I was just arrested for an Arizona DUI offense. What happens now?
ISSUE ONE:The Arizona Implied Consent / Administrative License Suspension Proceeding: Under Arizona law, any person who operates a motor vehicle in the State of Arizona gives consent to a test or tests of the person s blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or drug content if the person is arrested for any DUI offense while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. This is known as Arizona s implied consent law.
Pursuant to this implied consent law, your Arizona drivers license (or your right to drive in Arizona if you re not a Arizona licensed driver) was most likely suspended for anywhere from 90 days to two years for failing (0.08 % BAC or higher (lower for minors or if driving a commercial vehicle)) or for refusing a breath test.
Read your paperwork carefully. You have only a short time―generally 15 days―to request a hearing to challenge / appeal your implied consent suspension. This is commonly referred to as an MVD Hearing.
ISSUE TWO:The DUI Criminal Charge: Distinct from the implied consent suspension is the criminal charge for driving under the influence or DUI. Under Arizona law, it is unlawful for you to drive or be in actual physical control (APC) of a vehicle in the State of Arizona under any of the following circumstances:
1. While you are under the influence of intoxicating liquor. any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if you are impaired to the slightest degree; or
2. If you have a blood / breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle; or
3. While there is any controlled substance (drug) or controlled substance metabolite in your body ; or
4. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a commercial driver license (CDL) and the you have a BAC of 0.04 percent or more.
If you had a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher, you were likely arrested for Extreme DUI (or a Super Extreme DUI if your BAC is 0.20 percent or greater).
If you had a child under 15 years of age in the car or if you have certain prior DUI / DWI convictions, you may be facing a felony DUI offense known as an Aggravated DUI.
Each of these charges is serious and carry the potential for fines, jail, and license suspensions / revocations. Make sure you do not miss any court appearances or a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Important: The implied consent proceeding and the criminal offense are completely separate from one another.