Memorial Day DUI on a Boat

Tips to Avoid Boating DUI/OUI Charges on Memorial Day DUI Weekend

The upcoming weekend means that the cooler days of spring are quickly ending. More people will be headed out to vacation destinations, popular nightlife spots, lakes and rivers, and concerts. This also means an increase in the Memorial Day DUI arrests.

While Memorial Day weekend can be a fun way to welcome the summer, it is also important for you to ensure that you avoid getting charged with a DUI on a boat or while driving. Many people head to popular spots where they consume alcohol while also participating in other events. This means that law enforcement authorities throughout the greater Phoenix area will be on alert and watching for impaired drivers.

Over Memorial Day weekend in 2021, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported that 589 motorists were arrested for drunk driving or DUI on drugs.

Out of the people who were arrested, 138 were arrested for extreme or super-extreme DUIs with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.15% or higher. The state also reported that 157 people were arrested and charged with drugged driving. The total number of Memorial Day DUI arrests during the weekend in 2021 significantly increased compared to the 409 arrests in 2020, which Covid had an influence over.

Whether you are planning to attend a backyard barbecue, spend time with your family, head out on the town, or go to popular lakes or rivers, you can be sure that the police will be out in force to try to catch drunk drivers.

Below is some information you should be aware of during this Memorial Day holiday weekend from the Shah Law Firm.

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Arizona DUI Car Accident Lawyer

Is an Arizona DUI Car Accident a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that cause impairment is illegal in Arizona, even including recreational marijuana. These Arizona DUI laws are taken seriously because driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

While most DUIs are Class 1 misdemeanors under ARS 12-1381, you can be charged with a felony DUI if you cause an accident in which someone is injured or killed while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you face DUI car accident charges, you should consult an experienced Arizona DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Potential Types of Charges for a DUI Car Accident

If you cause a drunk driving accident, you might face the following types of charges, depending on the circumstances:

Endangerment can be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor; however, it can also be charged as a Class 6 felony when you are alleged to have placed someone else at imminent risk of serious injury or death. This means that you could face felony endangerment charges if you have a single-car accident with a passenger, even if no one was seriously injured, based on the risk of serious injury or death.

Following DUI accidents, aggravated assault, negligent homicide, vehicular manslaughter, and second-degree murder charges are felony offenses carrying lengthy prison sentences.

If you caused a DUI car accident in which someone was seriously injured or killed, you would likely face one or more of these types of charges in addition to your DUI charge. Since vehicles can be considered dangerous weapons in criminal charges involving DUI accidents, the cases can be classified as dangerous felony offenses.

In Arizona, a dangerous felony conviction requires a mandatory prison sentence without the option of probation.

How much prison time you might face for a felony charge following a drunk driving accident will depend on multiple factors. These factors include the specific offense of which you are convicted, the victim’s age, whether you have prior felony convictions, and whether the prosecutor alleged the offense as a dangerous felony.

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Arizona Marijuana Laws 2022

Arizona Marijuana Laws and Penalties Updated for 2022

While Arizonans have had more than a year to get used to legalized recreational marijuana laws in the state, many remain unaware of some of the legal changes that have accompanied its legalization. People need to understand the effect of recreational marijuana on various criminal laws and the differences between the laws surrounding recreational vs. medical marijuana.

Even though it is legal for adults 21 and up to possess and consume small amounts of marijuana, people can still be charged with marijuana offenses if they do not follow the laws. 

An experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Shah Law Firm can help you understand these laws and what you should avoid preventing yourself from being charged with a marijuana-related crime in 2022.

How Legalized Recreational Marijuana Laws have Changed in Arizona?

During the 2020 election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, which resulted in the legalization of recreational marijuana. This bill came 10 years after voters passed Proposition 203 in the Nov. 2010 election, which legalized medical marijuana. Like the earlier medical marijuana law, Proposition 207 caused numerous changes to how marijuana possession is treated in the state.

Before recreational marijuana was legalized, people caught with any amount of marijuana under two pounds could be charged with a class 6 felony under ARS 13-3405. However, Proposition 207 created a new chapter in Title 36 of the Arizona Revised Statutes called the Responsible Adult Use of Marijuana.

This chapter includes multiple statutes that govern the recreational use of marijuana, including where it can be used, who can use it, the amounts that people can legally possess, and others.

Under ARS 36-2852, for example, adults ages 21 and older can legally possess up to six plants, five grams of marijuana concentrate, or one ounce of cannabis.

