Arizona authorities made over 2,000 DUI arrests covering the holiday period from Thanksgiving to Christmas in 2017. The state has a zero tolerance for drunk driving and carries some of the toughest penalties for the offense if found guilty. Arizona, home to many universities and colleges, has also a significant student population with the University of Phoenix boasting the largest enrolment in the country at 195,059 (National Center for Education Statistics). Such college students are bound to drink at parties and some may drive irresponsibly. Drinking under the influence (DUI) is an offense that may attract imprisonment or a hefty fine or both that could affect your present and future life. Sobriety is the ideal state or letting someone else do the driving. But if you ever find yourself in a bind, it is best to be prepared to handle the situation delicately when you hear a patrol car’s siren motioning for you to pull over.
Getting Pulled Over
It is easier said than done but try your best not to panic if you are pulled over.
Keep your hands on the wheel and wait for the officer to come to you. Be polite and respectful. In addition, tell the truth. You cannot say that you have not been drinking when you are probably reeking of alcohol, your speech is slurred and you lack motor coordination skills. §13-2907.1 is the law in Arizona that says it is unlawful to lie to an officer (false reporting) considered a class 1 misdemeanor and may punishable by fine or imprisonment.
Representatives of law firm Tait and Hall explain that if the police officer suspects that you have been drinking, he/she can arrest you for DUI and ask for a breathalyzer or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Do remember everything that has been said between you and the police officer that might help your case. For example, if you have been bullied into taking the test or were not read your Miranda Rights, you might want to write this down as documented evidence on your part.
Finding a Good Lawyer
There is no getting around it, you will be arrested if found by the highway patrol to exceed the legal limits of alcohol or they have established you are driving under the influence. Across America, the standard alcohol limit is 0.08 and in Arizona, zero tolerance means that you can be arrested for DUI even if blood alcohol limit is below this level. After your release, make that call and get a qualified lawyer who can arrange for your day in court.
Impact on Present and Future
The bottom line is driving under the influence is a common criminal charge but alcohol impairment has serious consequences that are life changing. How well lawyers know the nuances of DUI law can affect your case from defining actual physical control of the vehicle to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, your DUI will be classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony DUI, the extent to which varies according to situations whether there was an accident involved, damage to property, injuries or loss of life. Whether this is your first offense or are a repeat offender also plays a role in your defense that the lawyer will mount. Your irresponsibility can lead to school expulsion or suspension, loss of grants & scholarships, employment opportunities and higher education opportunities. A DUI conviction will also be a permanent record that cannot be expunged easily.
No student wants to go through the consequences of a DUI arrest or convictions that will clearly affect their present and future life. However, in majority of the cases, owning up to what you have done in the past is a good sign that you recognize your failures and have learnt from them.