DUI and Drunk Driving Lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona
In September 2007, new DUI laws went into effect and instituted new DUI penalties for driving under the influence (DUI). These new DUI laws set forth new DUI offenses and charges that are being vigorously enforced by local police and prosecutors. Because of this, it is now more serious and expensive than ever if a person is convicted of DUI charges. When a person is pulled over and arrested for DUI, the police officer will immediately take his or her driver's license. If a person refuses to take a blood alcohol test, their license is automatically suspended for a full year. Therefore, it is important for a person with DUI charges to promptly consult with an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer.
DUI and DWI Repercussions
If a person is charged with DUI, they will have to face complex legal matters that include a multitude of penalties if convicted. These penalties may include the following:
- Driver's license suspension (from 90 days to a full year)
- Receiving an ignition interlock device
- Jail time
- Alcohol counseling
- Community service
Unfortunately, this type of conviction will permanently be on a person's criminal record.
Field Sobriety Tests
Under Arizona Law, a person is not required to submit to field sobriety tests ("FST"), which include a variety of tests. These tests include walking heel to toe, saying the alphabet, balancing on one leg, and/or touching your nose with the point of your index finger. Another field sobriety test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is the test when the officer looks into your eyes and asks you to follow a light or their finger with your eyes.
In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the officer is attempting to assess how smooth or jerky your eyes are when moving them side-to-side. Police officers generally do not have any training in the physiology of the eye and are typically not qualified in court to testify as an expert regarding any eye dysfunctions. Therefore, it is best to politely refuse performing any FST for the officer.
Police officers most commonly use a breath-testing machine called the "Breathalyzer" to determine a driver's blood alcohol level. When someone consumes alcohol, it is absorbed into his or her bloodstream. Alcohol is water-soluble; because of this, the vast majority of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestines. If you have food in your stomach, the absorption rate will slow down. However, once the alcohol reaches the bloodstream, it is quickly distributed throughout the body.
The blood is then pumped into the lungs. After this, the alcohol moves across the alveolar sacs in the lungs. The breathalyzer then attempts to measure the concentration of alcohol present in one's breath. This test is not 100% accurate, and there are several sources for error. Breathalyzers must be properly calibrated, as they are sensitive to the temperature of the surrounding air and of the subject. At times, the machines can give false readings.
Unlike field sobriety tests (FST), it is normally advisable to take the breath test or submit to the blood test, because refusing either test will result in an automatic one-year suspension of your license even, if you win your DUI case and your DUI case is dismissed.
If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, please contact our DUI and DWI Lawyers for a free, personal, and confidential consultation. We offer quality and aggressive defense with affordable attorney's fees. You can contact the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at 602-265-6700.
Our lawyers not only work on DUI and drunk driving cases but in other criminal defense and DUI areas, as well as Personal Injury, car accidents, Wrongful Death, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, and product and premises liability, so please contact your local Phoenix attorneys for a free consultation.
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