Driving under the influence of alcohol or regulated drugs is one of the most common causes of car crashes in the United States. While alcohol impairment is easy for police to prove and courts to penalize, the same cannot be said for marijuana impairment. Hence, persons charged for a marijuana DUI in Arizona may be able to build a solid defense.
Is Marijuana Legal in Arizona?
Arizona has passed a law that allows recreational marijuana use, making it legal at the same level as alcohol. The legalization of marijuana has changed the game for marijuana DUI offenses, with violators less likely to be convicted and if so, incurring a lesser penalty than before marijuana’s legalization.
Can Police Prove Marijuana Impairment?
Before a driver can be charged with a marijuana DUI, police officers first have to prove that the driver was impaired. However, this is easier said than done because there is currently no consensus on what level of THC is impairing. Unlike alcohol that has an impairment level of .08 and above, there is no exact THC content that indicates marijuana impairment.
Current field sobriety tests, such as walking a line, standing on one leg, etc. will also not cut it because these are made specifically for alcohol impairment. They are not indicative of marijuana use.
Are Marijuana DUIs Defensible?
Because research on marijuana impairment is still in progress and there is currently no consensus in the scientific community, marijuana impairment is hard to prove. Hence, they are very defensible, especially if the driver does not display the type of impairment that is usually seen in alcohol use.
Because it’s possible to build a solid defense for a marijuana DUI, it’s important that drivers do not automatically plead guilty. They should first consult with a good criminal defense attorney who has experience working with DUI cases. A lawyer can look into all the possible defenses and build a strong case for the accused.
Let's say that you have been arrested for possession of marijuana or a marijuana related DUI but you weren't a medical marijuana cardholder at the time. If you get your card after your arrest, is that a defense? The answer to that is NO. In order for you to have a "medical marijuana" defense to a possession or DUI charge, you must have been a cardholder at the time of the incident for which you are charged. Getting a medical marijuana card after the fact does not cover you for a date before you got your card. If you were a cardholder at the time, you can possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana as a patient. If you were charged with a DUI related to marijuana, the State can still prosecute you if they can prove you were impaired by marijuana even if you were a cardholder. Contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten to discuss other defenses you may have or if you have any further questions on this issue.
How many times have you read online news sources in Phoenix and found a story about a DUI offender that denied drinking prior to their arrest? You probably rolled your eyes, thinking that the individual was just trying to get away with something. Even if a blood, breath, or urine alcohol content test was not administered at the scene, failing the field sobriety test with flying colors is sign enough of intoxication…right?
As it turns out, the science behind these field sobriety tests is shaky when it comes to certain medical conditions. Designed to evaluate the sobriety of a healthy, average-sized person, many people with very common conditions fail field sobriety tests. Police officers are trained to inquire about possible medical conditions that may affect field sobriety testing prior to administering the tests, but officers may fail to do so—meaning that the defendant may have a solid defense to avoid DUI charges.
On top of medical conditions that may affect the outcome of a field sobriety test, there are other everyday conditions that can greatly influence test results, including:
- Being over the age of 65: Arizona is home to many senior citizens for much of the year, and these individuals may have a very difficult time with balance, dexterity, and vision tests.
- Being overweight: For individuals who are obese or very overweight, sobriety tests involving balance may be exceptionally challenging.
- Knee, back, or ankle pain: Back pain is one of the most common injuries that keeps people home from work, and people with pain or weakness in their legs, feet, or back may perform poorly in field sobriety balance tests.
- Anxiety: When you are in a rush to get to work and your anxiety is high, you may notice that you seem clumsier than usual. The same anxiety can affect you in a field sobriety test, causing poor performance in dexterity and balance tests.
Failing a field sobriety test because of the above conditions may not get you out of a ticket altogether—if you were speeding or driving recklessly, you will still face consequences—but it can mean that you can shake unjust DUI charges. Speak with our firm today to discuss your concerns about your own Arizona DUI arrest in a free consultation.
