Arizona dui process

Arizona dui process DEFAULT

This will depend on the situation.Is the DUI a first time offense?Was there an accident involved?  What is the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)? Do you have an attorney to help represent you and speed up the process?  Will there be a trial? 

If you do not understand your rights or the Arizona DUI law and process, you need to call My AZ Lawyers for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.Let the experts in Arizona DUI law facilitate this process, which is confusing and somewhat complex if you are unfamiliar with these procedures.

Once you are arrested for a crime, you are a defendant, an accused citizen.Basically, you are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.  The DUI process in Arizona, a process in which to prove or disprove your innocence.  It is also a formality governed by the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure.These rules set a structure in which your case will proceed through the courts.



A DUI arrest starts once an officer pulls you over, or when you come upon a DUI checkpoint.Some stops are made if an officer observes a traffic violation or erratic driving behaviors.Other DUI arrests are made in roadblocks or sobriety checkpoints.  

An arrest requires that an officer reads to you your “Miranda rights”.  At this time, it will slate your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.  The administration of a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) test will occur either at a mobil BAC station or at a hospital or a police station.


Usually, most who are arrested for a simple DUI in Arizona will not go to jail and be booked.If you do get taken to jail for booking, they will search you, ask you some questions, fingerprint you, photograph you, and put you in a cell.  Information of the arrest will be made availble by the jail for friends and family including bail information, where the person is being held, etc.


For a “standard” first-time DUI offense, once the police have the BAC results, they will most likely have the information they need.  In the case of a felony DUI arrest, the prosecutor’s office and police may need to do more investigating into your prior record.  This may take some time.  Once law enforcement has adequate information to issue charges, generally they will file, issue you a citation to a court, and issue you a court date.  The superior court handles the prosecution of felony DUIs and a prosecutor decides which charges to file.  The justice or city court handles misdemeanors.


If you are arrested and taken into custody, typically you will get a hearing within 24 hours.  When you appear for the first time, the judge will look at Bail issues and conditions of your release. Usually bail is granted, but how much it is set for depends.

In felony cases, a preliminary hearing is necessary.If the charge has been brought by the prosecutor, then that preliminary hearing is where a judge will decide if there is enough probable cause and evidence to send the case to Superior Court for a trial. 


The fact that a lawyer is hired may indicate that the defendant is taking matters seriously and is acting responsibly about the charges. An attorney will discuss with the court factors that may weigh in favor of the accused: lack of prior criminal history, outstanding community member, etc. Next, at an arraignment, the defendant is informed of the formal charges in open court.  At this point, the defendent will enter a plea (not guilty, guilty, no contest).


A pretrial conference allows your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor. The State may offer your attorney a “deal.”  An experienced attorney will then discuss the deal with you, give you options, and recommend to you what to do—- keeping in mind your best interests and best possible outcome.


In a DUI case, most trials are tried to a jury.  You have the right to a trial by jury.  Your lawyer is an important part of the selection process.  Picking the right jurors can obviously better your chances of a positive outcome for your case.

At the trial, both the prosecutor and defense attorney gives an opening statement and previews the evidence to come later. TheState presents its case, then the Defense may make a motion to dismiss based on the State failing to present evidence to convict.If the case is not dismissed, then the defendant presents a case.After closing arguments and case summation, a jury will deliberate, discuss the case, then render a verdict. 


Sentencing following a guilty verdict may occur right away, or sometimes there is a delay. A defendant may appeal a conviction.



The DUI Process in AZ

Explained by a Phoenix DUI Lawyer

If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence in the Phoenix, Arizona area, then it is important to understand the DUI process. Understanding and adhering to the proper procedure can significantly benefit your case. Although this is not a comprehensive explanation of the process, it can serve to be a helpful general overview.

The police stop is where understanding the DUI process begins. Before a person can be arrested for driving under the influence, they must be lawfully stopped by a law enforcement official. Many cases can actually be outright dismissed due to proof of an unlawful police stop. A law enforcement official must a legitimate reason to pull you over and must state that reason to you. Some examples of legitimate reasons for stops include: sobriety checkpoints, swerving, light not on or speeding.

