DUI - Impaired to the Slightest Degree - A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1)
Despite the common misconception that a person cannot be charged with a DUI with a BAC of under .08 in Arizona, it is not only possible, but extremely common, for a person to be charged with a DUI while having a BAC of under 0.08.
Furthermore, this offense is almost ALWAYS charged when other misdemeanor DUI offenses involving a higher BAC, are charged. In the situation where this offense is charged alone due to the Defendant having an alleged BAC of under .08, the State has to rely heavily on observations to support the Defendant is impaired while being in operation/in actual physical control of a vehicle.
While it is possible to be charged with this offense alone, the statute for this offense does include the following presumptions by law which moderates such an allegation to a BAC level where it is possible the driver is actually impaired. A.R.S. 28-1381(G) states:
1. If there was at that time 0.05 or less alcohol concentration in the defendant's blood, breath or other bodily substance, it may be presumed that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
2. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08 alcohol concentration in the defendant's blood, breath or other bodily substance, that fact shall not give rise to a presumption that the defendant was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but that fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
Finally, a DUI – Impaired to the Slightest Degree charge is not limited to alcohol only, and includes the presence of illegal drugs under A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(3) and even prescription medications.
A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1) states that a person can violate the law while operating/being in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by “any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances" and the statute goes on to clarify under A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(4)(B) that "[i]t is not a defense to a charge of a violation . . . of this section that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of this state.
Contact Rising Phoenix Law Group now for a free consultation. We’ll determine the best course of action to defend against the accusations of a DUI. Our team is dedicated to assisting clients in defending against DUI charges. We are aware of the severe consequences of a DUI conviction and will give you the best options available.