As schools across the country are closing their doors for spring break, people from across the country are flocking to Phoenix. Not only do we boast some of the greatest weather in the nation during this time of year, but we also play host to some of baseball’s most exciting spring training games.
These games have it all—cheap tickets, expensive beer, sunshine, and a family-friendly atmosphere that is also welcoming to the rowdier adult crowds. No matter which end of the Valley you choose to visit, you can find a game to enjoy, and catch a glimpse of world-class players as they prepare for a long season of baseball.
One number that climbs in the spring, along with the Valley’s temporary population, is the number of DUIs. Arizona law enforcement is well aware of how much fun these games can be, and are on high alert for possible drunk drivers. Whether you are an Arizona native or an out-of-towner that flew in for a few games, a DUI arrest will mean that you will find yourself enjoying the Arizona spring from court.
Weigh Your Options and Your Consequences Carefully This Spring
Arizona is notoriously tough on drunk drivers, and DUIs during spring training are no exception. Visitors will face the same tough penalties as locals, and an already expensive DUI can get even more so as these visitors will be required to return for their court date on their own dime.
As the Phoenix area continues to develop and expand, however, public transportation options have improved immensely. From the light rail to the Scottsdale trolley system, options beyond the standard bus or taxi service are only multiplying. Planning ahead for your day at the old ball game may seem like a drag, but when it can save you thousands of dollars and a criminal record, it may be worth it.
If you are involved in a spring training DUI, you will need aggressive representation to ensure that your rights are protected. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s Phoenix DUI defense attorneys today to schedule a free consultation about protecting your future after a DUI arrest.
As medicinal marijuana is slowly being legalized across the country, both lawmakers and law enforcement officials alike are struggling to regulate its presence in drivers’ bodies.
Last week, the Arizona Court of Appeals took a strong stand, ruling that simply because medicinal marijuana is now legal, it does not grant authorized users immunity from DUI prosecution if there is THC compound in their body at the time of arrest.
Is the State Making an Example?
In December 2011, an authorized medicinal marijuana user named Travis Darrah was initially charged with two counts of DUI. One was based on his impairment at the time of arrest, and the other addressed the presence of marijuana metabolite in his system. While Darrah was eventually acquitted of the first charge, he was found guilty under a DUI law that governs driving while there with marijuana in his body.
Darrah quickly appealed, claiming that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) offers immunity from prosecution unless the patients drive while impaired. His argument was that as an authorized user, the state had a burden to prove that he was impaired to the slightest degree.
Therein lies the problem; the state has yet to set a solid level of THC compound in the blood to count as legally impaired. Other states have determined that a concentration of 5.0 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood within two hours of driving serves as proof of impairment, while levels between 2.0 ng/ml and 5.0 ng/ml indicate possible impairment.
At the time of Darrah’s arrest, his bloodwork showed 4.0 ng/ml of THC and 47 ng/ml of carboxy THC, a non-psychoactive metabolite of marijuana. Judge Michael J. Brown of the Arizona Court of Appeals delivered the final decision to uphold Darrah’s original DUI conviction.
What Does This Mean for Other Patients Authorized to Use Medical Marijuana in Arizona?
Darrah’s case had many holes in it, from his relatively high THC concentration to issues with his prescribing doctor, who was not among the approved physicians qualified to certify a user under the statute Darrah’s defense relied upon.
For authorized medicinal marijuana patients in Arizona, the takeaway from Darrah v. Hon. McClennen/City of Mesa is that only THC concentrate, the psychoactive element in marijuana, is to be considered in charges of impairment. Carboxy THC, the inactive metabolite that remains in the bloodstream long after use, is not a valid proof of impairment.
If you have concerns about charges you are facing involving your authorized medicinal marijuana use, call the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000.
Arizona has some of the strictest laws and punishments for driving under the influence. Across the country, tales of Tent City and the “pink pajamas” are well-known reminders of just how seriously Arizona treats DUI convictions. If you are underage, however, the penalties you may face for driving under the influence of alcohol are even greater.
