for DUI  in Arizona.

 

 


Steps to Take If You’ve Been Convicted of a DUI

After a Happy Hour that turned into a couple of hours, you grabbed your keys, said goodbye to your co-workers, and walked to your car. Feeling “buzzed” you decided to take the route home you know well. Halfway home you saw flashing lights behind you and were pulled over by a cop. He said you didn’t make a full stop at the stop sign; you have no recollection.

He asked you if you have been drinking, you tell the truth, “a few,” and he asked you to get out of the car. You passed the Field Sobriety Test but failed the Breathalyzer. You are now facing a DUI conviction.

No one plans on getting a DUI, but it can even happen to the people who just “have a few” after work with some friends. Without a doubt, drinking and driving is a serious offense that can lead to accidents and put lives at risk; it can also be life-changing for those who are convicted.

It’s important to remember that a DUI conviction varies and depends on the circumstances and the state in which you live. Here are some general steps to take if you’ve been convicted of a DUI:

Legal Advice

Whether it’s your first DUI or a subsequent offense, seeking legal advice is always a good idea. Unless you have a strong legal background and thoroughly understand your state’s laws concerning DUIs, find an attorney you like and can trust. If you’re on the fence about hiring one, most attorneys offer a free consultation.

If you do decide to hire an attorney, he or she will help you understand all the details of your case and explain all possible consequences. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, but it depends if you go to court and how you plea.

Go to Court

If you have a court hearing, don’t skip out. Some people, facing a conviction, miss their court date and face more trouble later on. It’s not worth the extra legal issues. Whether you’re pleading guilty or not, go to court.

Consider Alternate Punishments

If you have clearly violated your state’s drunk driving laws and have been convicted of a DUI, your best option is to face the consequences. An attorney will help you determine whether or not you truly violated the law. As a first time offender, you are likely to be given a hefty fine, a suspension of your license, and maybe even jail time.

Depending on the details of your conviction, your judge may offer, recommend, or enforce alternativepunishments for your DUI conviction. In some cases, he or she may offer these as a substitute or “credit” towards jail time or fines.

Be Cooperative

We’ve all seen the courtroom dramas where the defendant acts out and is charged with “contempt of court.” It makes for good tv, but it will never be in your favor if you fail to cooperate. Believe it or not, a bad attitude won’t help you out when you’re facing a DUI conviction.

The best step to take, once you’ve been convicted of a DUI, is to never put yourself in the situation to get a subsequent DUI.

 

 


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