However, if you possess more than the above-listed legal amounts of marijuana, you can still face charges as follows:

  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a first offense – Civil offense with a fine of $100 under ARS 36-2853
  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a second offense – Petty offense that could result in eight hours of mandatory drug education
  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a third offense – Class 1 misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail
The Arizona marijuana laws are different if you are a certified medical marijuana user.

If you are caught with more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana but less than two pounds, you can still face Class 6 felony charges under ARS 13-3405. There are also restrictions on where you can smoke marijuana. Under these new laws, you are technically not allowed to smoke it in open public areas. While Arizonans can now legally grow marijuana plants, you must also follow the restrictions.

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Fired for DUI in Arizona

Can I Lose My Job from a DUI in Arizona?

In Arizona, people who are arrested for DUI are frequently worried about many different things. They might wonder about the potential penalties they might face and how a conviction might impact their lives in other areas. One of the most common concerns people have after being charged with DUIs is about their jobs.

Whether or not you might be fired for a DUI will depend on the type of job you have and your company’s employment policies for criminal convictions, including DUIs. People in Arizona are employed at will, meaning that their employers can fire them for any reason at any time as long as it is not for a prohibited purpose.

The potential impact on your employment is a good reason for you to seek the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

In some types of occupations, a DUI can result in job loss. In others, whether or not you might be fired for a DUI will depend on your employer.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the occupations for which a DUI will have a definite impact on a person’s job and discuss some of the things you might do to prevent this type of consequence from occurring to you.

 
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Criminal Speeding or Arizona DUI in a Construction Zone

Arizona DUI in a School Zone, Construction Zone or Airport

Being charged with a DUI in Arizona can result in stiff penalties. However, you might face other consequences and additional charges if you are charged with a DUI in certain areas, including DUI in a school zone, construction zone, or airport.

Below is some information about DUI charges in these types of areas in Arizona.

DUI on Airport Property in Arizona

In most cases, driving under the influence is a state charge in Arizona. This means that most people will be tried for the offense in Municipal Court, Justice Court, or Superior Court and potentially be sentenced to serve jail time in the county jail. However, there are certain situations in which a DUI can be charged and tried in federal court. The potential penalties for a federal DUI are harsher than for a state DUI charge.

Under the US Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR § 4.23, people can be charged with federal DUI offenses when they drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher; or when they are impaired to such a degree that they are incapable of driving by any amount of alcohol or drugs. If a person is arrested for a federal DUI in a state that has stricter laws, the penalties under state law will supersede the federal law.

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Arizona Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after a DUI

Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after Phoenix DUI

When people are convicted of an Arizona DUI involving alcohol in Arizona, one of the penalties that they will face is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device breathalyzer in every vehicle that they drive.

How long people will be required to have these breathalyzer devices installed in their vehicles will depend on the degree of DUI, if it is a misdemeanor or felony, on the number of past DUI convictions you have on your record within the past seven years and your blood alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest.

Below are the Top 10 ignition interlock device frequently asked questions that we receive at the Shah Law Firm about ignition interlock devices.

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Arizona Open Container Law for Alcohol

Arizona Open Container Charge. Can You Beat It?

In addition to prohibiting driving while impaired by alcohol or DUI drugs, Arizona also has an open container law. Motorists are not allowed to have open containers of alcohol in their cars.

If the police pull you over and see an open alcohol container in your vehicle, the officer can charge you under the state’s open container law.

You cannot defend against this charge with the fact that you were not consuming alcohol from the container while driving.

The police can also charge you with violating the state’s prohibition against open containers of alcohol even if you are an adult over the age of 21. If you are facing this type of charge, an attorney at the Shah Law Firm is prepared to help defend you.

What is the Arizona Open Container Law?

The Arizona open container law is found under statute ARS 4-251. This statute prohibits you from having an open container of alcohol anywhere in the passenger compartment of your vehicle. Open containers include cans or bottles of alcohol that have been opened or have had some of its contents removed, including beer, malt liquor, mixed drinks, spirits, or wine.

You cannot be convicted of this offense for transporting unopened alcohol bottles from a store as long as their seals have not been broken.

However, if you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant, you could face charges if you bring the remaining wine home by transporting the corked but open bottle in your passenger compartment.

What are the Arizona Penalties for Violating the Open Container Law?