Underage Drinking and Driving: A Dangerous Arizona Epidemic
Because of the presence of several large universities throughout Arizona, a large number of DUI arrests made involve drivers under the age of 21. While some people assume that the state may treat first-time underage offenders more gently, quite the opposite is true.
For anyone that is 21 years or older, the legal blood alcohol content level is the standard 0.08%. For drivers under the age of 21, Arizona exercises a strict zero-tolerance policy; this means that if a blood, urine, or breath test reveals a BAC over 0.00%, an underage driver will likely be cited for driving under the influence of alcohol.
In an attempt to deter young drivers from drinking and getting behind the wheel, Arizona has implemented tough penalties for those convicted of DUI. First-time offenders could face:
- Criminal Record: A lifelong class 1 misdemeanor on their record
- Imprisonment: For offenders 18 years of age or older, imprisonment for one day up to 180 days
- Fines: Fines, fees, and court costs up to $2500
- License Suspension: Two years of driving privilege suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device: Mandatory installment of device for up to three years in your car
- Alcohol Education: Mandatory counseling on substance abuse
When it comes to driving drunk, Arizona law does not see age as an excuse for driving drunk. If you drink and drive, expect to face the consequences for the rest of your life.
Contact an Experienced, Knowledgeable Phoenix Underage DUI Attorney
If you or your child have been charged with a DUI while underage, you need to act now to ensure that your life will not be forever affected by one mistake. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, our tough Phoenix DUI attorneys can help you challenge the evidence and charges against you. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at 602-258-1000.
New laws on Arizona DUIs changed as of January 1, 2012. One of the biggest changes under the new law relates to incarceration. Now a judge can allow home detention on a misdemeanor DUI after serving only 20% of the initial jail sentence. For example, if the jail sentence is normally 30 days for a first-time extreme DUI, then the person would only have to serve 6 days in jail and then could be released to a home detention program to serve the remaining 24 days of the 30 day jail sentence. Some jurisdictions, however, do not have home detention programs currently in place so this may not apply. Another change in the law increases the maximum work release time from 5 days to 6 days per week.
The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) has also changed some of the laws associated DUI offenses. For a first time regular DUI or extreme DUI, a person may only have to install an ignition interlock device for as little as 6 months (under the old law it was one year). The MVD also has established new rules that allow drivers to get restricted licenses for some second-time offenders and higher DUI offenses that used to require a revocation. The new laws only apply to offenses that were committed AFTER the new law went into effect. The old laws will still apply to DUI offenses committed before January 1, 2012.
As a Fountain Hills DUI lawyer, I can tell you for certain that law enforcement officers usually spend some time observing your driving behaviors before pulling you over for a DUI. But did you realize that the observation doesn’t stop once you’ve pulled over? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has researched common signs of drunk driving, and those signs include behaviors you may exhibit after you have been stopped.
Once you have pulled over, the law enforcement officer will still be watching for any sign that you:
- Smell like alcohol
- Are having trouble working your car’s controls
- Are unable to keep your balance or seem to be swaying or unsteady on your feet
- Seem to fumble or have trouble getting out your license and registration
- Have trouble getting out of your vehicle
- Lean on objects instead of standing normally
- Are slurring your words
- Are slow to respond or are repeating the officer’s questions
- Change your answers to the officer’s questions or give inaccurate information
Many of the cues officers use to decide whether or not you are intoxicated can also be signs of another issue, like a medical condition. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Fountain Hills, let an expert Fountain Hills DUI lawyer defend your rights and explain your options. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, or use our convenient online contact form.
Ever wonder why you were pulled over for a DUI in Fountain Hills? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a guide to common signs that a driver is intoxicated, which is used by law enforcement on patrol. The list of DUI detection signs is based on extensive research by the NHTSA and is used in officer training.
What Are the Signs that a Driver Is Over the Legal Limit?