If you were pulled over lawfully and the law enforcement official is suspicious of your sobriety, you will then be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. The three most common standardized field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-leg stand and the walk and turn test. Failing these tests can result in being arrested for DUI and then being asked to submit to a breath or blood test. Only after being lawfully arrested are you required to submit to a breath or blood test. Due to Arizona's implied consent laws, refusal to take a breath or blood test can result in automatic license suspension.

Scheduling an MVD Hearing

So what do you do if your license is suspended? In the state of Arizona, you only have 15 days to request a license hearing with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). This is the administrative hearing that deals strictly with your right to drive, rather than your criminal hearing.

If a person fails to request this hearing within the 15-day time limit, then they forego their right to challenge their license suspension and their license will go into automatic suspension at that time. After an arrest, you will be issued a temporary permit to drive until your license is either permanently suspended or you secure an MVD hearing. Your temporary permit will be good until you have your MVD hearing, at which point a final decision regarding your driving privileges will be made.

The Criminal Hearing

Since driving under the influence of alcohol is actually a criminal offense, a conviction can result in a mark on your criminal record. At the criminal hearing, your charges will be read and explained to you. You will then be asked how you plea. At this point, you have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. In some DUI cases, defendants may be offered a plea deal which can include pleading guilty in exchange for a lightened sentence or successful completion of probation.

Our Phoenix DUI Lawyers Can Help You Learn More

For counsel as to your particular case, please consult a DUI attorney from our firm directly. Only an attorney who is intimately aware of your case should advise you how to act in a criminal hearing. At the criminal hearing, the evidence against you may be evaluated, such as breath test evidence and law enforcement testimony.

To combat this evidence and secure a strong defense, contact a Phoenix DUI lawyer from Knowles Law Firm, PLC today.

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What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Arizona?

Per Arizona Revised Statute Title 28-1381, you can be arrested for DUI if law enforcement believes that you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while:

  1. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  2. If your blood alcohol content measured at or above .08 percent, or
  3. If there is any drug from the list in 13-3401 in your system

This means that, even if an officer didn't observe you driving, if they had reasonable suspicion to believe that you had previously been driving drunk, they can arrest you for DUI when not driving.

Immediately following an arrest for DUI, police will take you to jail or the crime lab to have your blood tested using the breath, blood, or urine method. Usually after this point, you will be released and someone can come pick you up. In more serious DUI cases, you can be formally booked.

At the time of your DUI arrest, police will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary license, valid until your hearing date. Law enforcement will notify the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) of the arrest, which will initiate license suspension.

You will receive a notice of your arrest and order of suspension, which will include the date of your hearing and information about requesting a license suspension civil hearing. In Arizona, you only have 15 days to request this hearing. If you do not request this hearing, you lose your only opportunity to contest the suspension of your driving privileges. This is called the Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. There is also an Implied Consent Hearing, which is called for in cases where the defendant refused to take a chemical test.

When your court date arrives, you will appear before a judge to hear a formal reading of your charge. Then, the judge will ask you how you plea. At this point, you will plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. We highly suggest that that you consult with a trusted attorney before you enter into a plea. In some cases, accepting a plea bargain may be the best option for you, while in other cases, pleading not guilty and going to trial may be your best chance for an optimal outcome.

During all phases of the DUI process, you have rights. You have the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination, you have the right to retain an attorney, and you are innocent until proven guilty. To learn more about how a Phoenix DUI attorney at MayesTelles PLLC can help you after a drunk or drugged driving arrest, call us today for a free consultation.

First Offense DUI Penalties - Regular Misdemeanor - Phoenix DUI Lawyer David Cantor

DUI Process by DUI Attorney

The Arrest

An arrest can occur for either a felony or a misdemeanor traffic offense. For a felony crime, police must have “probable cause” to make an arrest. Probable cause requires that an officer have objective, reliable information that the person has committed this offense. The standard for arrest for a misdemeanor crime is reasonable suspicion. This is a lower standard which involves the subjectivity of the arresting officer. A misdemeanor arrest can be made if the officer believes there is a warrant or if a crime occurred in the presence of the arresting officer. It is important for a motorist to remember what the arresting officer did and said during the course of the arrest. For example, an officer’s failure to read Miranda rights may be grounds to dismiss the case or stop the prosecutor from introducing certain evidence. Our DUI defense attorneys are often able to use an arresting officer’s failure to comply with all of the standard forms of conduct to the client’s advantage.

