How to Fight a DUI in Arizona
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, marijuana or another drug is quite the serious offense in the state of Arizona. Police have ramped up their enforcement of DUIs in recent years, especially during the holidays. If you are charged with DUI, our Arizona DUI attorney can help. Below, we delve into the possible defenses against DUI charges in Arizona.
Filing a Motion to Suppress
Meet with our attorneys as soon as possible after you are charged with DUI. We will analyze the facts of your unique case. If the state has obtained evidence in an unlawful manner, we will file a motion to suppress that evidence. The prosecution will not be able to use the evidence in question after the motion is granted. It is possible the prosecution will have minimal, if any, evidence remaining to make a convincing case you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is even possible the case will be withdrawn.
A motion to suppress can also be filed if the traffic stop was invalid. Even the duration of the traffic stop can be challenged. Chemical test results with flawed methodology and/or reliability can also be challenged. Furthermore, if the police officer who pulled you over lacked probable cause, we will fiercely advocate on your behalf to get the charge dropped or reduced.
Challenging the Sufficiency of Evidence
If it is not possible to file a motion to suppress or if the court denies the motion to suppress, do not despair! It is still possible to fight your DUI charge in Arizona by going to trial. The prosecution is tasked with establishing the intoxication and operation elements in order to prove DUI occurred. The prosecution must also establish you had physical control of the vehicle. Furthermore, the prosecution is tasked with proving you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Arizona law states a driver can be in physical control of his or her vehicle even though the vehicle is not moving. This is an important distinction to make as it opens the door for the state to charge someone with DUI even though they are not driving when drunk or high. The court will ultimately consider an array of factors when determining whether you were in actual physical control of your vehicle. Everything from the driver’s position in the vehicle to whether the vehicle is running to the location of keys will be analyzed in-depth.
Some Arizona DUI cases are a bit more complex as the police arrive at the scene after the defendant has left the vehicle. This type of situation can make it difficult for the prosecution to establish which individual was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident. The bottom line is we will explore every possible avenue of defense in your DUI case.
The Challenge of Proving Intoxication
In terms of proving intoxication, the prosecution must have clear proof you were driving while above the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration. The majority of DUIs in Arizona are reliant upon chemical testing that displays the motor vehicle driver’s blood-alcohol level. If this test shows your blood-alcohol level was in excess of the legal limit, it will be that much easier to prove your supposed guilt. However, there is a chance the police officer incorrectly administered the breathalyzer or other sobriety test. It is also possible the breathalyzer is flawed.
Arizona prosecutors might charge you with DUI even if your blood-alcohol level is below the legal limit. Known as a “slightest impairment DUI”, this argument is more challenging to make as the proof of alcohol in your blood might not be enough to sustain a guilty conviction. Your attorney will zealously advocate on your behalf to prove you were not actually impaired by the alcohol.
Click here to find out about the Arizona state representative who pleaded guilty to DUI.