January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A judge from Coconino County, who was responsible for hearing felony DUI cases, was recently removed from his judicial duties. Last month, the judge was pulled over while driving in Flagstaff, after he was observed swerving toward oncoming vehicles. The law enforcement officer who conducted the traffic stop believed the driver was under the influence of some type of intoxicating substance.
Consequently, the judge was given a breathalyzer test. According to the officer, the driver's BAC was 0.229. Law enforcement officials reported that the judge indicated he had consumed both alcohol and prescription painkillers prior to getting behind the wheel.
If convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences for the judge could be severe, as they are for all Arizona residents. Unlike some situations, though, the judge is already well versed in Arizona's drunk driving laws. For many individuals pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, the same is not true. It is critical for those facing drunk driving charges to take the necessary steps to ensure their rights are protected.
Drunk driving charges in Arizona
In Arizona, drivers over the age of 21 are considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above. Arizona has a zero tolerance law when it comes to motorists under the age of 21 -- in other words, drivers under 21 are considered intoxicated if their BAC is over 0.00.
The penalties for a first DUI conviction
are harsh, including a hefty fine, 10 days in jail and driver's license suspension for 90 days. In addition, all drivers convicted of DUI, even first-time offenders, are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Ignition interlocks require motorists to blow into the device in order to start the vehicle. If the motorist has alcohol in his or her system, the ignition interlock prevents the vehicle from starting. Those convicted of driving under the influence are required to keep the ignition interlock installed in their vehicle for one year.
Under Arizona law
, the penalties for driving with a BAC above 0.15 or above 0.20 are even more severe. Drivers with a BAC between 0.15 and 0.19 face a minimum of $2,500 in fines and at least 30 days in jail. For those, such as the judge, with BACs above 0.20, the fines increase to a minimum of $2,750, with a minimum of 45 days in jail. In addition, those convicted of these so-called super extreme DUI charges
must use an ignition interlock device for 18 months.
DUI laws in Arizona are some of the strictest in the nation. Consequently, if you are facing such charges, it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable Arizona criminal defense attorney to ensure a strong defense is established on your behalf.
Article provided by Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C.
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