The Booking

Following a DUI arrest, a motorist will be booked at the jail, or at a transitional facility, and will usually be released shortly afterwards. It is not typical to go to jail following a DUI arrest. The term “booked” represents the procedure of having an officer formally input your biographical and personal information into the police database. Additionally, the booking may involve a lawful search conducted by police with or without consent of the motorist, getting fingerprinted, and getting a photograph taken. If someone you know has been arrested for DUI and has not been released, you can acquire booking information by calling the jail where that person is being detained. You will need information such as the inmate’s booking number, his/her date of birth, and full name. The jail should release information on the charges, any future court dates, the arresting agency, and the bail amount.

Charges Following Arrest

Following your booking and release from detention, the police will likely have gathered all the information necessary to submit the charges to the prosecuting agency. If you consented to a chemical blood test, they may have to wait for days, weeks, or even months for a lab to process and return the blood alcohol concentration results before submitting your charges.

Your charges will be filed once law enforcement has gathered all the relevant information they need to support a case against you. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor DUI, the officer will give you a citation (usually a pink slip of paper) with a court date on it. You will be required to appear in a county justice court or a city municipal court on the date on the back of your ticket.

Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to make sure that you attend court.  If the letter from the court gets lost in the mail, the court will probably issue a warrant.  If you have been arrested for a crime, it’s good advice to continuously check the court to make sure no court dates have popped up.


Every case is unique, one of our DUI attorneys can carefully go over all of the details of your case to help you understand what happened and what is going to happen. A typical misdemeanor DUI timeline includes the following:

The Arraignment

This is the date found on your citation or ticket, it requires that you first appear before a judge following a DUI arrest. This is the time where you are formally charged and your bail (if any) is set. If you were charged with a misdemeanor DUI and have hired a DUI defense lawyer, you would typically not need to attend this hearing. By pleading “not guilty,” you preserve the right to a jury trial, the right to attack any legal violations during the investigation or arrest, the right to confront the arresting officer, and the right to negotiate a plea. If you plead “guilty,” you waive those rights. Pleading not guilty at this hearing will not hurt your case and is always recommended.

The Preliminary Hearing

This is the next step in your Arizona DUI case. The judge will decide whether there is enough “probable cause” to support the DUI. At the preliminary hearing, bail can be adjusted or imposed if it has not been determined at this point.

The Pretrial conference

This is an opportunity for your attorney to get documents from the prosecutor, file pretrial motions, negotiate for a plea agreement, and potentially enter a plea. If you do not enter a guilty plea, and your case is not dismissed by the prosecutor, the court will eventually set the matter for trial, which may be advantageous if the plea bargain or “deal” offered by prosecution is less than desirable.

Trial management conference

Not long before the DUI trial, the judge will schedule a final management conference to discuss pretrial motions and to ensure that the parties are ready to proceed to trial.


This is the final step in the Arizona DUI process. A DUI trial typically lasts about three days. As a defendant in Arizona, you have the absolute right to a jury trial. However, you can waive this right and have the trial in front of the judge. This is called a bench trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with the decision to proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial.

The first step of a jury trial is to select a jury. A defendant is supposed to be tried in front of a “jury of peers” so any potential jury pool should include representation from a broad range of the social spectrum. During jury selection, the judge and lawyers can ask potential jurors questions to reveal potential biases, preconceived notions, and/or prejudices. Selecting the right jurors is crucial to a favorable outcome in a DUI case, and the attorneys at Alcock & Associates, P.C. are capable and qualified in this area.

