For a great many adults in Arizona, having a glass of wine, a beer or another type of cocktail with friends or family members is a normal part of life. Whether at a happy hour after work, at a dinner part or a celebration for a special event or holiday, people frequently get in their cars to drive home afterwards. Despite this being completely socially acceptable, now more than ever there is increased scrutiny on the approach to driving after drinking in America.
If you have been arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Arizona, you may understandably be scared and nervous about what might happen to you next. As you learn about the criminal defense process and what is involved in defending yourself against driving under the influence charges, you should become educated about the potential problems associated with field sobriety tests.
If you have ever heard people talk about field sobriety tests in Arizona, you might have wondered what exactly these tests entail or look for. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, the set of tests administered at the roadside where a driver has been stopped are not able to prove that a person is intoxicated. They are simply used to suggest that a person might be intoxicated. This is what an officer needs in order to legally make an arrest.
It's not an uncommon scene in Arizona. Someone goes to a dinner or a party and has a little to drink; just a beer or a glass of wine. They insist they're fine to drive once the party ends, and successfully make it home. But were they really fine? Exactly how much is too much when it comes to drinking and driving?
A survey of teens and parents earlier this year found a disturbing misinformation trend. Fully 33 percent of teens reported believing that, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, driving while high is also legal. Over 20 percent said that driving while high is common among their friends. Parents were only slightly less likely to be misinformed. Twenty-seven percent believed driving while high was legal in recreational use states, and 14 percent said it was common behavior among their friends.
Of all the places to get a DUI, Arizona is probably the worst. The state has some of the strictest laws with the harshest penalties, and you are certain to feel the repercussions of a conviction for many years to come. Because of the state's high standards for DUIs, you may find yourself under arrest even if you aren't intoxicated. An officer may charge you with drunk driving based on the slightest suspicion of impairment.
Arizona is among several other states whose drunk driving laws include potentially severe penalties for conviction, even if it's the first time you've ever been charged with a crime. This state orders mandatory jail time for first offenders, all the more reason to try to avoid legal problems related to intoxicated driving at the start. Even if you make responsible choices where libations are concerned, it doesn't necessarily mean a police officer will never pull you over in a traffic stop and accuse you of drunk driving.
Being arrested for DUI in Arizona is no joke. Being convicted for a first offense means 24 hours to 10 days behind bars, a base fine of $250, a license suspension for up to a year and a mandatory ignition interlock device, which you must have installed and maintain at your own cost. The penalties go up with each subsequent offense.
It's no secret how police determine if they will charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol. Such an arrest typically begins with an officer noticing something -- your eyes, your behavior or the odor of alcohol on your breath. What follows is a series of subjective tests the officer may initiate to confirm the suspicion that you have been drinking.
You may be one of many Arizona residents eagerly anticipating many of the activities and special occasions that typically accompany autumn. For instance, NFL fans throughout the nation are already enjoying the first games of the season. If you like to get together with friends for a tailgate party or enjoy a few burgers and beers at a friend's house on game days, you may look forward to yummy half-time snacks, festive team spirit decorations and various types of beverages to accompany your culinary football delights.