Drivers charged with DUI in Arizona face potentially devastating personal and financial consequences. A first-offense conviction can result in 24 hours to 10 days in jail, $1,500 in fines and a minimum 90-day driver’s license suspension.
While no one should ever endanger themselves or others by drinking and driving, some are wrongly accused by police officers who make mistakes or lack training. In addition, many of the tests prosecutors use as evidence are often flawed or inaccurate.
Common law enforcement mistakes
The most critical elements of proving a DUI case are the arresting officer’s actions. An experienced DUI defense attorney knows how to spot errors, such as:
- Unwarranted stops: Police must have a valid reason to pull you over in the first place, such as speeding or violating other traffic laws, defective equipment, such as broken taillights, or for “reasonable” suspicion, such as receiving a tip from a witness. They can’t stop you based on a “hunch.”
- Breathalyzers: In recent years, thousands of these tests have been thrown out by judges due to incorrectly calibrated machines or because officers lacked the training to administer them properly.
- Sobriety tests: Several studies show that the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests are unreliable as many people who are not impaired fail them due to medical conditions or from taking prescribed medications.
- Rights violations: Police must not only have a legitimate reason to stop you but must fully explain why you are being arrested and inform you of your rights, including talking to an attorney before being questioned.
Be diligent until you can talk to an attorney
Because the stakes are so high, contact an aggressive DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Until your attorney arrives, avoid making any incriminating statements and fully document every interaction with officers. Your lawyer will fight to minimize charges and penalties and, in some cases, have them dropped.