After the Jury has been selected, the State will proceed with opening statements. The opening statement is not evidence. Instead, this is an opportunity for the prosecuting attorney to inform the jury about what they will hear throughout the trial. After the State’s opening statement, the defense attorney can choose to make an opening statement or choose to reserve the opening statement for later on in the trial.

After opening statements, the prosecuting attorney will put forward all of the evidence that they have to prove their case. Evidence can be in the form of officer testimony, civilian witness testimony, expert testimony, and the presentation of physical evidence (pictures, graphs, charts, etc)

After the State has rested, or finished their case, defense then has the option of providing a case to the jury. It is common for a defense attorney not to provide a case and then argue insufficiency of evidence. This argument explains to the jury that the State must prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt. Then, the defense carefully points out that the evidence provided to the jury by the prosecutor is insufficient to support a guilty verdict. On the other hand, a defense attorney could also present a case to the jury. Just like the State’s case, a defense attorney can provide witnesses and crucial evidence to the jury.

Jury Deliberation

After the prosecutor and the defense attorney have finished providing all of the evidence to the jury, the jurors must then deliberate to reach a verdict. There is no way to measure how long a jury will deliberate on any given case. A jury may deliberate for minutes or days. Once the jury has reached a unanimous verdict, the judge’s clerk will read the verdict in open court. If the verdict is not guilty, all bonds will be exonerated and the accused will have been acquitted of the charges. If the jury says that they can not reach a unanimous decision, the court will declare a mistrial and set a new trial date. If the verdict is guilty, defense will proceed to sentencing.


A sentence is generally issued immediately after a defendant either enters a misdemeanor plea agreement or is convicted at trial for a misdemeanor. A sentencing for a felony conviction will usually take place approximately 30 days after the conviction or guilty plea. Remember the trial judge is at liberty to consider a broad range of factors which may lead to a harsher sentence than the minimum standard. At the same time, judges are at liberty to consider positive factors such as community standing, first time offender status, community support, family support, etc… which may diminish the severity of a sentence. At Alcock & Associates, P.C., our attorneys will do everything in their power to ensure that all favorable factors which may lead to a lighter sentence are presented to a trial judge before the decision is issued.

Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) Process

In a DUI case, there will be an MVD hearing completely separate from your criminal case. The MVD hearing concerns suspension of your license, which in turn can affect practically every aspect of your life, from earning your livelihood to getting yourself and your family members around town.

M.V.D. suspensions and hearings will vary depending on your actions leading up to and during your DUI stop/arrest, as well as your prior driving history. Normally you have the right to an M.V.D. hearing following suspension of your license. Often, however, you are required to request the hearing within fifteen days following your DUI arrest. Failure to request a hearing within this time frame could result in the loss of your right to an MVD hearing and automatic suspension of your license.

Please call our team of DUI attorneys at any time to learn more about the system and what the DUI law firm of Alcock & Associates can do for you. Our free consultation DUI attorney hotline is 602-989-5000. Thank you. Nick Alcock, Attorney at law, Alcock & Associates Law Firm, 2 N. Central, 26th Floor, Phoenix, Az 85004


Process arizona dui

The DUI Process in Arizona

The Arizona DUI Process Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers Help Clients Through the DUI Process in Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham, and Pinal Counties

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, you may feel overwhelmed. While many law firms may practice a one-size-fits-all defense, the lawyers of The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. know that every case is unique. To learn more, contact us at The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. at 520-220-5047.

