Category Archives: DUI

Arizona Has Some OF The Harshest DUI Laws

There is no doubt that drunk driving has been one of the leading causes of road deaths for decades. Unfortunately, drunk driving is still prevalent in most parts of the country. DUI laws in the U.S. vary depending on the state. Thus, it is a good idea to know about the laws not only in Arizona but in other states as well.   The Earliest DUI Laws New Jersey enacted the first law on drunk driving in 1906. Back then, a person caught driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Unbelievably, after over a century, there are states that don’t jail first-time offenders and some states only require a $500 fine. With exponentially more DUI cases, you would think that DUI laws across the country would be stricter than a century ago.   The Strictest and the Most Lenient States Today Arizona is the strictest state in terms of cracking down on DUI offenders. A minimum of 10 days in jail awaits you if you are a first-time offender. This comes with a minimum fine of $1,250, the installation of a car ignition interlock device at your own expense, and a 90 day suspension of your privilege to drive. Your vehicle will also be impounded. Other states with strict DUI laws include Connecticut, West Virginia, and Alaska On the other side of the spectrum, South Dakota has the most lenient DUI laws. It is ironic that the 1906 New Jersey law was harsher than current South Dakota DUI laws. The state doesn’t impose a minimum jail term for first and second-time offenders. Although a third offense is considered a felony, driving privileges are not suspended and the installation of ignition interlock devices is not required. Other states with lenient DUI laws are North Dakota, Montana, and the District of Columbia. The Harsh DUI Laws in Arizona Because a DUI charge in Arizona comes with dire consequences, you should immediately get in touch with a reputable DUI lawyer like Gary Rohlwing to make sure your rights are protected. It doesn’t matter if you are charged for DUI in Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear or any other city in the state of Arizona. The state laws of Arizona will apply. Arizona has comprehensive misdemeanour DUI laws that virtually encompass any situation where a person may be impaired and drive or try to drive. The amount of alcohol concentration found in a person’s system determines whether he or she will be charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, or Super Extreme DUI as discussed below. R.S. § 28-1381 is the original DUI law. It generally applies to a person whose alcohol concentration is between 0.04 (for drivers of commercial vehicles) and 0.14. It also applies to any person operating under the influence of any impairing or intoxicating drug, vapor that releases substances containing toxic chemicals or any combination of drugs, alcohol and other vapor releasing substances if it impairs the person to the slightest … Continue reading

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First Offense DUI: What to Expect in Arizona

Drunk drivers, to put it simply, face harsh penalties and fines in the State of Arizona. The state has some of the harshest DUI laws in the US. In Arizona, you are guilty of DUI if at least one of the following applies to you pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(1)-(4): You are impaired to the slightest degree while under the influence of impairment-causing drugs, a vapor- releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor- releasing substances. You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more within two hours of driving. You have any drug or its metabolite as defined in A.R.S. § 13-3401 in your system. You have a BAC of 0.04% or more and were stopped driving a commercial vehicle. Note that even if your Breathalyzer or blood test results show that your BAC is under 0.08%, the officer who stopped you may charge you with DUI if he/she deems that you are unfit to drive. You are automatically charged with DUI if the test shows your BAC is 0.08% or more.   Penalties for First-Time Misdemeanor Offenders A first time DUI under A.R.S. § 28-1381 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a first time misdemeanor DUI, you will be sentenced to the following: A jail term of 10 consecutive days or more, with a maximum of up to 90 days. The court may suspend 9 of the 10 days if you complete a court-ordered alcohol or other drug screening education or treatment program. A fine of $1,250. Installation of a certified ignition interlock device in your car at your own expense. You may also be sentenced to the following: Community service hours Your conviction will trigger a 90 day suspension of your privilege to drive.   What to Do When Stopped for a Possible DUI When an officer asks you to pull over for a possible DUI, you must: Safely pull over to the right side of the road. Switch your engine off. Politely refuse to answer any questions. Hand over your registration, license, and insurance to the officer. Politely refuse to take any field sobriety tests if asked. Submit to a Breathalyzer or Blood test. Remain silent if you are arrested. Politely request that you be allowed to speak to your lawyer. If you have had a few drinks, it can be stressful if you are pulled over. Just stay calm and follow the steps above. What to Do if Charged with Your First DUI Anyone can be found guilty of a misdemeanor DUI. When it happens, you must be ready and know the consequences. As a Class 1 misdemeanor, a first DUI conviction comes with daunting punishments. Don’t lose hope! An experienced DUI lawyer like Gary Rohlwing can help find ways to possibly have the case dismissed, challenge the accuracy of the Breathalyzer or blood test results, prove that you were not impaired, and minimize the penalties. Remember that your future may be at … Continue reading

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Collateral Consequences of Drug Convictions

According to the American Friends Service Committee-Arizona, “Collateral consequences” are legal punishments and other restrictions imposed on people because of their criminal convictions that are in addition to any term of incarceration, fines, fees or supervision imposed by the courts as punishment for the crimes. As Gabriel Chin wrote in “The New Civil Death: Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Conviction”: “As a practical matter, every criminal sentence contains the following unwritten term: The law regards you as having a “shattered character.” Therefore, in addition to any incarceration or fine, you are subject to legal restrictions and limitations on your civil rights, conduct, employment, residence, and relationships. For the rest of your life, the United States and any State or locality where you travel or reside may impose, at any time, additional restrictions and limitations they deem warranted. Their power to do so is limited only by their reasonable discretion. They may also require you to pay the expense of these restrictions and limitations.” On their website, The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction lists 170 collateral consequences in the State of Arizona arising from a drug conviction. Some of the well-known ones are: Prohibited possessor of firearms; Loss of employment and employment opportunities; Loss of public benefits such as student aid; Loss of housing and difficulty finding housing; and Loss of child custody The collateral consequences of drug convictions in Arizona are wide ranging and serious. Criminal Defense attorney Gary Rohlwing has decades of experience in helping clients mitigate the collateral consequences of their drug convictions. Call or e-mail him today. Felony Attorney Services – Misdemeanor Attorney Services –