As a Fountain Hills DUI lawyer, I know there are many reasons a driver may exhibit these behaviors on the road. However, the NHTSA lists these signs as a good indicator that a driver is intoxicated and should be pulled over for a DUI stop:
- Driving 10 mph or more below the speed limit
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Stopping on the road without obvious reason
- Not responding to signals from law enforcement
- Problems coming to a stop
- Failing to have headlights on at night
- Delayed response to stop lights and traffic signals
- Not using turn signals properly
- Driving in the median or otherwise off the roadway
- Illegal turns
- Wide turns
- Tailgating or following another car too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Speed that varies or changes without an obvious reason
- Riding on the center line
- Swerving, weaving, or drifting into other lanes
- Nearly colliding with a car or other object
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a DUI in Fountain Hills?
If you were pulled over for a DUI and have now been arrested, the decisions you make now can impact your life for years to come. Don’t let a DUI conviction interfere with your plans for the future. Speak with an expert Fountain Hills DUI lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 for a completely free legal consultation. Our experts will explain your rights and options and work with you toward the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Glendale, you may be wondering if you really need to hire a Glendale DUI lawyer to help you with your case. Many people are either convinced that DUI cases are simple and can be handled without the help of an attorney or so embarrassed that they just plead guilty and deal with the harsh punishments under Arizona law.
In some simple cases, you may be able to represent yourself after a DUI arrest; however, there are benefits to hiring a Glendale DUI defense lawyer – especially if your case is complicated by an accident, injury, or previous offenses.
When you hire a Glendale DUI lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten, you can rest assured that you are getting:
- Local knowledge. We know the Arizona DUI laws and court system inside and out, and we know the judges, other attorneys, and even the buildings that you will encounter during your case. Hiring a local attorney to defend you means you have an edge.
- Experience. We have years of real courtroom experience successfully representing DUI clients in Maricopa County, so we know exactly what to expect in your case – even if things get complicated. We have seen just about everything that can happen in a DUI case, and we can explain each step to you in language you can understand.
- Expertise. Not every lawyer is familiar with DUI law, but we have made it a serious focus in our practice. Arizona’s DUI laws have changed more than once in the last few years, and we are always on top of the changes and prepared to skillfully defend you in the courtroom.
Most people feel embarrassed after being arrested for a DUI in Buckeye, especially first-time offenders. For many people, a one-time mistake turns into a lasting humiliation, which is often only made worse by the strict punishments that are ordered after conviction. If you have been arrested for drunk driving and are concerned about the shame, embarrassment, and anxiety you feel, consider taking the following actions:
- Take the initiative to tell your family and friends what happened. If you are concerned about what your friends and family will think after you are arrested for a DUI, take the time to talk with them about what happened. It is better for the people you care about to hear it from you, and you may be surprised at the support and comfort that your loved ones offer.
- Accept that you made a mistake. Accepting that you made a mistake and moving on with your life can be difficult, but it’s important for you to recognize that you can learn from that mistake. Over time, people will forget what happened, and you will remain safe behind the wheel in the future.
- Speak with an experienced Buckeye DUI lawyer. Sometimes just knowing what to expect can help ease your anxiety, and your DUI lawyer should be willing to explain each step of the process to you in terms you understand. Additionally, seeking the legal advice of an expert could mean that you suffer fewer penalties or avoid a conviction.
In an effort to save money or time, you may be considering handling the aftermath of your DUI arrest on your own or with the help of a friend who has had a DUI dismissed in the past. If you are interested in representing yourself in court after an Arizona DUI arrest, you should be aware that it may not be as simple as it seems. Although there are some fairly clear-cut cases in which you have nothing to gain by hiring a Glendale DUI lawyer, you could stand to lose quite a bit if you find yourself in over your head.
The DUI laws in Arizona can be very harsh and unforgiving. Especially in cases where you have a previous conviction on your record or were involved in a wreck at the time of the DUI arrest, the court case can quickly devolve into something extremely complicated that relies on carefully presented evidence and a knowledge of case law.
