Misdemeanor vs Felony DUI in Arizona

misdemeanor vs felony duiDriving while intoxicated or under the influence is a life-threatening and serious issue in the USA. More than 10 000 people died in car accidents where alcohol was involved. In 2014 more than one million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In Arizona, anyone who has a driving license means that they consent to a blood alcohol concentration or drug content testing in case an officer pulls them over. If you are younger than twenty-one years of age, your driving license will be suspended if the testing shows any level of alcohol in your blood.

Can you drive under the influence if you had several drinks and sleep it off in your vehicle?

You can be convicted of DUI in Arizona if you are driving or are in actual physical control of the vehicle. In case you are sleeping in the vehicle, there are other factors that will be considered, such as whether you were in actual physical control of the vehicle. In the end, the jury will bring the final decision.

 These are the factors that will be included in cases like this:

  • Whether the engine and/or parking brake was on or off when the officer was arresting you;
  • Whether the vehicle was off the main road;
  • Whether the vehicle was in a parking lot, bus pullout, or outside of a drive-thru;
  • Whether the vehicle was in neutral.

These instances will be argued by the attorneys – did the intoxicated driver put others in danger, whether he or she was in physical control of the vehicle since it was not moving and did not harm anyone.

Will you be charged with DUI in Arizona while heavily intoxicated and caused an accident but did not get DWI charges at the scene

Chances are this driver will be charged. Often, when a motor accident caused by drunk or influenced drivers occurs, the police won’t charge right ahead but will wait for blood results. The blood test will determine the amount of alcohol or substances in the blood at the time of the accident. The police will send them to the County Attorney’s office for felony prosecution.

People who caused an accident while intoxicated will most likely be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. This carries a mandatory term in the Department of Corrections from five to fifteen years in prison.

The state has seven years to file such charges; the driver can be charged with a misdemeanor driving under the influence (if we assume the person was not eligible for Aggravated DUI charges). This can happen if the charges were filed within the first year of the date of the motor accident.

You can drink and drive as long as your BAC is within the legal limit in Arizona

Although there is a legal limit for DUI (.08%) in Arizona, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated if you are over the age of twenty-one. Don’t get surprised if you have alcohol in your blood below the legal limit of .08% and still get arrested and later prosecuted for driving under the influence.

If you are driving, it is smarter to avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs, then to make your calculations with the legal limit.

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