Blischak Law offers full-service criminal and DUI defense representation in Mesa, Arizona and Maricopa County. Mesa, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix is a thriving city of its own with the third-largest population in Arizona. Mesa still retains its small-town feel and agricultural roots despite its recent growth. Residents are in constant supply of fresh produce, which also fuels the city’s thriving food scene. Additionally, Mesa’s proximity to the Tonto National Forest offers respite from the arid Arizona landscape. Tonto is the third-largest national forest in the country and features three lakes and two rivers providing opportunities for boating, fishing, and paddling. Whether your preference is relaxed outdoor recreation or big city adventure, Mesa offers it all.
Located in Phoenix, Blischak Law offers state and federal criminal defense representation, including DUI defense. The attorneys at Blischak Law represent clients in Mesa and throughout Maricopa County. If you have been arrested for DUI in Mesa contact one of our experienced DUI defense attorneys today to discuss how Blischak Law can protect your rights.
Arizona DUI Law
Under Arizona law, you are guilty of driving under the influence if you drive or have physical control over a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and are “impaired to the slightest degree.” However, the statute only presumes you are intoxicated if within two hours of operating a motor vehicle, your blood alcohol level registered at 0.08 percent or greater. If your blood alcohol level registered at less than 0.08 percent, the blood alcohol level may be considered in the overall determination of guilt or innocence of driving while intoxicated but is not presumptive.
Punishment for DUI in Mesa, Arizona
A first offense conviction for DUI is a misdemeanor in Arizona. Under the statute, a person convicted of misdemeanor DUI must be sentenced to ten days in jail and fined no less than $250.
Also, the court may order community service as punishment and must collect an additional $1,000 assessment, order the defendant to use an ignition lock device for twelve months, and order the defendant to complete a traffic survival course. The court may suspend all but one day of the defendant’s prison sentence if the defendant completes court-ordered alcohol and drug screening, treatment, or education program.
Second Or Subsequent Offenses
A repeat offense occurring with eight years of the first offense is subject to higher penalties. If convicted, a defendant must serve at least ninety days in prison, pay a fine of no less than $500, and perform at least thirty hours of community restitution.
The defendant will also lose driving privileges for one year and upon regaining driving privileges, must use an ignition interlock device for one year when driving. Furthermore, the court must collect an additional $2,500 assessment, order the defendant to complete a traffic survival course, and require the defendant to attend a traffic survival course. The court may suspend all but thirty days of the defendant’s prison sentence if the defendant completes court-ordered alcohol and drug screening, treatment, or education program.
In some instances where aggravating factors exist, a DUI may be prosecuted as a felony charge. Aggravating factors include;
- “Extreme” DUI, or driving with a blood-alcohol level of greater than 0.15 percent;
- A third DUI in eight years;
- Driving intoxicated with a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle; or
- Causing deadly or serious bodily injury while intoxicated.
Punishment for felony DUI requires longer prison sentences (at least thirty days) and larger fines and assessments (no less than $2,500) in addition to the possible revocation of driving privileges, community service, drug and alcohol assessments, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Refusal To Perform Blood Alcohol Test
In Arizona, every licensed driver impliedly consents to have their blood alcohol level tested either by a breathalyzer or blood test if arrested on suspicion for DUI. On arrest, the refusal to blow into a breathalyzer or have blood drawn results in an automatic one-year suspension of driving privileges for a first offense.
Evidence of a refusal to perform a blood alcohol test may be used in court and a police officer may still test your blood alcohol level by either obtaining a warrant or to the extent there is probable cause to believe you drove under the influence, by testing a sample given for any other reason (such as for medical necessity).
Defenses to DUI in Mesa, Arizona
Defenses to DUI are similar to defenses to other criminal offenses and include illegal stops, searches, and seizures as well as failure to properly administer blood alcohol tests and proving a lack of intoxication. A skilled defense attorney will challenge the arresting officer’s every interaction with the defendant to make sure the entire encounter occurred by the book.
For this reason, the facts and details of your case are very important and a proper defense can only be established after consultation and fact-finding.
Contact a Mesa DUI Defense Attorney
No two DUI cases are alike. Each brings its own set of facts and legal challenges with it. However, the attorneys at Blischak Law understand how important your DUI case is to you. Many times a conviction means jail time and can result in loss of employment–both of which have a huge impact on your family. If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI, it is important to have attorneys you can rely on to get you the best possible result. At Blischak Law our attorneys have criminal law experience and the skills necessary to get you the results you need. Contact Blischak Law for a free consultation to discuss your case today.