Arizona Out-of-State DUI Charge

Can an Out-of-State DUI Affect you in Arizona?

DUI charges in Arizona are well known for being some of the strictest in the country, but what about if you receive a DUI in a different state than Arizona? How does that affect you here? What about a DUI in another country, such as down in “Rocky Point,” Mexico? That will be an article for a different time.

In this article, we will discuss the facts about an Out-of-State DUI. Since each state has its own set of laws and statutes, DUI laws vary from state to state.

DUI Penalties and Laws in Arizona vs. an Out-of-State DUI

The penalties for a DUI conviction tend to be harsher in Arizona than in many other states. However, Arizona treats license suspensions more easily than some other states. For example, if you are convicted of a first DUI offense in Arizona, your license will typically be suspended for 90 days.

After not driving for 30 days, you will be eligible for a restricted license for the final 60 days to drive to-and-from your job, school, and treatment classes. By contrast, if you are convicted of a first DUI offense in Colorado, your license will be suspended for one year.

By contrast, the fines and fees for a first offense DUI conviction in Arizona tend to be much higher than in other states. If you are convicted of a first DUI offense in Arizona, you will be assessed at least $1,500 in fees and fines along with a minimum of one day in jail. In many other states, the fines and fees are much lower, and no jail time is given for a first offense DUI.

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Arizona Marijuana DUI driving while high

New Arizona Recreational Marijuana DUI Laws in 2021

The DUI statute in Arizona is found at ARS 28-1381. Under this law, there are two different ways that people can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Under 28-1381(A)(1), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or inhalant when you are impaired to the slightest degree. If you consume marijuana and then drive your vehicle while impaired by it, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI under this law.

Under ARS 28-1381(A)(3), people can be charged with DUIs when they operate motor vehicles with any drug listed in ARS 13-3401 or its metabolite. This subsection is a zero-tolerance law because you can be arrested if you have any amount of a listed drug in your system, even if you are not impaired. Marijuana is one of the listed drugs, along with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs when you do not have a valid prescription.

While marijuana is a listed drug for a DUI charge under ARS 13-1381(A)(3), ARS 36-2852(B) specifically states that a person who has marijuana or its metabolites in their system cannot be convicted of a DUI under this subsection unless they are impaired to the slightest degree.

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Out of state DUI in Arizona

Out of State DUI when Living Outside of Arizona

In the state of Arizona, law enforcement takes DUI offenses very seriously and has a “zero-tolerance” law. When you are driving in from out of state and are pulled over for a DUI, the standard protocol is to give a field sobriety test, as well as a breathalyzer so the officer can get your BAC number. Additionally, if you refuse a breath test during the stop, you will be taken to the local police station to have your blood drawn.

If you happen to live out of the state of Arizona and have been charged with an out-of-state DUI, this can have some serious, not to mention expensive, consequences. The most important is that if you chose to represent yourself in the matter, not only will you be responsible for any fees, but also for your own travel expenses.

Not to mention that the process can last on average of 3-4 months and you would be required to appear in person at each of the pre-trial conferences.

 

Let’s discuss the laws when it comes to DUI. In Arizona, if your blood alcohol count is over .08 and under .15, you will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI. If you have a BAC level between .15 and .20, you will be charged with an Extreme DUI. Following an Extreme DUI is what is known as a Super Extreme DUI, meaning a BAC level of .20 and greater. Finally, the most severe type of Arizona DUI is a Felony Aggravated DUI.

A felony aggravated DUI charge usually depends on whether you have previous DUI charges within the last 7 years, if there was a minor under the age of 15 present in the vehicle if your license was suspended at the time of the stop, and if someone else was seriously injured as a result of a DUI.

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Arizona Police use dog to search vehicle

Do Police Need a Search Warrant to Search a Car in AZ?

In Arizona, people are protected against an unlawful vehicle search or seizure by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the Fourth Amendment requires officers to get search warrants before they search your property, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement that allow them to search without a search warrant.

Vehicle searches are treated differently than searches of your home,and police are generally allowed to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles as long as they have probable cause.

Several other exceptions also allow police to search vehicles without warrants, including consent, searches incident to an arrest, inventory searches, plain view searches,and searches based on reasonable suspicion. We’ll take a brief look at each of these exceptions below.

Warrantless Searches Based on Probable Cause

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court established the and-faqs/research-by-subject/4th-amendment/searchingavehicle-carroll.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>mobile conveyance exception to the search warrant requirement in Carroll v. United States. In their decision, Supreme Court distinguished vehicles from homes, noting that vehicles can easily be moved away from a traffic stop,and evidence could be destroyed.