The DUI Process in Arizona

  • The traffic stop and arrest: During a traffic stop, police officers will likely use basic questioning, a roadside breath test, and field sobriety tests in an attempt to determine whether you are impaired. Despite the fact that there are many reasons why people might not do well on these tests, if the officer sees certain "clues" or "cues," you may be arrested for a DUI. Remember that you are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests. If asked to do so, you should politely decline to take any tests without an attorney present.
  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC): The police will want to determine your BAC as soon as possible. Following an arrest, you will be asked to submit to a breath, blood, and/or urine test perhaps by the side of the road. However, you are not legally required to submit to these tests, and if asked to do so, you should ask to consult with an attorney.
  • The charges: If the officer believes there is enough evidence to charge you with a DUI offense, then you will be arrested for a DUI. You may either be field released after being issued a citation, or you may be booked into the county jail, depending on the circumstances of the case and the agency that stops you. If you are booked into jail, you may have to wait to be released until after your arraignment, and you may have to post bail. This can directly impact your ability to gather evidence in your defense. Whether you are released at the scene of the stop or the officers are going to book you into custody, you should ask to be taken to a hospital for an independent BAC test.
  • Notice of your hearing: Most of the time in Arizona, motorists charged with a first offense DUI are released at the scene of the stop or at a police station after a chemical test is conducted. The officer should have issued you a citation in that case. It will have your arraignment date listed on it. If you were booked into custody, a judge will set an arraignment date, and you will be given that document at the time you are released.
  • Notice of automatic driver's license suspension: If you were arrested for a DUI, whether you have a chemical test result or not, you may have been given documentation that says your license will be automatically suspended for a period of time. This is an administrative suspension and not a criminal punishment. However, you have 15 days to file a request for an Administrative Hearing regarding an administrative license suspension.
  • Plea Negotiations: If you wish to avoid a full trial, you may be able to negotiate an acceptable plea from the state. This is very difficult and takes experienced attorneys familiar with Arizona's DUI laws, courts, and prosecutors.
  • Trial: If you are not able to obtain an acceptable plea, the case will proceed to trial. Our experienced attorneys will help you prepare for this part of the process. If the prosecutor cannot prove you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt, you should be found not guilty. If you are found guilty, our attorneys will help guide you through the post-conviction process, including reviewing your sentencing requirements and advising you on any appellate rights.

Contact Our Pima County DUI Defense Lawyers for Help

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, do not hesitate to reach out for legal advice and guidance from our experienced and proven criminal defense attorneys. Contact the drunk driving defense attorneys at The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. at 520-220-5047 to schedule a free consultation.

Arizona DUI-DMV

The DUI Process In Arizona

In Maricopa County, it depends on if it’s a felony or a misdemeanor, and the facts of the case.  For felonies, everything can happen immediately, you can be arrested, booked into custody, you can go to court, get the best plea offer within two or three weeks of arrest and proceed to sentencing shortly thereafter and to incarceration if it’s guilty, so it can be a very quick process.  However in many cases, for misdemeanors and occasionally for a felony, the prosecutor may wait until they receive the chemical test results, which can push the process.   Depending on the court it can be six to twelve months before the case actually is filed in court.

For a misdemeanor, it will depend on two factors; which court it’s in and whether it’s a breath test or a blood test. As for municipal courts, Phoenix is by far the quickest; the general timeline is, you get a citation, then go to court 10 days later for the first arraignment and then a first pretrial conference 10 days later.  In Phoenix the discovery process is very quick; and so I get the police reports within two weeks of arrest and the case can be over within two months.  If the case is set to trial in Phoenix it can take up to nine months to resolve the case.

Among other municipal courts, for example Gilbert is fairly fast, meaning a timeline of 3-6 months to resolve the case, but Mesa is a bit slower.  All other courts are slower than, than Phoenix. For Justice Court cases, it will depend on whether there is a breath or blood test; for a breath test, the case will usually be started by the filing of the citation shortly after the arrest and there will be an arraignment date roughly about 30 days later, and overall, the process will take about 3-6 months. For a blood test in a Justice Court case, it can be much longer; anywhere from 3-9 months before the case is filed and another 3-6 months later before the case is resolved, longer if it goes to trial.

How Can Someone Get a Temporary Driver’s License After a DUI?