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Driving Restrictions Due to a DUI Conviction

Generally, you need to have a fingerprint clearance card issued by the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting if you work with children, the elderly, disabled adults, and victims of domestic violence. Dentists, dental hygienists, denturists, nurses and real estate agents also need fingerprint clearance cards. A.R.S. § 41-1758.03(D) states: “D. A person who is awaiting trial on or who has been convicted of comm05itting or attempting to commit a misdemeanor or felony violation of section 28-1381, 28-1382 or 28-1383 in this state or the same or similar offense in another state or jurisdiction within five years from the date of applying for a fingerprint clearance card is precluded from driving any vehicle to transport employees or clients of the employing agency as part of the person’s employment. The division shall place a notation on the fingerprint clearance card that indicates this driving restriction. This subsection does not preclude a person from driving a vehicle alone as part of the person’s employment. This subsection does not apply to a person who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 20, except if the person is employed by an agency as defined in section 41-1758.” A.R.S. § 41-1758(1) defines an “agency” as: “1. “Agency” means the supreme court, the department of economic security, the department of child safety, the department of education, the department of health services, the department of juvenile corrections, the department of emergency and military affairs, the department of transportation, the state real estate department, the department of financial institutions, the board of fingerprinting, the Arizona game and fish department, the board of examiners of nursing care institution administrators and assisted living facility managers, the state board of dental examiners or the Arizona state board of pharmacy.” The three laws mentioned in A.R.S. § 41-1758.03(D) are driving under the influence, driving under the extreme influence, and aggravated driving under the influence. A person who is licensed “pursuant to title 32, chapter 20” is a licensed real estate agent. A licensed real estate agent is highly unlikely to be employed by any of the agencies listed in A.R.S. § 41-1758. Therefore, A.R.S. § 41-1758.03(D) allows licensed real estate agents to transport clients and employees even though they have DUI convictions. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like the driving restriction would apply to many people since not everyone works for an agency.Unfortunately, private employers may interpret A.R.S. § 41-1758.03(D) as precluding them from hiring or continuing to employ a person with the driving restriction. Another obstacle may be the private employer’s car insurance which may not cover an employee who has a driving restriction. A DUI conviction will subject you to the driving restriction under A.R.S. § 41-1758.03(D). This collateral consequence means that you should hire an experienced DUI attorney if you are charged with a DUI. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over three decades of experience defending against DUI charges. Call him today for a free consultation. Cities We Provide DUI Legal Defense: Glendale Affordable Peoria Services Buckeye Defense Goodyear Services Affordable … Continue reading

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Common Factors That Increase Your Blood Alcohol Content

These Are Some Of The Most Common Areas That Can Increase Your Chances of Getting a DUI In 2016, statistics revealed that over 27 people died in car crashes caused by drunk driving in Arizona [editing note:  I’m assuming that these people died in 2016 Arizona drunk driving accidents].  Not all drivers intentionally drink and drive; some think that the small amount of alcohol they consumed did not impair their ability to drive.  You might want to wait for your body to metabolize that alcohol before driving after reading about the factors known for increasing the alcohol content in your blood below.   AMOUNT OF FOOD CONSUMED If you’ve consumed protein-rich food before drinking, the chances of being intoxicated may be less.  Alcohol is more likely to be processed faster if the person who drinks it doesn’t have any food in his stomach. The amount of food consumed is a factor because the digestion process plays a huge role in the body’s absorption of alcohol.  For almost everyone, the liver can only digest one drink an hour.  The more drinks you have, the bigger the workload for your liver.  Drinking only one drink per hour helps keep your blood alcohol content (BAC) in the safe level.   ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION The stronger the drink, the higher your BAC will be.  Higher alcohol content in drinks will irritate the mucous membranes lining the gastrointestinal tract.  This means one thing: slower alcohol absorption rate and higher chances of intoxication.   GENDER Studies have found that women have less dehydrogenase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol in the digestive system.  The less dehydrogenase you have, the more likely it is for your BAC to shoot up when you drink.  This is why women become intoxicated faster even if they’re drinking the same amount of alcohol as men. Women also tend to get higher BACs around the time of menstruation.  Their hormone levels definitely affect their alcohol absorption levels.   BODY TYPE AND WEIGHT If you have a small body mass, you tend to become intoxicated easily when drinking alcohol.  Even if two people weigh the same, the person with more fat in his or her body is likely to have lower BAC when they drink the same amount of alcohol.   CONSUMPTION RATE Have you ever wondered why you shouldn’t gulp down your drink in one go?  This is because the sudden rush of alcohol will raise your BAC much faster than when you drink the same amount slowly.   INDIVIDUAL ALCOHOL TOLERANCE Some people can drink lots of alcohol but not get intoxicated, while others get drunk after only two glasses of the same alcohol.  A person’s functional tolerance determines how resistant his body is to the effects of alcohol, partly because of his liver’s strong capacity to continuously filter out the alcohol in the body.  You’re not home free even if your individual alcohol tolerance is high; your blood will still contain traces of alcohol.   MEDICATIONS Alcohol is a drug … Continue reading

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