What Factors Can Enhance A DUI In Arizona?

What factors can enhance a DUI in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are many factors that can enhance a DUI. The misdemeanor DUIs are driving with a 0.08%, driving while impaired to the slightest degree, an extreme DUI, which is a 0.15% or higher, and a Super Extreme, which is a 0.20% or higher. However, the latter two have higher mandatory jail terms, higher fines, and higher fees. 

They have consequences that are in addition to the lower level DUIs. Same issue with most drugs. If you are driving with a drug in your system or you are driving and impaired by drugs, those are both misdemeanors as well.

There are three factors where a DUI becomes a felony in Arizona. First, if you are charged with a DUI and there was a restriction on your license caused by a prior DUI, such as a suspension, or being required to have an interlock in your car to drive. A second scenario would be if you have three DUIs within seven years. The third DUI and beyond may be charged as felonies. The third type is if you have kids in the car who are under the age of fifteen; that is also a felony DUI. Further, if you harm somebody while you are driving under the influence, then there are other serious felonies that can be charged.

Bac Graph -What Factors Can Enhance A DUI In Arizona?

 It is difficult to provide a “norm” with respect to how close the average DUI defendant is to the limit. DUI levels are really seen all over the place. Some of the recent cases being handled by Tait & Hall are closer to the lower limits. We have seen cases where the level was over a .30, which is really high. We have also been seeing people with a lot of drug DUIs. A year or two ago, there was a slew of cases where people were way over the extreme limits, but it is not known why. Whether it was due to different enforcement policies by police and prosecuting agencies or just the fact that a lot of people happened to be drinking a ton, the reality is, police will generally cite you if you’re approaching the limit, even if you aren’t over it. One shouldn’t assume that it’s safe to get right up to the limit.

Blood Alcohol Chart - Do Most People Have A High Blood Alcohol Concentration Level When They Are Stopped For A DUI Or Are They Closer To The Legal Limit?

Along the same lines, it is very difficult for the average person to determine what their BAC (Blood or Breath Alcohol Content) is. If you are somebody who drinks a lot and are used to being under the influence of alcohol, you are more likely to think, “I’m probably below a 0.08, so I’m probably safe,” when in reality you could be well above a 0.08. It really just varies from person to person.

At the office of Tait & Hall, we do get DUIs with people that are right around a 0.08% or even slightly under. However, there is usually evidence that they were impaired, such as weaving on the road, failed field sobriety tests, etc. In Arizona, you do not have to be at a 0.08% to get a DUI. They just have to prove that you were impaired. Even if it was very slight impairment, if they prove that, then you are guilty of a DUI.

What is a baby DUI?

Another factor that can enhance your DUI in Arizona is called the baby DUI. That is kind of a slang term that attorneys have applied to it. The term is used when you are under twenty-one and you are found driving with any alcohol in your system. No matter what the alcohol level, you can be charged with DUI. They do not have to prove impairment. They do not have to prove any specific alcohol level. They just have to prove that you were in actual physical control, you were under twenty-one, and you have some level of alcohol in your system. That is considered a DUI in Arizona.

What is drug DUI?

Another factor to know is that with a drug DUI in Arizona, the state does not have to prove impairment at all. They only must prove that any level of a prohibited drug or metabolite was in your system. That means that even after the drug starts to break down in your system, it goes through chemical changes. Having even one of those chemical changes, such as when your body has already started to metabolize or change that chemical, then those metabolites can cause a DUI.

Many people think that, “Well, I have a prescription for this drug, so it’s okay for me to drive.” It may be, but if you are impaired, even by a prescription drug, that can still be a DUI. Based upon all this, there are a lot of ways to get a DUI with drugs, even if you are following the law in how you consume the drugs. That is something that people need to be careful about and talk to both their doctor and an attorney when making decisions about whether it is okay to drive with any kind of drug in their system.

If you are not sure which Factors Enhance a DUI in Arizona and the Typical BAC Levels Recorded in DUI Arrest Cases, call the law office of Tait & Hall for a FREE Initial Consultation at (480) 405-6767 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

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Graphs from AwareAwakeAlive

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Will My Child Be Charged As An Adult?

