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Arizona DUI FAQ
DUI Defense Lawyer FAQ in Tempe Arizona
Call a Tempe DUI Defense Attorney



What's a BAC and why is it important?

Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is evidence of how impaired you were at the time you were driving (or in "actual physical control" of the vehicle). Even if your BAC is less than 0.08, you can still receive a DUI if the police officer believes you are impaired to the slightest degree. If your BAC is 0.08-0.14 within two hours of driving, you will be charged with a DUI. If your BAC is greater than 0.15 within two hours of driving, you will probably be charged with extreme DUI which, if you are convicted, results in more severe penalties. If your BAC is 0.20 or higher, you will probably be charged with super-extreme DUI and you will face even harsher penalties.
Our experienced DUI Defense Attorneys in Phoenix will help confirm whether the BAC equipment used was properly calibrated and whether the officer giving the BAC test was adequately trained. All of these factors have an impact on the outcome of your case.

What does "actual physical control of a motor vehicle" mean?
The State can charge you with DUI if you are sitting in the driver's seat and the car is running, whether or not it is moving. If you are able to reach the steering wheel and control the pedals, you will probably be charged with "actual physical control." Whether you were in actual physical control is a question of fact best answered by an Attorney.

What do police officers look for when searching for drunk drivers on the highways?
Many DUI arrests occur at night and on week-ends. Below is a list of driving observations the police use to indicate that the person is driving while intoxicated.
1.    Making a wide turn
2.    Straddling center of lane marker
3.    Causing am accident or almost striking an object or vehicle
4.    Weaving or swerving
5.    Speeding or driving too slowly
6.    Stopping without cause in traffic lane
7.    Following too closely
8.    Drifting
9.    Braking erratically
10.    Driving into traffic
11.    Signaling inconsistent with driving actions
12.    Slow response to traffic signals
13.    Turning abruptly or illegally
14.    Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
15.    Headlights off at knight

Do I have to answer any questions when I'm stopped?
You are not required to answer any questions. You always have the option to request the advice of a DUI Attorney and remain silent; but if you have already answered any questions, your answers can be used by the prosecution, as well as by your DUI lawyer in Tempe.



What questions can an officer ask me when I'm stopped?
You may be asked:
The current status of your driver's license
Whether you are ill or hurt
Whether you have taken any medication within the last 24 hours
When and where you last ate
How much sleep you have had
How long you were driving before being stopped
Where you were coming from and going to
What and how much you have had to drink, and when
Other questions about your drinking, and your estimate of your ability to drive

What is the police officer looking for during the initial detention at the scene?
Police officers are trained to observe and document the following "symptoms of intoxication" on the police report:
Flushed face
Bloodshot or watery eyes  
Odor of alcohol on breath
Slurred speech
Fumbling with wallet trying to get license
Failure to understand the police officer's questions
Staggering when exiting vehicle
Swaying/instability on feet
Leaning on car for support   
Stumbling while walking
Disorientation as to time and place
Inability to follow directions

What if I refused to give a blood, breath, or urine sample when I was stopped?
If you refused, you may be subject to additional penalties from the Department of Motor Vehicles. You should consult an Attorney to assist you in addressing and minimizing these additional consequences.
Your DUI lawyer in Tempe may engage an expert to review any information you have given to make a determination as to your actual blood alcohol content at the time you were operating the motor vehicle, which can result in a strong defense for your case.

What are FSTs and HGNs?
FSTs are Field Sobriety Tests. They include various coordination tests (standing on one foot and balancing, reciting the alphabet, walking and turning in a straight line). Horizontal Gaze Nistagmus (HGN) is a test requiring you to follow an object with your eyes from side to side without turning your head.

Can I be charged with DUI if the police officer stopped me but did not give me a citation other than the DUI charges?
Yes. Usually a DUI arrest arises out of a traffic violation (speeding, running a stop sign, illegal turns, or even a broken taillight), but officers can stop vehicles for other reasons. The Courts do require, however, that the officer have a "particular suspicion" that you were engaged in criminal activity. The police cannot stop you based on a hunch.

Can I be charged with DUI even if I'm on private property?
Yes, you can be charged with DUI whether you are on the highway, on a street, or on private property. All that is required is that you be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired.

If the officer didn't read me my rights, will my case be dismissed?
Even if the officer fails to read you your Miranda rights, the case will not be automatically dismissed. An Attorney may be able, however, to suppress any statements you made following your arrest.

If I intend to plead guilty, will I still need an Attorney?
An experienced DUI Defense Attorney may be able to help minimize your legal consequences, even if you decide to enter a guilty plea.



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