Driving drunk, buzzed or blitzed is more than just a dangerous and stupid decision; it can also result in the loss of time and money, and require the services of a DUI lawyer. And because the consequence of this offense are so severe, it’s important to understand all of the legal steps that are taken to arrive at a conviction, starting with how an impaired driver ends up in the legal system to start with. Drivers who are pulled over for driving while impaired generally are pulled over by the police for another traffic offense such as weaving, speeding, erratic driving or failing to yield. Or they are involved in or the cause of an automobile accident.
Once a police officer has probable cause to pull a driver over, they can make an assessment based on the appearance of the driver to do a field sobriety test. This assessment can include the smell of alcohol on the driver, blood shot eyes, slurred speech and other indicators that the driver is driving impaired. At this point an officer has enough probable cause to warrant a field sobriety test. A driver who fails this field sobriety test or refuses to take the test will automatically, under Arizona law, lose their driver’s license for a period of ninety days.
The cost for a DUI can be extensive. In Arizona, jail time for a conviction is mandatory and repeat offenders may be sentenced to a longer jail sentence with each offense. In addition to jail time, losing a driver’s license and mandatory monetary fines, a conviction for a DUI offense also means mandatory alcohol education classes, possible vehicle confiscation and possible court ordered drug and alcohol counseling.