Month: April 2012

Arizona MVD and DUI

We defend DUI charges and fight MVD penalties.

It can be difficult to understand the MVD consequences of a DUI conviction in Arizona. So let’s take a look at a few of the MVD issues we run into in the majority of our many DUI cases.

Admin Per Se / Implied Consent

It means what it says. When you drive in Arizona, it is implied that you consent to certain searches that would normally violate your Fourth Amendment rights. This law causes all kinds of problems for drivers. It is invasive and incredibly stringent.

Here’s how it works. If you are driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle in Arizona, and a police officer suspects you are impaired by alcohol, even if only to the “slightest degree,” and the officer can establish a low standard of proof called probable cause, then you will be arrested and coerced into providing a sample of your blood, breath, or urine or “other bodily substance” (whatever that means).

Here’s what the law actually says:

A person who operates a motor vehicle in this state 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 offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed in violation of [DUI laws] while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

A.R.S. section 28-1321(A).

And here’s how Admin Per Se / Implied Consent can get you in trouble. If you refuse to give the officer a blood, breath, or urine sample, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended in Arizona for 12 months! This is for the fact of refusing to provide a sample, not for being drunk. In fact, you can be totally sober and still get the 12 month suspension simply for refusing to provide a sample of your bodily fluid.

If an officer demands a breath sample, and you blow a 0.08% or more, you are automatically going to be suspended for 90 days automatically. Have a job? Need to drive for work? Going to lose your career if you get your license suspended? Arizona DUI statutes do not provide leniency based on the harm to your life. But we can help.

Even though the laws are harsh, we may still be able to help you under these circumstances. Call us for a free consultation.

Suspension and Revocation for DUI

The most common reasons for an Arizona driver’s license to be revoked include:

  • DUI – Drugs (not alcohol)
  • Felony offense in which a vehicle is used (e.g., Endangerment)
  • Aggravated DUI (felony DUI)

Revocation is very bad news for your driver’s license. But suspensions aren’t much better. Suspensions happen for a variety of reasons, including DUI convictions. The most amount of points you can get for any one traffic offense is 8 points. Once you get 8 to 12, you will most likely have to do Traffic Survival School (see below).

Traffic Survival School in Arizona

In some cases, we have been able to get DUI charges dismissed or reduced to a lower offense, such as Reckless Driving. In those circumstances, your driver’s license does not suffer the automatic suspension that comes with a DUI conviction (12 months minimum!). In some of those cases, you would only have to complete a Traffic Survival School, so long as your driver’s license has 8 to 12 points, and not above 12 points. A DUI conviction carries with it 8 points on your license, as does a Reckless Driving conviction.

When a person gets 8 or more points on their license in a two-year period, they will most likely be required to complete Traffic Survival School (TSS). Not to be confused with Defensive Driving which is totally different! Arizona’s MVD-certified Traffic Survival Schools are listed here: Arizona Traffic Survival Schools. After doing the school, you can keep your driver’s license.

Defensive Driving School in Arizona

Defensive Driving School (DDS) is different from TSS. DDS is not administered by the Arizona MVD, but is instead administered by the Arizona Supreme Court! DDS is a way for some traffic offenders to get their cases dismissed. Information about DDS in Arizona is available here: Arizona Defensive Driving Schools.

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