How to Deal with your First DUI
Have you been charged with your first DUI? If you find yourself consumed with feelings of fear or confusion stemming from your recent arrest, you’re not alone.
Hundreds of people were arrested for DUI in Arizona during 2015, a trend that has not slowed well into the new year. Should you ever find yourself accused of driving under the influence, it’s essential you know what legal options are available to you.
Avoiding Arizona DUI
The first thing to keep in mind is your composure. Whether you have alcohol in your system or not, being pulled over by an officer of the law can be a frightening experience. Take a deep breath and remain calm, don’t allow your anxiety to work against you.
Never say anything that could potentially incriminate you. While police officers have an important role in keeping the road safe, they often use their experience to elicit information that can damage your case in court.
Be respectful of the questions asked by the officer but know you’re not legally required to answer them. Politely decline to answer anything that would confirm the officer’s suspicion that you’re driving under the influence.
Under no circumstance should you consent to a field sobriety test. Many people suspected of a DUI don’t understand that such tests are optional. Even if you’re confident you’ll pass, common breathalyzers are notoriously inaccurate and their results can be utilized in court to incriminate you. You should only comply with a legally required blood alcohol test typically taken at the police station.
Record the details of your arrest as soon as possible. You want to ensure any information that be used to defend your innocence can be referred to at a later time. Even the tiniest details might make the difference between a not guilty verdict and a jail sentence.
Finally, contact an experienced DUI attorney. Even if you’re convinced your innocence is clear cut, consulting with a professional ensures you choose the appropriate course of action to avoid the stiff penalties associated with an Arizona DUI — the most severe in the nation.
Don’t hesitate — contact our law firm now to discuss the details of your case.
Putting DUI Laws in Context
We’d like to believe nobody is above the law and yet our legal system is far from perfect. In a story that certainly has brought about much scrutiny, a Florida judge convicted of her second DUI and reckless driving received probation, a $2,500 fine in court related fees and community service — she won’t spend a single day in jail, leaving many casual observers crying foul. Is this simply a misunderstanding of how the law works or is it something more?
Whereas a more pointed question might be what the average sentence is for second time DUI offenders in that district, it’s easy to jump to conclusions here. Do a little probing and you’ll quickly find that many states don’t actually hand down jail time for a first or second DUI-related offense. Look at the facts of the case and you could just as easily deduce the judge in this case received an average sentence — most practicing attorneys in the state of Florida would be quick to corroborate.
The bigger issue at hand is perhaps whether certain DUI-related laws are too flexible in some parts of the country. Here in Arizona, where first time offenders typically receive jail time and zero tolerance laws are in effect, it’s easy to take exception to these stories. Stiff penalties don’t always prove a deterrent and many fatalities involve alcohol; if the ultimate aim is to drive down these grizzly statistics, perhaps it’s time to revisit the drawing board for better solutions.
There’s a lesson here — the public cannot overreact to headlines and certainly requires putting these items in context before issuing judgment. For legislators, it’s long overdue that we prioritize spreading DUI awareness over stiff penalties if we truly want to drive down accident statistics. Remember not to drink and drive and to contact an experienced attorney to handle your case if arrested.
Posted in DUI
Tagged DUI laws
Can Ride Sharing Services Curb Holiday DUI?
Does the ride sharing phenomenon occurring throughout the nation ultimately hold the answer to curbing DUI statistics around the holiday? That answer might be clear when you consider a recent press release published by Uber.
Pennsylvania is the fourth-highest state for DUI related fatalities, an unsightly blemish by any measure. Alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths exceed the national average here by nearly 24%, and alcohol is responsible for nearly 38% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
Data from Uber’s Pennsylvania market shows that trip requests spike during the night, and particularly during the weekends. These are times when DUIs are considered the greatest threat. In areas where bars shut down at 2 AM, the data shows this is the most popular time to request a ride through Uber.
While the problem may not be as pronounced here in Arizona, driving under the influence is a major public safety concern across America. The problem becomes especially worse during the holiday – people attend holiday parties and travel back and forth to visit with family and friends.
For many people during the holidays, every destination presents the potential of consuming alcohol – something that spells major trouble for DUI-related crime during this season. How long will it be before we see ride sharing services curb statistics in Arizona?
Arizona is one of several states where ride sharing services are currently operational. After fighting many public battles on a state-by-state basis, primarily involving the old regime of traditional taxi services, Arizona is one place where you can actually utilize services like Uber.
There is little denying that giving more people incentive to use a taxi – offering highly-rated customer service and lower fees – can help prevent statistics from ballooning. Ride sharing services may not provide the ultimate solution to ending DUI altogether, but they certainly do come in handy around the holiday.
Original story provided by Uber.
Do Marijuana DUI Laws Go Too Far?
Does a recent ruling that permits medical users of marijuana to be prosecuted for DUI effectively wipe out the benefits of legal usage? No matter what side of the fence you find yourself regarding marijuana DUI, there’s no denying the great amount of controversy the latest legislation has created.
The controversy should concern any medical user prescribed marijuana. These individuals could potentially be prosecuted for DUI as the drug remains in their system following usage. Any trip behind the wheel suddenly carries some of the heftiest penalties for driving under the influence within the country.
Testing for marijuana has been considered unreliable in assessing DUI penalties, drawing immense scrutiny from card carrying users. Some view the new legislation as simply whitewashing the newly legalized marijuana laws in Arizona. Giving medical users of marijuana reason to fear operating a motor vehicle – even when their motor skills are not impaired – could potentially prevent the drug from being used altogether in some cases.
Another concern is whether these laws actually make the road any safer for drivers. There is little data to support whether medical marijuana has created an uptick in fatal accidents in Arizona, considering how recently the laws came into effect. Critics argue penalizing these drivers only saddles them with a criminal record without preventing avoidable death along roadways.
Is there any sense in prosecuting such DUIs? There are legitimate concerns regarding marijuana in relation to driving. Some studies have shown that the drug can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react and subsequently increase the likelihood of an accident. Although there is little hard evidence in place to determine how long marijuana affects its users, it’s not hard to understand why it may be penalized similarly to alcohol.
The bottom line is that Arizona considers itself a ‘zero-tolerance’ state, for better or worse. If you ever find yourself arrested for DUI, never hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.