Tucson DUI FAQs

Frequently Asked Tucson DUI Questions

One of the first steps after being charged with a DUI, is to educate yourself on the procedures, consequences, and implications a DUI can carry. Below are the answers to common questions and concerns you may have if you or a loved one are facing DUI charges. However, it is important to remember that each DUI case is unique and the penalties, outcomes, and procedures vary depending upon the circumstances surrounding the incident and defendant. Because of the subjective nature of any criminal charge, having an experienced and honest local DUI attorney on your side an invaluable resource.

What can I do if I’m arrested for a Tucson DUI?

The most important thing to remember, if you have been arrested for DUI in Tucson, is that you have the same rights as if you were arrested for any crime. You have the right to remain silent, and you have the right to an attorney. Make sure you use those rights! Contact one of our Tucson DUI defense lawyers who can protect your rights, and don’t make any incriminating statements or submit to police questioning.

What is the legal limit in Tucson?

In Arizona, if you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above within two hours of operating a motor vehicle, you are considered to be driving under the influence and will likely be charged with DUI. If under the age of 21, you can be charged with a DUI if any amount of alcohol is found in your body within two house of driving a motor vehicle.

You can also be charged with a DUI if you are driving under the influence of illicit substances, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medicine if they can potentially impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

What are the different types if Tucson DUI charges?

The varying severity of a DUI charge is based upon BAC as well as a few other factors.

A standard DUI – Can be given with a BAC of 0.08% or higher while operating a private motor vehicle. It operating a commercial motor vehicle, a BAC or 0.04% or higher constitutes a DUI. And if the accused is under the age of 21 operating a motor vehicle, any amount of alcohol can get a DUI charge.

An extreme DUI – Occurs when the driver has a BAC of 0.15% or higher

An aggravated DUI – When driving with a passenger who is younger than 15, if the DUI was committed with a suspended, cancelled, or revoked driver’s license, or if it is the third DUI offense within an 84 month period.

However, it is important to remember that depending upon the arresting officer and the court, it is possible to be charged with a DUI despite having a BAC that is below the legal limit.

Do I legally have to answer if the officer asks me if I have been drinking?

No and it is in your best interest to politely decline to answer when asked. Your answers may be used as evidence in the case against you but your Constitutional rights allow you to remain silent and to avoid self-incrimination, both of which are in your best interest when in this situation.

Am I legally required to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test and if I don’t, what are the consequences.

Because the State of Arizona has “implied consent” law, if you refuse a breath or blood test once you have been arrested, you can have your license taken away for at least one year regardless of a final DUI conviction. You are able to decline a portable breathalyzer test before you are arrested with no consequences. However, police officers in many cases can obtain a search warrant that requires you to submit to blood testing.

Can I choose which type of BAC testing I perform?

No, unfortunately in Arizona it is at the discretion of the arresting officer which type of chemical BAC testing administered. Most common are breath, blood, and urine with more officers becoming ‘certified’ to take samples of blood for this purpose. A urine test is usually only used if the officer has suspicion of other substances being present in your body at that time. You are legally allowed to obtain an independent sample if you are released in a short period of time after being arrested. Seeking an independent sample and speaking with your attorney immediately can in some instances help in your defense.

Can I refuse a field sobriety test?

Yes. In Arizona, common field sobriety tests including touching your finger to your nose, standing on one leg, and eye tests are voluntary. These tests can be extremely subjective and you can and should politely refuse them when asked. The outcome or measurement of these types of tests rely upon the arresting officer’s testimony as opposed to objective calculations of chemical BAC tests. Usually when these tests are performed, there are done to collect further evidence to use against you in court, not to determine your level of sobriety.

What happens if I am involved in an accident while driving under the influence?

Most likely, you will face harsh penalties if you are involved in an accident while DUI. The severity of these penalties will depend upon whether anyone was injured in the accident and how much property damage was caused.

Do I need an attorney to represent me in a Tucson DUI case?

It is always in your best interest when facing a criminal charge to seek representation from a knowledgeable and experience local attorney in your area. With over ten years of experience in Arizona criminal law including several years as the Assistant City Attorney of Tucson, Zachary Spanier knows how to best build a defense for your unique Tucson DUI situation. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, contact his office today for a consultation. Let us help you. Call today (520) 314-0545