Additionally, if you decide to proceed alone with your DUI case, you will be expected to know how the court works, and you will be held to the same standards as a lawyer. For example, you will be expected to understand:
- Dates and time limits.
- Rules regarding obtaining and presenting evidence.
- Documents and paperwork.
- Rules and procedures of the Court.
Don’t gamble with your future after an Arizona DUI arrest. You have nothing to lose by calling us today at 1-888-929-5292. We will set you up with a completely free legal consultation to speak with an experienced Glendale DUI lawyer about your case. We’ll even tell you honestly if hiring a DUI lawyer is necessary in your situation, or if we think your case is simple enough to handle on your own.
As a Buckeye DUI lawyer, I know that a lot of people feel ashamed and embarrassed after being arrested for a DUI in Buckeye – even before they are convicted. Increasingly, public shame has been incorporated into the penalties for drunk driving in Maricopa County. In fact, public shame is being used all over the nation as punishment for various crimes. You may have seen news reports about people being ordered by judges to stand near busy roadways holding a sign that describes the crime they were convicted for, or you may remember Phoenix using billboards with mug shots of DUI offenders as a shame-based deterrent.
How Does Arizona Use Public Shame to Deter Drunk Driving?
Arizona is notoriously rough on DUI offenders, and many different shame-based penalties have been ordered or offered as an option. If you have ever been convicted of a DUI in Maricopa County, you may have had to endure:
- Serving your sentence in a tent city
- Being visible as part of a chain gang
- Billboards with your mug shot as a DUI offender
- Public databases with your mug shot and the details of your conviction
These types of penalties change all the time, and it’s hard to say what kinds of shame-based deterrents may be used in the future. Many states and jurisdictions use websites or Facebook pages to shame drunk driving offenders – some have even started posting mug shots of alleged DUI offenders who have not yet been convicted!
How Can I Avoid Public Shame After a DUI Arrest in Buckeye?
If you are arrested for a DUI in Buckeye, even as a first-time offender, you may face humiliating penalties. Sadly, many – even most – of the people who are being shamed by these types of punishments are first-time offenders.
Trying to avoid public shame and embarrassment after a drunk driving arrest can be difficult in a strict state like Arizona. Speak with an expert DUI lawyer in Buckeye before you do anything else. You can reach us today at 1-888-929-5292 or through our convenient online contact form. We’d be happy to talk about your DUI arrest and your rights in completely free, no-obligation legal consultation.
As Tempe DUI lawyers, we can tell you that the best way to avoid a DUI conviction is to just not drink and drive in the first place. If you know you will be out drinking, be sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to find someone willing to be your designated driver.
When you are choosing a designated driver, make sure that you:
- Plan ahead. Check with your friends or family members before you go out, and make sure someone is willing to stay sober for the evening and give you a ride home at the end of the night. If it’s a last-minute surprise, there’s a good chance that the person you had in mind won’t be available and you’ll be stuck.
- Choose a safe driver. This seems like a given, but you might be surprised how many people forget to check that their designated driver has a current and valid license, is current with his or her insurance, and is not wanted for prior traffic offenses.
- Choose someone reliable. When you choose your designated driver, make sure you can trust that person to be sober when it’s time to go home, be available to pick you up, and not give in to pressure to drink.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Tempe, don’t wait until it’s too late to talk to an expert. Call the experienced Tempe DUI lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 for a free, no-pressure legal consultation. We would be happy to talk about your situation and work with you to reduce or avoid the penalties that come with an Arizona drunk driving conviction.