That depends on what has happened; if the police say they have refused to take or successfully submit to a blood or breath test, then their license is taken or, if they have an out-of-state license, it’s not taken, but they are given a limited permit.  If there is a refusal or a failure to successfully submit, then the license can be suspended immediately and the officer gives them with a temporary driving permit and they will have 15 days in which to request a hearing. If they do not request a hearing then their license is suspended 16 days after receiving the temporary permit. If a hearing is timely requested then they have a permit on which they can drive without restriction until a hearing held at the MVD. One reason to request a hearing is if there was a refusal, but also, even if there is a chemical test and the police don’t have the results, sometimes the arresting officer will take the license and begin a proceeding for an administration per se suspension based on a belief that the person is above a 0.08% blood-alcohol level; that can also happen at the time of the arrest.  To begin that, the officer will take the driver’s license, and the driver has to request a hearing; if that suspension goes into effect, it’s 30 days of no driving and 60 days on a restricted basis; to and from work and on the job for a first offense, but if it’s a second or a subsequent offense within seven years, then it’s a straight 90 days of no driving at all. What happens depends on the jurisdiction and whether the chemical test results are available.  For example, if an arrest is made by Phoenix Police officers, they will take the license even with no chemical test.  In other jurisdictions,  Gilbert for example, if here’s no refusal, they will not take the license; they’ll wait and see the test results before asking the Motor Vehicle Department to suspend the license.  So, it depends on whether there a refusal, and which jurisdiction it is.

For more information on DUI Process In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling [number type=”1″] today.



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40 Ways to Beat a DUI Under Arizona Law

Santa Cruz County DUI Defense Firm

Tucson DUI Defense Lawyer Strategies for Winning Your DUI Case

There is a common misconception that if you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), there is no way out. You might as well save yourself some time and plead guilty. However, this is not true. There are many ways to beat a drunk driving charge. Contact the experienced DUI defense lawyers of The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. at 520-220-5047 to learn more.

40 Ways to Beat a DUI in Arizona

Here are 40 of the many ways you can defend yourself against a DUI:

    A police officer cannot stop a driver unless they have a reasonable and articulable basis to believe that the driver has committed a traffic violation or criminal offense. Similarly, a person cannot be seized by the police without a reason to believe that some violation of the law has occurred.
    If the police stop a car for a known or suspected traffic violation, they cannot expand the scope of that stop in purpose or duration without a separate justification. In other words, if the police make a stop for speeding, they cannot begin a DUI investigation without specific facts that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    A defendant's admission to driving, without more, does not prove a charge of driving under the influence.
    Weather reports establishing high winds, low visibility, and other conditions are available to explain poor driving or poor balance.
    A police officer must have specific and articulable facts to support any arrest for DUI, or the evidence gathered during an arrest may be suppressed at trial.
    Police officers are prohibited from searching a person or their automobile after pulling them over for a minor traffic offense, and they may not search a vehicle without a driver's consent or without probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred. Any illegally obtained evidence is not admissible in court.
    Any statement which a police officer made at a previous time, whether verbally, in written police reports, or when testifying at previous court proceedings, may be used to cast doubt on that officer's credibility.
    If a police officer has a previous disciplinary record, this can be used to cast doubt on their credibility.
    More and more often, a suspect's driving and performance in field sobriety tests are being recorded. These recordings often contradict police testimony.
    According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), improperly administered field tests are not valid evidence of intoxication.
    In many circumstances, field sobriety testing is inaccurately administered by the police or inaccurately interpreted. For example, in healthy individuals, the government's own studies demonstrate that one-leg stand and walk-and-turn tests are less than 70% accurate in predicting impairment by alcohol. Additionally, drivers who have injuries or certain medical conditions, are 50 pounds overweight or more, or are 65 years or older are not good candidates for these tests.
    Neither the NHTSA nor medical science considers activities such as touching one's finger to their nose, saying the letters of the alphabet, or counting backwards as valid tests of sobriety.
    Often, independent witnesses to accidents, including bartenders, hospital personnel, and others, can provide crucial evidence of a defendant's sobriety.
    Expert witnesses are available to review the validity of breath tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests.
    Medical problems with a person's legs, arms, neck, back, and eyes can affect the results of field sobriety tests. In addition, other medical conditions can also affect the validity of breath test results.
    Virtually all experts concede that breath testing is subject to a wide-range of inaccuracies, including a 10% error rate, as well as variables associated with the test subject. For example, an increased body temperature can lead to a reading that is approximately 8% too high.
  17. UNLICENSED BREATH TEST OPERATOR – In Arizona, the officer who conducts the breath test must possess a valid operator's license that has not expired, or the results of the breath test are inadmissible.
    If the breath test instrument that was used in the case has recently malfunctioned or been repaired, the breath test results are inadmissible and subject to suppression as invalid.
    While we would all hope that the police would not use a device to test a driver's breath that they know to be an inaccurate machine, this happens quite a bit. In Arizona, if the police use a breath testing device they know to be a malfunctioning device, that can lead to the dismissal of all BAC charges.
    In order for breath test results to be admitted, duplicate testing must be conducted, where the test results agree within .02% of each other.
    An instrument used for breath testing must be included on the Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments and approved by the Arizona Department of Public Safety or Department of Health Services, or the test results are inadmissible.
    If the breath test operator fails to follow the Arizona Department of Public Safety approved checklist, the test results are inadmissible.
    Arizona law prohibits the use of results from a portable breath test as evidence in any proceeding of a person's alleged breath alcohol concentration.
    For breath test results to be considered valid and admissible, Arizona requires that a driver be continuously observed for a minimum of 20 minutes prior to performing a test. With duplicate breath testing, a person still has to be observed for a minimum of fifteen minutes.
    Items such as paint, asthma inhalers, cough drops, and fingernail polish often contain forms of alcohol. These items can cause breath test results to be invalid.
    In Arizona, "qualified" police officers can draw blood from drivers under arrest for DUI. Many police stations videotape suspects in the phlebotomy room. These videos often show that the driver has clear speech, and good balance, despite police testimony to the contrary.
    Many times, police officers fail to properly package or preserve blood evidence in a DUI case, which can lead to inaccurate test results.
    Hospital blood tests overestimate a person's true level by as much as 25% in healthy, uninjured individuals and are not statistically reliable in severely injured persons.
    When hospital staff use certain medical treatments prior to a blood draw, such as lactate ringers, the hospital blood serum results will report falsely elevated, and therefore invalid, readings.
    All blood draws in Arizona must comply with the standards established by the Department of Public Safety and Department of Health Services. If the correct procedures are not followed, the blood test results are inadmissible.
    Every blood sample has the potential for contamination, whether it is due to an improper procedure during the blood draw, such as a failure to adequately sanitize the draw site, or a failure by the crime laboratory personnel to eliminate contamination sources within the lab. Contamination of blood samples can result in artificially high test results.
    Crime laboratory personnel have procedures and protocols that must be followed in order for test results to be published and used in court. Failure to follow those procedures can mean that the blood test results are precluded.
    Most vehicle stops are recorded on dispatch tapes, and police communications regarding the arrest of an individual are also usually recorded. Failure to preserve these tapes and produce them upon request can allow for the suppression of all evidence which could have been recorded.
    If police officers created videos or other evidence in the case, and they did not adequately maintain or save that evidence, the jury will be instructed that the evidence can be presumed to be exculpatory and helpful to the defendant.
    If officers made any misleading statements regarding the consequences of taking (or refusing to take) a blood alcohol test, the test results may be able to be suppressed.
    A misdemeanor DUI charge must be filed within 12 months of the date the offense occurred, or the charges will be dismissed outright.
    Prosecutors may not use as evidence the statements of a defendant in custody for a DUI when the police have failed to properly issue Miranda warnings.
    If a client is not provided with a trial within 150 to 180 days from the arraignment, due to delays by the court or the prosecutor, the charges must be dismissed.
    If the prosecutor fails to disclose the names of experts used in the state's case, this will cause those witnesses to be barred from testifying against the defendant.
    The state has a certain amount of time to provide evidence in the case to the defense. If the state does not provide that evidence within the allotted amount of time, without any explanation for the delay, the evidence can be suppressed.

Contact Our Pima County DUI Defense Lawyer Today

It may seem difficult to believe that some or any of these things could occur in a DUI case in Arizona, but they happen quite frequently. That is why you need an experienced attorney by your side throughout your case. Call the DUI defense lawyers at The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C. today at 520-220-5047 for a free consultation.


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