As long as police have probable cause, they can search your car without a warrant under the mobile conveyance exception without it being considered an unlawful search.

An officer has probable cause when a reasonably prudent person in the same situation would believe that evidence of a crime is likely located inside of a vehicle. However, only the areas in which the suspected evidence would likely be located can be searched.

For example, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you stole your neighbor’s 60-inch televisionand that it is likely hidden in your car, he or she can search your vehicle’s trunk. However, the officer would not have probable cause to search your glove box since a television would not fit inside.

If a police officer pulled you over for a minor traffic violation, he or she will generally not have probable cause to support a warrantless search of your vehicle. However, if your conduct following the stop allows the officer to develop probable cause that evidence might be located in your vehicle, he or she can search without a warrant.

Consider this, if you are stopped for speeding, the officer will not be able to search your car based only on that. However, if he or she smells alcohol on your breath, he or she can search your car for open containers of alcohol.

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Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Arizona?

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Arizona?

Removing drivers who are under the influence off of the road is a key goal for law enforcement authorities in Arizona. However, officers are required to respect certain rights of motorists when they conduct traffic stops, including having a reasonable suspicion that the motorists have engaged in illegal activity or are doing so before they can pull them over. To stop a driver for a suspected DUI, an officer must observe some type of indicator that the driver might be intoxicated or is driving dangerously.

DUI checkpoints, or sobriety checkpoints, allow police officers to stop vehicles without first observing any indication of dangerous or intoxicated driving. While this might seem to contradict the general rule for police officers and their requirements for stopping drivers, DUI checkpoints in Arizona have been found to be constitutional as long as they are conducted properly.

Police officers must carry out checkpoints under an advanced plan that provides neutral and explicit limitations on the actions of the officers. This is to prevent police from making pretextual stops on the basis of race. The courts believe that taking away the officers’ discretion about which vehicles to stop in a DUI checkpoint can reduce the likelihood that motorists will be chosen based on an officer’s biases.

What Makes a DUI Stop or Checkpoint Legal?

Under normal circumstances, a police officer will need to have a reasonable suspicion that you have violated the law before he or she can pull you over. This suspicion cannot be an inarticulable hunch. Instead, the officer must observe you engaging in some type of activity that makes him or her reasonably suspect that you have violated the traffic laws or are driving drunk.

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DUI Rights to an Independent Blood Test

Your Rights to a DUI Independent Blood Test

When you are arrested in Arizona for a suspected DUI, the officer might order a DUI blood test. Before a blood test can be ordered, the officer must first either obtain your voluntary consent or secure a search warrant. Upon drawing your blood, the officer is required to advise you of your right to conduct independent testing of your blood. However, you might not know how to find an independent lab to draw your blood after hours to test it for your alcohol concentration. Because it might take you some time to locate a blood testing facility and get transportation, several hours may have passed. Since the alcohol in your blood dissipates over time, this can be a real problem.

If you ask for independent blood alcohol testing, the officer cannot do things to unreasonably interfere with your right to obtain this sample. When you are arrested for a DUI, you should contact a Phoenix DUI attorney as soon as possible. You have the right to ask for an attorney, and you should do so as soon as you are arrested. You also have the right to ask for an independent blood sample.

Even if you are transported to jail, you can ask the officer to take you to a local hospital to have an independent blood test performed. While you might not understand why this is important, an independent blood sample might help you to identify problems with how the blood test was performed in your DUI case.

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Understanding Blood Testing for DUI Alcohol or Drugs

When your blood is drawn to show the concentration of alcohol in your blood, you might think that the results are valid and accurate, preventing you from defending against a DUI charge. However, blood testing is not infallible. It is possible to challenge the results of a blood test on procedural, handling, and scientific grounds.

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Mesa Police at Mesa DUI Checkpoint

6 Things Police Won’t Tell You When Pulled Over for DUI

Arizona DUI laws have drastically changed over the past few decades. While law enforcement agencies have engaged in numerous approaches to minimize impaired driving, cases involving driving under the influence of drugs have been increasing. Because of the increase in drugged driving, how officers investigate suspected DUI cases has changed.

Most people do not understand the complex nature of DUI arrests and might not understand how they are affected when their blood alcohol concentrations are 0.08% or higher. Many people have unrealistic beliefs about how DUIs are investigated.

Here are six things that police officers will not tell you about how they investigate people for suspected DUIs.

1. Many people who are arrested for DUIs are initially only stopped for minor traffic offenses.

Police officers do not necessarily know that a person has been drinking or using drugs at the time that they stop their vehicles. While an officer might believe that you could be under the influence because of the time of day or the location of your stop, he or she does not know if you have been drinking before you are stopped.