You’ve probably heard someone say it before: “I was arrested for a DUI after only one drink!” You may be saying to yourself “yeah, right…only one drink.” However, as Tempe DUI lawyers, we know that this is more than just an excuse – alcohol can and does affect different people very differently. In fact, alcohol can even affect you differently depending on many factors, such as:
- How much you weigh
- How often you drink
- How long it’s been since your last drink
- How fast you were drinking
- If you’ve eaten
- Drug interactions or medications
- How strong the drink was
As you can see, it can be very difficult to predict how impaired you will be after a certain number of drinks, and the effects of alcohol mean that even your ability to determine your impairment is impaired. Even if you don’t necessarily “feel” drunk, alcohol can still impair your:
- Reaction time
So, even if you’ve only had a drink or two, it is still possible to be impaired enough to be arrested for a DUI in Tempe. If you need help after a drunk driving arrest in Arizona, speak with the Tempe DUI lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 in a completely free, no-pressure legal consultation. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney in Tempe means you will benefit from the advice and direction of an expert who knows the laws and the court system, and you have the best chance at avoiding conviction entirely or seeing a reduction in the penalties you suffer.
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Tempe, you may be interested in having that judgment set aside and effectively cleared from your criminal record. While having a DUI set aside can be extremely helpful for anyone concerned about a professional license, college application, or job prospect, it is important to remember what a “set aside” cannot do.
Having a DUI set aside will not get you out of any penalties related to the conviction. In order to qualify for having a judgment set aside, you must have completed your entire sentence, including treatment programs and any probation. And even if your Chandler DUI conviction is set aside by the judge, any penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicles will remain in place, including:
- Ignition interlock devices
- License suspensions
- Points on your license
- Traffic school attendance
If you are interested in having a DUI set aside, speak with an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer about your specific situation. We’d be happy to meet with you in a completely free, no-pressure consultation to talk about your rights and options after a DUI conviction in Arizona. Give us a call today at 1-888-929-5292, or fill out the quick online contact form on this page. We look forward to speaking with you.
For more information about DUI law in Arizona and how a Tempe DUI attorney can help you, request your free copy of our helpful book DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know, which will walk you through what you need to keep in mind after a DUI arrest.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in Tempe, the consequences and embarrassment could follow you for years to come. Your DUI conviction could come back to haunt you when you’re looking for a job or even applying for college, and it could severely limit your options or prevent you from pursuing your dreams. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it may be worth speaking with a Tempe DUI lawyer about having your DUI set aside.
What Does It Mean to Have a Tempe DUI Conviction “Set Aside?”
In Arizona, you cannot erase or expunge your criminal record, but you can have a conviction “set aside,” which is very similar to expungement. Although a comprehensive background check may still show that you were convicted of a DUI in Tempe, it would show that the ruling was eventually set aside.
What Are the Requirements for Having a DUI Set Aside in Arizona?
Although DUI and traffic convictions are often fairly easy to have set aside, you will still have to meet some requirements and convince the judge in order to be successful in court. To have a DUI conviction set aside, you will have to have completed your sentence, including probation and rehabilitation programs, and limits may apply if you have had previous convictions.
Additionally, no criminal conviction can be set aside in Arizona if the crime:
- Involved a deadly weapon
- Inflicted serious physical harm
- Involved a victim under the age of 15
- Was sexually motivated
- Was a moving violation while your license was suspended
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Arizona, don’t wait until it’s too late to consult an expert Tempe DUI lawyer. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, we offer highly experienced help with all of your legal concerns after a DUI arrest, and we are devoted to obtaining the best possible outcome for each of our clients. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a FREE case evaluation, or fill out our quick online contact form for more information.
Don’t forget to also request your FREE copy of our helpful book DUI’s in Arizona – What You Must Know, which will explain more about your rights, options, and whether you even need the services of a Tempe DUI attorney.
Even legal drugs that have been prescribed by your doctor can impair your ability to drive. Unfortunately, even though many medications include warning labels, it can be difficult to predict a drug’s effect on your driving ability – especially if it is something you haven’t taken before or if there is a drug interaction with another medication you take. Many drivers are surprised to learn that they can be arrested for a DUI in Arizona after taking legally prescribed drugs – and even some medications that are available over the counter.
