Category Archives: DUI
Before you go through a DUI checkpoint, you should be aware of your responsibilities and rights. This is especially true if you are in the state of Arizona, because they take DUI cases very seriously. Are DUI Checkpoints Legal and Constitutional? Yes, they are. They let police officers lawfully stop drivers even if they do not seem suspicious. This is to prevent the occurrence of accidents or other negative consequences of DUI’s. DUI checkpoints are different from routine stops. With a routine stop, the police officer needs to have reasonable doubt that a violation has been committed. With a DUI checkpoint, such reasonable doubt is not required. This can make it truly intimidating. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of their rights. So, when they get stopped at a DUI checkpoint, they panic and get confused. To help you avoid getting in trouble, you need to know and protect your rights without incriminating yourself. Here are some helpful tips: Know your constitutional rights. If you get stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you will be asked to show your documents. You will be asked to show your ID and driver’s license. You will also be asked certain questions. Make sure that you present these things and be honest with your answers. Know your right to remain silent. You should not feel obliged to answer unnecessary questions, such as where you are heading to or where you have been. Do not provide more information than you have to. Otherwise, you may end up incriminating yourself. Call your lawyer as soon as possible. Only speak if your lawyer tells you that it is okay to do so. Comply with the police officers. In addition, you may be asked to step out of your vehicle. Just comply without complaining or displaying any aggressive behavior. Otherwise, you could be brought up on charges. Always be polite and civil. Refrain from even seeming to assault the police officer. Getting stopped at a checkpoint can be a real hassle. It can put you in a foul mood, but you should always stay calm and reasonable. Speak calmly and carefully. Do not physically attack or curse at the police officer. Use your common sense. Yes, there are times when you are not required to do what a police officer tells you. For example, if a police officer stops you at a DUI checkpoint and says that he wants to conduct a search of your vehicle, you can refuse. You do not have to agree to this search. However, it may be a better idea to agree than to disagree, especially if you aren’t hiding anything. Just cooperate with the authorities so that the process can be over as soon as possible. Likewise, you are not obliged by the law to take a sobriety or blood alcohol content test. If a police officer stops you at a DUI checkpoint and asks you to perform a Breathalyzer test, you have the right to refuse. Then again, refusing … Continue reading
Individuals who are arrested for a DUI in the state of Arizona are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This device requires regular maintenance and it can be quite costly. Hence, a lot of drivers want to know if they can avoid its installation after they are convicted for a DUI. Are Ignition Interlock Devices Really Required? Yes, they are really required. At present, drivers who are found guilty of a DUI are required to install the device in their vehicle. There are no exceptions for this. Anyone who is arrested and convicted of a DUI needs to do this, including those who were arrested because of taking medications or drugs. A lot of people think that such provision is not necessary. Nevertheless, it must be adhered to, even if you were only arrested because you had to take prescription medications. A DUI is considered a very big deal in Arizona. If you ever get arrested, you would be required to have the device installed in your vehicle for a year. Depending on your situation, you may request for a revision and/or removal of the device after six months. So, if you are hoping that you can avoid installing the device after a court has ordered you to do it, you’ll be disappointed. Arizona is strict when it comes to performing regular compliance checks. The authorities may carry out inspections without warning to find out if the drivers are indeed following the rules. If you are caught disobeying a court order to have the device installed, or even tampering with it, you could face serious consequences. Is It Ever Possible to Avoid Getting an Ignition Interlock Device? Not following court orders is never an option. However, is it ever legally possible to avoid installing the device? What if you promise the judge that you won’t drive your car for a year? According to the law, you need to have the device installed in your vehicle even if you promise not to use it for that year. In fact, you need to have the device installed in any vehicle that you drive, including rent-a-car-services. Simply making this kind of promise is not enough for you to avoid installing the device. After all, nobody can really guarantee the future. So, there is no way for you to tell that you will be able to refrain from driving for a year. Nevertheless, there is a single exception. You can drive a vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device during an emergency situation, such as needing to go to the hospital. So, the answer to this question is also ‘yes’. It is possible to use a vehicle without an ignition interlock device if there is an emergency. Otherwise, you would get arrested if you operate any vehicle that does not have the device. You could even be banned from driving. Also, you may avoid installing the device if you are charged with a DUI after using drugs. According … Continue reading
Arizona has always been tough on drunk driving. In fact, in the past decade alone, it enacted laws that are even tougher on violators of its DUI laws. These efforts seem to be paying off because for the third consecutive year, there has been a marked decrease in DUI arrests. The Office of Highway Safety of Arizona reports that in 2015, there were 24,674 DUI arrests made. This was down from the 29,950 arrests during the previous year, and it is much lower than the 31,891 and 32,174 DUI arrests in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Extreme DUI cases likewise dropped. In 2015, 6,742 arrests were recorded, which is lower than the 8,414 arrests made in 2014. Although statistics show a drop in the number of arrests in 2015, average BAC readings went up. It went up from .152 in 2014 to .158 in 2015. Changes to the Arizona DUI Laws in 2008 Beginning in September 2008, the state has the capability to look at past DUI records from 7 years back when determining sentencing. Before, only the records from the previous 5 years were available. For past offenders, defending a DUI case has become tougher. Because of the changes to the law, judges can no longer suspend a portion of the jail term for offenders convicted of super extreme DUI or extreme DUI. There is likewise no exception for first-time offenders. There are also new mandatory minimums in place for offenders. Extreme