A conviction for violating the open container law is a class 2 misdemeanor in Arizona. If you are charged and convicted of a violation of the open container law, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Under ARS 13-707, class 2 misdemeanors carry potential jail sentences of up to four months. You can also face a fine of up to $750 under ARS 13-802. In addition, being convicted of a class 2 misdemeanor means that you will have a criminal record, and a criminal record can cause problems in other areas of your life.

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Refuse Breath Test or Refuse Blood Test in a DUI

Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer / Breath Test or Blood Test During a DUI

Many people in Arizona are confused about whether or not you can refuse a breath test or refuse a blood test after a DUI stop. When people are arrested for suspected DUIs, police officers will ask them to submit to a chemical test to test their breath, blood, or urine for the presence of alcohol and its concentration.

While many people do not want to submit to chemical tests, refusing to submit a blood sample drawn by a phlebotomist or a breath sample on a breathalyzer test can result in consequences to their driving privileges and could potentially detrimentally impact their DUI cases.

Here is some information about refusals and what they can mean for a DUI case in Arizona from the Shah Law Firm.

Arizona’s Implied Consent Law

Under ARS 28-1321, Arizona has enacted an implied consent law. The state deems all motorists who drive vehicles in the state to have given their implied consent to chemical testing to check for the presence of alcohol or drugs in their systems.

When a person refuses or is unable to consent to, a test or tests of the person’s blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or drug content, they are given an admin per se form. This is a pink piece of paper. If you were not given this form, let your DUI attorney know immediately.

Refusing to submit a blood or urine sample or refusing a breath test with the breathalyzer machine can trigger consequences from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department.

If you refuse a breath, blood, or urine test, your license can immediately be suspended for 12 months regardless of the outcome of your DUI case. If you refuse a chemical test a second time within seven years, your license can be suspended for 24 months.

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, a police officer can request a warrant to conduct the test anyway. You can still be prosecuted for a DUI based on the officer’s observations of you and your driving. The prosecution can also use a refusal of a chemical test as evidence against you in your DUI case.

Once you finish the administrative suspension period of your driver’s license, you will have to complete a drug and alcohol program before your license can be reinstated.

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Driving Out of Arizona with Marijuana

Driving with Marijuana Out of Arizona

Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since it was approved by voters in 2010, and voters in the 2020 election also passed Proposition 207 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana among adults in the state in Nov. 2020.

Arizona is now one of 17 states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

While Arizona borders several states that have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, including California, Colorado, and Nevada, it does not mean that you can get on the road to travel out of state with marijuana purchased within Arizona.

More than 203,000 Arizonans are also registered medical cannabis users, comprising a little more than 3% of the state’s population. Even if you have a valid medical marijuana card in Arizona, that does not mean that you will be legally allowed to bring your medicine with you to another state.

Here is some information about the Arizona marijuana laws and traveling with marijuana within the state or out of state from a marijuana DUI lawyer at the Shah Law Firm.

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Boating DUI, OUI or Driving Boat while Drunk

Arizona Boating OUI / DUI on a Boat, Jetski, or Other Watercraft

In Arizona, you cannot operate a motorized watercraft while you are impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, drugs, or marijuana. Having a medical marijuana card is not a defense to an OUI charge involving impairment.

A boating DUI in Arizona can be charged if you are found to be operating a motorized boat or watercraft while you are impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other drugs.

This offense has similar penalties to a DUI charge. If you are facing this type of charge, you should schedule a consultation with the Shaw Law Firm to learn about your legal options.

Definition of a Motorized Watercraft

The OUI or BUI statute in Arizona is found at ARS §5-395. Under this statute, you can be charged with an OUI or BUI when you are operating or have actual physical control of any type of motorized watercraft in Arizona when you are impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.

Under ARS § 5-301, a motorized watercraft includes any type of watercraft that has a propulsion system using machinery regardless of whether it is the primary means of propulsion. This means that you can get a BUI or OUI when you are slightly impaired and operating or in control of most types of personal watercraft in addition to motorboats.

Penalties for a Boating OUI / DUI on a Boat in Arizona

The penalties you might face for a BUI or OUI will depend on your criminal record and whether any aggravating factors were present. If you have prior DUI, BUI, or OUI convictions within the past 84 months, the penalties will be more severe.

Similarly, if you had someone under the age of 15 with you on the watercraft, the penalties will be harsher.

Finally, if your BAC for alcohol was above 0.15% within two hours of operating your watercraft or being in actual control of it, you will face more severe penalties.

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