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What Is Drugged Driving in Arizona?

Driving under the influence or DUI is a crime that is often associated with alcohol intoxication while behind the wheel. What many don’t realize, however, is that DUI charges can also be brought against people who drive while under the influence of drugs. The drugs could be illicit drugs, legal prescription drugs, or even medical marijuana, and you will be charged with a DUI if you’re caught operating a vehicle while under their influence.

In Arizona, the law that covers drugged driving is ARS 28-1381. It considers “under the influence” a driver who is apprehended with a controlled substance in his or her system or demonstrates the slightest bit of impairment by any combination of substances.

How do police officers measure drug impairment?

In cases of DUI involving alcohol, determining a driver’s intoxication can be easily done through a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Establishing drug impairment, however, is much more challenging. The body flushes alcohol rapidly, so if a Breathalyzer test detects a 0.08 percent BAC level at the time the driver was stopped, that person is indeed intoxicated. Marijuana, however, can stay in the bloodstream or urine for up to five weeks. Get caught driving with marijuana in your system, and you’re going to need the best marijuana lawyer Phoenix can offer. Cocaine, meanwhile, could take a day or two to flush out. So if they were tested during a traffic stop, there is no telling when they actually took the drugs.

How do authorities detect drug impairment?

When a police officer stops a driver on suspicion of DUI, the first thing they try to find out is if the driver is drunk. Once they rule out alcohol intoxication but still believe the driver is impaired in some way, the cops will bring in a drug recognition expert or DRE to determine drug impairment. DREs are cops who are specially trained to examine a person’s eye movements, behavior, and other cues to determine if a person is driving under the influence of drugs.

Arizona has drugged driving “Per Se” laws

Arizona is one of 15 states that enforce “per se” drugged driving laws for all drivers. Under these Arizona drug DUI laws, you can be charged with DUI if any detectable amount of particular drugs is found in your system at the time police officers pulled you over.

Drug DUI in Arizona penalties

As with any DUI case, a conviction for drugged driving in Arizona carries with it a number of penalties.

For first-time offenders:

  • $1,800 fine
  • Jail sentence of 10 to 180 days
  • Possible 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • Community service
  • Probation of up to five years
  • Join substance screening and education programs
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock device for one year

For a second offense:

  • Jail for 90 to 180 days
  • About $3,500 in fines
  • 1-year driver’s license revocation
  • Probation for up to five years
  • Minimum of 30 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse evaluation and education
  • Use of Ignition Interlock Device for one year

Third Offense:

The penalties for a drugged driving conviction the third time around can be harsh. A third offense becomes a Class Four felony if it was committed within seven years of a prior DUI or driving with a suspended license. The penalties include:

  • At least four months in prison
  • Fines of up to $150,000
  • Five-year probation
  • Use of Ignition Interlock device for one year
  • 3-year license revocation
  • Seizure of vehicle

If you ever find yourself charged with drugged driving, your best chance of beating that charge is getting the services of a good drugged driving lawyer in Arizona. Contact the Arizona DUI Team, and you can rest assured that a top Phoenix DUI Drug Lawyer will be handling your case.

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AGGRAVATED DUI – FELONY DUI – ARIZONA REVISED STATUTE §28-1383

Getting arrested for a DUI in Arizona is bad enough. Arizona, after all, has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States. However, if you were caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% and there are aggravating factors present, you will be charged with aggravated DUI in Arizona, which is so much worse than a simple DUI.

What is an Aggravated DUI in Arizona?
Is an extreme DUI a felony in Arizona? Believe it or not, a DUI charge that starts with the word “Extreme” is still just a misdemeanor. Aggravated DUI, on the other hand, is a Class 4 Felony, and being slapped with an Aggravated DUI Class 4 Felony charge is an extremely serious matter. It’s so serious that it joins charges such as Manslaughter and Arson in being “Forever Allegeable.” That means that if convicted of an Aggravated DUI, that conviction can be used against a person forever, and will always be considered a “Prior Felony Conviction” for sentencing enhancement if a defendant were ever to be charged for a felony offense again.

Who can be charged with an Arizona aggravated DUI?
Aggravated DUI can be charged when a person is Driving or in Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle, while impaired to the slightest degree by the use of alcohol, drugs, medications, vapor releasing substances, or a combination of the same, or with illegal substances or a Blood Alcohol Content above the legal limit, while:

Having a suspended, canceled, revoked, refused, or restricted license; or

Having two DUI convictions within seven years of the DUI currently charged; or

Ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device on a vehicle

There is also an Aggravated DUI – Class 6 Felony, if someone was Driving or in Actual Physical Control, while impaired to the slightest degree by the use of alcohol, drugs, medications, vapor releasing substances, or a combination of the same, or with illegal substances or a Blood Alcohol Content above the legal limit, while having a child under the age of 15 in a vehicle.

The Aggravated DUI Penalties Arizona is imposing on convicts

Aggravated DUI laws in Arizona impose the following penalties on those convicted of the crime:

1st Time Class 4 Aggravated DUI Sentence:

  • 4 months prison – 3.75 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

Class 4 Aggravated DUI With a Prior Felony Conviction Sentence – alleging any prior Felony conviction:

  • 2.25 – 7.5 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

Class 4 Aggravated DUI With 2+ Prior Felony Conviction Sentence – alleging any 2+ prior Felony convictions:

  • 6 – 15 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

1st Time Class 6 Aggravated DUI Sentence:

  • 1 day jail – 2 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

Class 6 Aggravated DUI With a Prior Felony Conviction Sentence – alleging any prior Felony conviction:

  • .75 – 2.75 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

Class 6 Aggravated DUI With 2+ Prior Felony Conviction Sentence – alleging any 2+ prior Felony conviction:

  • 2.25 – 5.75 years prison
  • Approx. $4,700 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Revocation
  • Probation
  • SR22 High-Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • 2 year Ignition Interlock Device

What can you do when facing aggravated DUI AZ charges?
Going by the Aggravated DUI Arizona definition, you are definitely in deep trouble if you’re facing such a case. However, if you have the best Aggravated DUI lawyers Arizona has to offer by your side, your chances of beating Arizona felony DUI charges will vastly improve.

We are some of the few Experienced Attorneys that focus on DUI Defense. Most lawyers are Jack-of-all-Trade attorneys, who will handle a broad spectrum of criminal, civil, and family law cases.

When you have an Arizona DUI Team Attorney representing you, you know you are getting someone who focuses on DUI Defense and knows what they are doing.

It is important to know that a “Criminal Defense Lawyer,” is not the same as a “DUI Defense Lawyer.”

While similar, Criminal Laws fall under an entirely different section of the law, with their own issues and own case law as decided by the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Do not take a chance on an Aggravated DUI case on some lawyer who does not focus their law practice on DUI Defense. Not only is a conviction “Forever Allegeable,” but the amount of time, fines and fees, and additional punishments are extremely harsh.

Having an Experienced DUI Lawyer, such as those on the Arizona DUI Team, can make the difference between a Guilty and Not Guilty verdict, or better yet, the difference between Guilty and Case Dismissed.

Our other DUI Practice Areas include:
Regular DUI
Extreme DUI
Super Extreme DUI
Drugged DUI
Prescription Drugs DUI

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