DUI conviction now carries a minimum jail term of 30 days for the first offense. The second offense has a minimum of 120 days. For extreme DUIs, first offense carries a minimum jail term of 45 days, and 6 months for the second offense. Alcohol screening is now necessary before a suspended license can be reinstated. The offender must also install an ignition interlock device for at least 1 year after the conviction. Changes to the Arizona DUI Laws in 2012 The changes in the law implemented in 2012 are seen to be more forgiving than previous amendments, in particular, for first-time offenders. Under the new laws, first-time convictions require only a 1-day jail term. An offender will also get credit for the time he spent during the booking process or while staying in a holding cell. The judge can now allow an offender to serve only 20% of his jail time and spend the remaining 80% under a home detention program. Thus, if you have been sentenced to a 30-day jail term, you can now serve only 6 days in prison. You can spend the remaining 24 days under home detention, unless your county or city doesn’t have such a program. Under the 2012 law changes, DUI charges have become ineligible for trials by jury. While some people say the move denies people their right to get a fair trial, the state believes it saves the state money that would otherwise be spent on prosecution. Final Word Because of the changes in Arizona’s DUI laws, it is … Continue reading
A DUI conviction is not something you can take lightly, especially in Arizona! It carries hefty fines and a possible jail term. If you are in a situation where you cannot avoid drinking, make sure your BAC remains within the legal limits. When drinking, keep the following in mind: Typical drinks like wine, beer, and spirits contain the same volume of pure alcohol. Thus, a breathalyzer will treat them the same way. Breathalyzers are not 100% accurate. Thus, it would be wise to keep your blood alcohol way below the legal threshold. Get an alcohol breath tester for your personal use. It may even be less reliable than what police officers use. Thus, it may motivate you to stay well within the allowable limit. Bear in mind that even if you have stopped drinking, your BAC will still continue to rise. Once your BAC peaks, it will drop by around .015 after an hour. A .05 BAC takes around 3 1/3 hours to drop to a 0 reading, and a .08 BAC takes around 5 1/3 hours. Munch on some food from time to time while you are drinking. If you are at a party or gathering, delay taking your first alcoholic beverage for as long as you can. Pace your drinks. Having one alcoholic drink every 1 ½ hours will help keep your BAC at low levels. Take non-alcoholic beverages in-between alcoholic drinks. Instead of gulping down your drinks, sip and savor them. Avoid playing drinking games with your friends. You may lose track of how much you have been drinking when you are having the time of your life! Stay away from punches, as well as drinks that come in unusual shapes or sizes of containers. It is often difficult to tell their alcohol content. It will be hard for you to pace your drinks. Avoid getting pulled over. This is because even if you have legal BAC, the officer may still charge you with a DUI. One way to do this is to make sure your vehicle is in good running condition. Likewise, make sure your tail lights are good. Otherwise, you may be giving an invitation to the police to pull you over. Make the proper signal when you are about to change lanes, and obey traffic rules. But, if you still get pulled over, just be polite when talking to the officer. This last tip is foolproof. Do not drink, or let a designated driver take you home. By following the tips provided in this post, you can avoid a stressful DUI conviction, and all the expenses and inconveniences that come with it. But, if you are already facing a felony charge, your best move would be to hire a reputable lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing for a consultation. Atty. Rohlwing has extensive experience in handling DUI cases in Arizona. He will help you get the best possible outcome for your particular case.
This might be surprising, but studies show that 1 out of 8 drivers do not have auto insurance. A lot of states require a mandatory insurance policy, but this is not strictly followed. In the event you get into an accident with a driver without insurance, here are some tips as provided by the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing: Call the police Contacting the authorities in the case of a car accident is a standard operating procedure already. However, the role of the police is more important when you’re dealing with an uninsured driver. The police will conduct the investigation and do the documentation for you. This will make the process of claiming process easier and faster. It is also important to tell the officer the other driver does not have an insurance policy. This should be included in their report. Do not compromise Accepting money right away might not be the best idea. It is best to first assess the damage of your car. In some jurisdictions, accepting money from the uninsured driver may preclude one from claiming from their own policy. Get the information of the uninsured driver This is perhaps the most important step when dealing with an uninsured driver. Get the name, address, contact number, and even the office address and office number of the uninsured driver. Get information of the witnesses or bystanders Aside from the information of the uninsured driver, getting the contact details of witnesses is also important. Their testimonies will help as proof and evidence for a claim with your own insurance policy. Take pictures Take pictures of the accident. Proper documentation is key. Also, take a photo and note the color, model and license plate of the other car. The location of the accident is also essential. Take note of the direction the cars were going. If there are any skid marks, take a photo of those as well. Destruction to other property caused by the accident can also be photographed. Aside from the aforementioned, it is also pertinent to get Uninsured Motorist Coverage in your policy. This clause is an optional coverage in a lot of states. However, it is still a handy addition to your coverage, because as mentioned above, there are still a lot of drivers out there who are not insured. With this optional coverage, the insurance policy will cover all the expenses incurred, such as medical expenses for bodily harm and repair expenses for damaged property. It is best to consult with a lawyer before filing the claim with your insurance company. The lawyer will be of great help when processing documentation from the police and the hospital. The lawyer will also better assess the indemnity recoverable from the driver-at-fault. Another option is to take the case to court. Lawyers, such as those from the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing, would advise filing a personal injury suit against the driver at fault. However, this may take a lot of time and money. It is … Continue reading