Most DUI reports refer to a minor traffic offense as the reason for the stop. For example, the driver might have failed to use a turn signal while turning or moving lanes, might have been speeding, or may have committed other types of traffic violations.

Few reports list the officer’s suspicion that the driver was driving while impaired as the reason for a stop. It’s much more common for a different traffic offense to serve as the opening for a DUI investigation.

 

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dui charge under 21 in Arizona

Underage DUI in Arizona (Charged while Under 21): Zero Tolerance

The state of Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage DUI (underage drinking and driving), and that policy means that if you are caught drinking and driving, regardless of how low your blood alcohol concentration level may be, you will be charged with a DUI in Arizona. But what else does this mean? Well for one, it also means you will face criminal charges if found guilty of drinking and driving if you are under the legal drinking age of 21 in Arizona.

Let’s Discuss Arizona’s Zero Tolerance policy, what it means if you’ve been caught drinking and driving underage, and what Arja Shah can do to help.

Penalties for Underage DUI – Drinking and Driving in Arizona

Unfortunately for some underage drivers who are caught drinking and driving — even those who may have only had a glass of champagne to celebrate a friend’s college graduation — those who are found to be in actual physical control of the vehicle will face severe penalties for drinking and driving underage in Arizona.

According to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 4-244 (34), underage driving under the influence comes with some hefty penalties and fines.

To begin, even if your blood alcohol concentration barely registered on the breathalyzer, you will face the same consequences as an of-age driver found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.

For first offenses of underage driving, you can expect the following penalties:

  • Suspension of your driver’s license for two years
  • Up to $500 in court fees and other fines
  • Court-ordered education on substance abuse
  • Regular drug and alcohol screening
  • Court-mandated drug and alcohol counseling
  • Community service as ordered by the judge in your case

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diseases that cause a high BAC

Can Medical Conditions Affect BAC Readings? False DUI Arrest

Contrary to what many people are aware of, there are a variety of medical conditions that can cause your BAC level to register higher than it really is, or register falsely — as well as a host of different medications, both over the counter and prescribed. And, in addition to that, there are other factors, such as in some people, an intolerance to the minute amount of alcohol found within some medications, both prescriptions and otherwise.

Let’s discuss some of the factors and medical conditions that can cause you to have higher-than-normal and even false BAC readings.

Medical Conditions that Affect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Levels

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is the process by which your body pushes up acids from within the stomach and from around the stomach lining up into the back of your throat. Unfortunately, in some instances, these acids do contain alcoholic content, and while it is not the same kind of alcohol you would drink at a bar or party, it nonetheless has the ability to make you fail a breathalyzer test because it can contain enough ethanol to fool the breathalyzer into showing you have imbibed alcohol, even when you have not.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause you to fail a DUI breathalyzer test because this illness causes alcohol derived naturally from your body to pool within the large intestine and stomach, and from there it is pushed into the back of your mouth. This natural alcohol, which can cause tremendous pain for the sufferer, as it sits in the back of your mouth and throat, will make a breathalyzer result inaccurate and is in no way an indicator that you have been drinking or that your ability to drive is in any way impaired.
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Actual physical control in Arizona

What does Actual Physical Control Mean when Arrested for DUI?

According to the Arizona DUI laws, the term, “actual physical control” refers to the person who was driving the car at the time it was pulled over by police or other authorities, but actual physical control goes a good deal deeper than just being the person behind the wheel of the motor vehicle — it is also determined based on a couple of other factors, the most important among these being whether the vehicle was running, whether the ignition was on, where the keys to the car were located at the time of the incident, and in what position the driver was found at the actual time of the incident.

All of the following factors of actual physical control can be used as a strong defense by your DUI attorney to help get your charges reduced or even dismissed completely.

Other Factors That Determine Actual Physical Control

What’s more, actual physical control also makes reference to a list of other factors, including:

  • Whether the driver was awake or asleep
  • Whether or not the vehicle’s headlights were on (or off)
  • Whether or not the vehicle was stopped, be it legally parked or on the side of the road, or someplace else
  • Whether or not the driver had successfully pulled over in a voluntary manner (to the side of the road)
  • What the time of day was, and what impact this may have had on other factors listed above
  • Whether or not the air conditioning or heater was on
  • Whether the windows of the vehicle were up or down
  • What the weather conditions were at the time of the incident

Finally, another important factor for the authorities who are making the determination of who is in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time of the incident will be the explanation of the above circumstances. These will be part of what would be discussed in a court of law if the case ever goes before an Arizona judge.

As is reported in advance of a court hearing, what is said by the person in actual physical control of the vehicle will be important, and authorities will notate it in preparation for court.
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