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There is a current debate going on in the state of Arizona with respect to drunk driving. Many drivers argue that Arizona has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation. However, some lawmakers think police should have greater leeway. The two groups have clashed in recent days over new proposals to change some of Arizona’s rules for stopping vehicles.
At present, drivers do not have to swerve all over the road to be pulled over and arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. According to authorities, a majority of DUI arrests begin with simple, routine traffic stops. As such, many drivers have been pulled over for simple offenses and have ended up being tested and convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol. In some instances, these drivers have been able to get their convictions overturned.
To combat this problem, lawmakers are working hard to give Arizona police more leeway to stop vehicles. They would like to tighten up a loophole from 2011 that allowed drunk driving charges to be dismissed for many Arizona drivers. The primary case for this issue initially occurred when a suspect was stopped for having a non-working middle brake light. The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with drunk driving.
The arrest and DUI charges were eventually thrown out by an Arizona Appeals Court. The court ruled that the driver should never have been pulled because his two main tail lights were working as required by law. This case allowed for a loophole that let many drivers get DUI charges dropped in a similar manner.
Earlier this month, lawmakers in Arizona voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill that would require that all lights be working, including the middle light that was addressed in the above case. This new law would allow police to stop more drivers and could simultaneously lead to more DUI charges.
This is not to say that all Arizona lawmakers favor the new legislation. A small group of Arizona residents claim that the new rule gives too much authority and that drivers could get pulled over for an infraction that they did not even know existed. This group claims that Arizona regulations are already some of the toughest in the country and they do not need to be tougher. This group opposes the new legislation and is working hard to ensure it will not pass.
The State of Arizona prohibits anyone from driving if they have .08 percent or more alcohol in their blood system. The measurement used by Arizona is also the standard measurement used by all states. Drivers who are convicted of drunk driving in the State of Arizona could face fines, jail time, and specific insurance requirements.
Fines could be thousands of dollars and your license could be revoked for one year. Upon conviction, drivers are also required to install an interlock ignition device in all vehicles that they may own or drive. Such devices ensure that your vehicle will not start unless you blow into the device and prove that you are sober.
If you get pulled over for aggravated DUI law, you should know about the increased penalties. This particular infraction is a felony that could get you 4 months in prison, as well as mandatory drug and alcohol screening. You may also be required to get counseling, have your driver’s license revoked for 3 years, and install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle. This means that your car will not start unless you blow into the device and prove that you are legally sober. In certain circumstances, your vehicle can be forfeited to the state and sold to pay for the fees associated with your case.
A DUI conviction could change your life forever. Luckily, drivers in the Arizona area have the Weingart Firm to provide the services they need to deal with even the toughest drunk driving cases. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, you should not delay. Our aggressive and skilled attorneys have many years of experience in DUI law, and will work to help you fix your situation. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation.