March Madness and DUIs in Arizona: Get Help from a Criminal DUI Lawyer

free case review

Fill out the form below, or call us at
(602) 560-7408.

practice areas



Recent Blog Posts

TIP: Save our number in your phone just in case!
Create a new contact as “Shah Law Firm – Lawyer” 602-560-7408

March Madness is an exciting time for college basketball fans, but it can also lead to an increase in DUIs in Arizona.

In Arizona, the legal threshold for a DUI is having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or being “impaired to the slightest degree.” If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important to act quickly and contact Arja Shah for a consultation. Do not hesitate to seek professional legal assistance to protect your rights and ensure the best possible defense for your case.

This article will cover the following topics:

march madness

What to Know About the Final Four Fest 

Phoenix is gearing up to host the thrilling NCAA Final Four Fan Fest from April 5th to 8th, 2024 at the Phoenix Convention Center. This annual celebration promises basketball fans and families an exciting blend of sports, entertainment, and community spirit.

Event Schedule and Exclusive Access

  • Dates: April 5th (Noon-8 p.m.), April 6th (10 a.m.-8 p.m.), April 7th (10 a.m.-8 p.m.), and April 8th (Noon-6 p.m.).
  • Early Access: Capital One cardholders gain early entry, an hour before the general public each day.

Admission and Complimentary Access

  • General Admission: Tickets are $10 at the door for attendees 13 and older, with discounts available for advance purchases at
  • Free Entry: Available for Capital One cardholders, Men’s Final Four game ticketholders, military personnel (plus three guests) on April 6th, and fans with ticket stubs from select Phoenix sports teams.

Transportation Tips

Downtown Phoenix offers numerous parking options, with garages and metered street parking detailed on the NCAA website. Prices range from $20 to $80, with the option to buy parking in advance online. Additionally, Phoenix and Valley Metro provide free light-rail rides for fans attending the events downtown from April 5-8, requiring a downloaded app and account creation for a complimentary transit pass.

Enjoying the Fest

The Final Four Fan Fest is more than just a basketball event; it’s a vibrant celebration of the NCAA tournament spirit, offering interactive games, celebrity meet-and-greets, and live performances. With its convenient downtown location, accessible ticketing, and special offers for various groups, the Fan Fest is poised to be a highlight for fans and families alike.

What Do I Do If I’m Pulled Over? 

If you’re driving home after celebrating at the Final Four Fest and have had a few drinks, being pulled over by law enforcement can be intimidating. Here’s how to handle the situation wisely and protect your rights:

  • Stay Calm and Cooperative: Upon noticing police lights, immediately and safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn off your car, keep your hands visible on the steering wheel, and wait for the officer to approach. This shows compliance and respect for the law enforcement process.
  • Present Documentation Promptly: Have your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance ready. Organizing these documents in advance can help smooth the initial interaction with the officer, indicating your preparedness and responsibility.
  • Politely Decline Certain Questions: If asked about your alcohol consumption or specifics of your evening, remember that you’re not obliged to disclose details that could incriminate you. A polite response could be, “I prefer not to discuss my evening,” maintaining a cooperative yet cautious stance.
  • Understand Your Rights Regarding Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are voluntary in Arizona. Given the subjective nature of these tests, especially after attending an event where alcohol was present, consider your right to respectfully decline participation.
  • Know the Consequences of Refusing Chemical Tests: Arizona’s implied consent law (Arizona Revised Statutes §28-1321) means that by driving, you’ve agreed to submit to chemical testing if arrested for DUI. Refusal can lead to immediate penalties, such as license suspension. Weigh the implications carefully if considering refusal.
  • Request Legal Representation if Arrested: Should the stop lead to an arrest, it’s within your rights to ask for an attorney and call Shah Law Firm. This is a crucial step in ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

It’s worth noting that planning your transportation ahead of time, especially after enjoying events like the Final Four Fest, is not just about legality; it’s about caring for your safety and the well-being of everyone on the road. Making such choices helps ensure that the celebration remains a positive experience for all.

dui checkpoints in arizona

DUI Checkpoints and Your Rights

DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checkpoints, are a common tool used by law enforcement, especially during high-profile events like March Madness, to deter and identify impaired drivers. Understanding your rights at these checkpoints can help you navigate them more confidently and ensure that your legal protections are upheld.

Legality and Announcement

In Arizona, DUI checkpoints are legal and must be announced to the public in advance. This transparency allows drivers to be aware of potential checkpoints but does not provide specific locations.

Your Rights at a Checkpoint:

                 ➣ The Right to Remain Silent: You are not required to answer questions about where you’ve been, whether you’ve been drinking, or any other inquiries that could incriminate you. Politely stating that you choose not to answer is within your rights.

                 ➣ Refusal to Consent to a Search: Without a warrant or probable cause, you have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle. However, visible evidence of impairment or illegal activity can provide officers with the probable cause they need.

                 ➣ The Right to Decline Field Sobriety Tests: As with a traffic stop, you can refuse to participate in field sobriety tests at a checkpoint. Be aware that refusal can have implications, but performing these tests is not mandatory and can be declined politely.

                ➣ Chemical Testing: Under Arizona’s implied consent law, while you can technically refuse a breathalyzer test at a checkpoint, doing so can lead to automatic license suspension and other penalties. It’s important to weigh the consequences of refusal.

What Happens at a Checkpoint:

                ➣ Brief Stop and Observation: Officers may stop vehicles based on a predetermined pattern (e.g., every fourth vehicle) and briefly speak with the driver to observe for signs of impairment.

                ➣ Secondary Screening: If there are signs of impairment or if a driver refuses to answer questions, officers may direct the vehicle to a secondary area for further evaluation.

Dealing with Detention or Arrest

If you are detained or arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it’s crucial to remain calm and respectful. Assert your right to legal representation and refrain from further discussion about your case until your attorney is present.

While checkpoints are designed to protect public safety by deterring impaired driving, they also come with specific legal protocols that respect individual rights. Knowing these rights can help ensure fair treatment and can be critical in defending against any charges that may arise from a checkpoint stop.

Types of DUI Charges in Arizona 

Arizona enforces strict DUI laws, categorizing offenses based on the severity of impairment and aggravating factors. Here’s a closer look at the categories and consequences:

  • Standard DUI (BAC of 0.08% or higher): The penalties for a first offense include at least 10 consecutive days in jail, a minimum fine of $1,250, and the requirement to install and use an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle operated by the defendant for at least 12 months. Additionally, the offender must complete an alcohol education or treatment program and may be required to perform community service.
  • Extreme DUI (BAC of 0.15% to 0.199%): A first offense under this category results in at least 30 consecutive days in jail, a minimum fine of $2,500, and the installation of an IID for a minimum of 12 months. The convicted individual must also complete an alcohol education or treatment program and may be subject to community service.
  • Super Extreme DUI (BAC of 0.20% or higher): For a first offense, the penalty includes at least 45 consecutive days in jail, a minimum fine of $3,250, and the installation of an IID for a minimum of 18 months. Offenders are also required to complete an alcohol education or treatment program and may be ordered to perform community service.
  • Aggravated DUI: This charge applies in situations such as a third DUI offense within 84 months, DUI when the driver’s license is suspended or revoked, DUI with a passenger under 15 years old, or not complying with an IID requirement. Penalties for Aggravated DUI can include a minimum prison sentence of 4 months for a third offense, substantial fines, the revocation of the driver’s license for one year, the installation of an IID, and completion of an alcohol education or treatment program.
  • Drug DUI: Driving under the influence of drugs (illegal substances, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications that impair driving) carries penalties similar to alcohol DUI charges. For a first offense, penalties can include at least 10 days in jail, a minimum fine of $1,250, possible suspension of the driver’s license, and the requirement to complete a drug education or treatment program.

Arizona’s DUI laws are designed to deter impaired driving and ensure public safety. The severity of the penalties reflects the state’s commitment to this goal. If facing DUI charges in Arizona, it’s important to seek the expertise of a criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI cases. Legal representation can significantly impact the outcome of your case, potentially resulting in reduced penalties or even dismissal of charges, depending on the circumstances.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Arja Shah | Shah Law Firm Arja Shah, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, specializes in DUI defense with a detailed approach that includes scrutinizing the legality of traffic stops and arrests, challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, and exploring avenues for case dismissal or reduction of charges. Her expertise and personalized strategy aim to protect clients’ rights and secure the most favorable outcomes. 

To contact Arja Shah, you can call at (602) 560-7408.  This line is available for immediate help and to set up an initial consultation. You can also reach out for emergency help if needed. 

we are here to help

Fill out the form below, or call us directly at (602) 560-7408 to schedule your free, one-on-one consultation. There is no obligation and all consultations are strictly confidential.


“I was totally impressed and grateful for the expertise and successful case Arja handled for me. She answered my calls immediately and saved me a lot of professional and personal heartache. Arja did a great job refuting the State’s evidence and convinced the Prosecutor that my chewing tobacco was a major issue in the case that the officer did not check.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Thomas - Super Extreme DUI
Argued Police Stop Protocols and Reduced to a Fine

“Arja represented me for a DUI case in Scottsdale. I met with her immediately after being charged and she very quickly was able to speak to the prosecutor and get my charges reduced after my initial hearings. She was attentive and easy to talk to. She gets results.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Jason - Scottsdale DUI
Felony Charges Reduced to Reckless Driving

“Arja was extremely knowledgeable and kept us up to date on the entire case. I would hire her and recommend her to anyone- although I hope I never need her help again! But if a problem arises I would be sure to call her!!”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Maggie - Mesa Super Extreme DUI
Super Extreme DUI Reduced to First Time Regular DUI

“Ms. Shah got my charges completely dismissed. She worked hard, was thorough, and took care of all the details. Seriously, hire her. It’s a complete piece of mind.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
R. Aguilera - Attempted Murder
Attempted Murder Charges DISMISSED

“During my recent DUI case and time spent working with Arja Shah, I can say I had an absolute positive Experience. She was there to represent me and handle my questions and concerns with ease. Thank you.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Michael - Phoenix DUI Arrest
Felony DUI Charge Reduced to a Fine

“I endorse this lawyer. She is knowledgeable as well as up-to-date on the latest case law. She is one of the very few attorneys I would recommend to family or friends.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Michael Pittman (Attorney Peer)

“First, Arja is a superb and energetic attorney who is always willing to listen and help out in client cases. Second, she works hard for your case to minimize or eliminate penalties for the charges you are facing. She has a good analytical mind and presents your case successfully. Third, she is approachable even outside work hours if the situation calls for it. Always punctual for meetings. Lastly, she is an affordable attorney in comparison to some big-name law firms where personalized and flexible service is almost impossible. The above review is based on my experience derived from her working on my case.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
T. McCarty- Extreme DUI Charge Possible 30 Days Jail
Reduced to Reckless Driving and a Fine

“Attorney Arja Shah took the time to compile letters from family members and show the Prosecutor that they lacked evidence to move forward with my case. Arja did what she said she would do and was there to help me. Outstanding Attorney.”

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Andrea- Disorderly Conduct and Domestic Violence
Charged Dismissed

Considering the amount of charges I was facing I ended up with the minimum charges I could have received. If it wasn’t for Ms/Mrs. Shah, I would have had to given up everything. I will forever recommend to anybody in need…

Arja Shah Law Firm Reviews
Tyler Goodwill - DUI
Charges Reduced to Minimum
Click Here to Call Now