Fight a Prescription Drug DUI Arrest with Your Phoenix Lawyers
When you are arrested for a legal drug DUI in Arizona, our Phoenix DUI defense lawyers can help you in a number of ways. Even if your blood or urine tests positive for an impairing prescription drug, it can be very difficult to prove that your driving was impaired because of that legally prescribed drug. Additionally, a skilled Mesa DUI lawyer can review your case and look for other potential causes of seemingly impaired driving and determine if there is real evidence that your driving was, in fact, impaired.
If you have been arrested for a prescription drug DUI in Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, or surrounding areas, call us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free legal consultation to learn more about your rights. Our experienced Mesa DUI lawyers will evaluate your case, explain your options, and help you decide if you need our expert legal representation in your specific situation.
For more information about impaired driving in Arizona, request your complimentary copy of our helpful book DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
As Phoenix lawyers, we know there is a common misconception that all DUIs are related to drinking and driving. You might be surprised to learn that you could be arrested for DUI in Phoenix if you have taken some over-the-counter medications or medications that have been legally prescribed by your doctor – even if you haven’t had a drop to drink!
Why Have I Been Arrested for a DUI in Phoenix for Legally Prescribed Medication?
Although alcohol is the most familiar intoxicant related to Arizona DUIs, there are many substances that can impair your driving, including the medications you are taking for a cold or medications that your doctor prescribed. In Arizona, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of any substance – legal or illegal – that impairs your driving.
If an officer observes you driving erratically or otherwise showing signs of intoxication before or during the DUI stop, you could be arrested and face a DUI conviction.
Although most legal medications that impair your driving include a warning label, some drivers who are prescribed a new drug, have an allergic reaction, or who take a combination of legally prescribed drugs may be surprised by the effects and arrested for DUI in Arizona.
How Do I Know Which Legal Medications Could Lead to a DUI Arrest in Arizona?
If you are unsure if your legally prescribed or over-the-counter medication could impair your driving, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Most medications that impair driving include a warning label that advises against operating heavy machinery or warn of drowsiness or dizziness. However, even if your medication does not include a warning label, if the drug is new to you or if you already take other medications, you should avoid driving until you know how the drug will affect you.
Our Phoenix lawyers can help if you have been arrested for a legal drug DUI in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Goodyear, Glendale, or Buckeye. We would be happy to meet with you and hear more about your situation in a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation. Simply call us today at 1-888-929-5292, or use the online contact form on this page.
If you would like more information about DUI law, please also request your free copy of our important book DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
You know for a fact you have not been drinking or using drugs, so being pulled over for a DUI in Glendale shouldn’t be a problem. You follow the officer’s instructions, complete a variety of roadside tests, and you then should be in the clear to go on your way. Unfortunately, however, the officer chooses to arrest you instead of letting you go. What happened?
As Glendale DUI lawyers, we have seen this happen more than once. Even if you are 100% certain that you are under the legal limit of .08, it is possible to fail Arizona DUI tests and end up in jail. Several factors can lead to this unfortunate situation, including the following:
- Officers must rely on their own senses to decide if you are intoxicated. How you appear and how the officer interprets your behavior and coordination could lead to a DUI arrest in Glendale even if you are under the legal limit.
- Other conditions may cause you to fail the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, even if you haven’t been drinking. Neurological conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even the common flu may cause “false positives” on these types of tests.
- Seemingly minor issues can cause false positives. A breathalyzer test can give inaccurate readings based on your body temperature, what you’ve eaten, any recent physical activity, and if you’ve recently vomited. Even over-the-counter cold medicine or a physical disability could have an effect on roadside sobriety tests.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Arrested for a DUI in Glendale?
A DUI conviction in Glendale can mean serious penalties, and you should consult with an expert Glendale DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Whether you believe you are innocent or believe you may be guilty, a skilled Glendale criminal attorney with experience handling DUIs can collect evidence and build a strong case to help you reduce the punishment you suffer or avoid conviction entirely. Please speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 for help. Also, request a completely FREE copy of our important book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
When you are pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix, it is likely that the officer will ask you to perform some field sobriety tests in order to assess whether or not you have been drinking. Among those tests is the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), which tests how your eyes track an object and involuntary eye movements (usually the officer will test this using a pen or finger). The officer is looking for a tell-tale twitch or jerking motion of the eye, which is indicative of intoxication.
What’s the Problem with the HGN in Arizona DUIs?
Although, in theory, the HGN should be a helpful indicator of intoxication, it raises many concerns in practice. As Phoenix DUI lawyers, we’d like you to know about the problems with the HGN test during a DUI stop, including:
- Non-medical training of officers. Generally, police officers in Arizona complete a weekend-long training course that covers field sobriety tests, including the HGN. The trainers are usually also officers, and they are generally not medically trained to administer and interpret the results.
- Improperly administered testing. For the HGN test to give the most accurate results, your head must stay still, the object used must be a certain distance from you, etc. In actual practice in the field, these tests are often administered improperly, especially if the potential offender has been observed to be unsteady on his or her feet.
- Other conditions may cause similar results. Intoxication is not the only condition that can give a positive result for the HGN. Neurological disorders, ear infections, epilepsy, and even high blood pressure are among the numerous conditions that could cause a false positive on a DUI eye test in Arizona.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI in Phoenix and have questions about field sobriety tests or what to do next, please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our highly experienced Phoenix DUI lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. Additionally, we encourage you to learn more about your rights and options with a FREE copy of our must-read book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
Although most people know that erratic driving behaviors can lead to a DUI stop in Glendale, have you ever wondered what police are looking for when you step out of the car? When you are pulled over for drunk driving in Glendale, the officer will observe your behavior in and out of your car, and he or she will attempt to draw a conclusion about your state of intoxication from what is observed. Although field sobriety testing and other roadside tests are usually administered by the officer, whether you are ultimately arrested relies very much on what the officer sees, hears, and smells aside from that testing. For example, during a Glendale DUI stop, an officer will be looking for signs of drunkenness, such as:
- Stumbling, swaying, or unsteadiness
- The smell of alcohol on your breath
- Your ability to follow instructions
- Your response to police, such as arguing, yelling, or even being too friendly
- Eye redness
- Slurred speech
- How coordinated you are retrieving your license and exiting your vehicle
Although these kinds of signs and behaviors may be a good place to start assessing your level of intoxication, human errors do occur, and an officer may misinterpret the symptoms of some medical conditions as signs of drunkenness.
If you have any questions about DUIs in Glendale, please contact a skilled Arizona DUI lawyer today at 1-888-9292-5292. We also recommend you take a look at our free and informative book, DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.
If you have been pulled over for drunk driving in Gilbert, the police officer involved will need to have probable cause to actually arrest you for a DUI. Officers have many ways they attempt to establish probable cause, including breath testing, coordination tests, and observation of your behaviors, among other things. As Gilbert DUI lawyers, we also want you to be aware that how you answer the officer’s questions could lead to self-incrimination and arrest.
The Right to Remain Silent
We understand that most people who are pulled over for drunk driving in Arizona want to cooperate with the police and just get on with their lives. However, officers will likely ask questions, such as “How much have you had to drink?” or “Have you been in a bar this evening?” Many people, in an attempt to be cooperative, will answer these questions without hesitation. Although we completely concur that you should be polite and cooperative with the officer during your Gilbert DUI stop, we also believe you should be aware that you can exercise your Miranda rights (i.e. the “right to remain silent”).
If you are asked these kinds of questions during a DUI stop, you do have the right to remain silent. However, it is of utmost importance that you also remain polite. If you feel that the officer is asking you a question that may cause you to incriminate yourself, or if you feel your answer could be misconstrued as probable cause for a DUI arrest, we recommend you politely tell the officer that you would like to speak with your Gilbert DUI attorney before answering any questions.
Speak with a skilled Gilbert DUI lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292 with any questions or concerns about your specific Arizona DUI case. Our experts can help you both in and out of courtroom, and we are devoted to defending our clients’ rights. For more information, request your FREE copy of DUIs in Arizona – What You Must Know.