The Arizona Criminal Justice system, as in every state, distinguishes between the consequences offered for juvenile offenders and those imposed on adults.  In general, the consequences for those who face charges in adult court are dramatically more severe.

For instance, in juvenile court, the judge always retains discretion to customize the consequences for each juvenile in their court, regardless of the circumstances.  Judges may impose a wide array of consequences, ranging from apology letters and essays to intensive treatment programs and incarceration.

Judges presiding over adult cases, on the other hand, are significantly constrained in what consequences are available.  For most first-time felony offenses, a judge may offer probation, including community service and treatment.  For any felony offense beyond the first and those involving drug sales and dangerous acts, a judge’s MUST send the offender to prison after a trial loss.  Their only discretion lies in picking the length of the prison sentence sometime between the minimum and maximum prescribed by the legislature.

Beyond the results imposed by the Court, adult felons are also marked with a conviction that can have permanent and catastrophic effects on their ability to pursue certain careers, get housing, or exercise certain constitutional rights (but see options for clearing a criminal record in Arizona).  These consequences are not true of those found delinquent in juvenile court, whose records can be sealed when the child turns 18 and exits the juvenile court system (there are some caveats when the offense is of a sexual nature).

There is more than age, however, that goes into the decision whether to charge someone as a juvenile or adult.  Many times a juvenile may be charged as an adult if the offense they are accused of is particularly serious.  The same is true if the juvenile has been in the court system a long time and continues to re-offend.  Where the juvenile system has been ineffective at curbing delinquent behavior, the prosecution may opt to file in adult court, where the child then becomes subject to the sobering and harsh consequences of adult criminal court.

A particularly troubling, but the all-too-common reason for filing in adult court, however, is that the time at which charges are pursued simply happens to be too close to the child’s 18th birthday.  In these common situations, it may be perfectly appropriate that the matter is handled in juvenile court, but there isn’t enough time to apply resources of the juvenile system to rehabilitate the child.

Regardless of how serious the crime, or whether it’s first or fifth offense when a minor is charged as an adult, they face the same mandatory penalties their adult counterparts do.

For this reason, a recent law proposed by the Arizona legislature has huge ramifications for minors who commit delinquent acts.  Both the Arizona House of Representatives and State Senate have passed HB2356 in April 2018.  If signed by the Governor, this bill would allow Juvenile Courts to retain jurisdictions over a juvenile case until the juvenile’s 19th birthday.

Should this law pass, the juvenile court would be able to extend efforts to help those whose minds are not fully developed prove their ability to learn from their mistakes without a permanent mark on their record that usually does more harm than good.  As of the time of this writing, the bill is sitting on the Governor’s desk.  It’s about time.

If you have questions about your child in the court system, don’t hesitate to call Tait & Hall for a free consultation at (480) 405-6767.

Sealing and Destroying a Criminal Record

For those who were charged, but never convicted, Arizona law allows the possibility that all records of the allegations be sealed and destroyed. This means that any public record of the charges is destroyed. Courts are no longer allowed to maintain a public record of the case charges or history and the police department may no longer disseminate any information regarding the investigation.

Having records sealed and destroyed is only available to those people who are wrongfully accused of a crime and who are not convicted of any crime. That also means that they cannot have accepted a plea to a lower charge.

Until an innocent person succeeds in having their record sealed and destroyed, police are free to disseminate the report to anyone who makes a request for it through the proper process. Courts may still have the record on public websites, which makes it easy for a potential employer or anyone else to find.

To find out about how to have your record sealed and destroyed call Tait & Hall for a free consultation at: (480) 405-6767.  

Cannabis in Arizona Legal for Tourists with Medical Marijuana Cards

The Arizona Court of Appeals has recently ruled it legal for people visiting from other states or countries to possess and use medical marijuana.

A recent panel voted that an issued card under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act is equivalent to a physician recommendation for cannabis under California’s Compassionate Use Act.

The Reason

This all stems from a 2016 case in which Standley Kemmish Jr., a California native who had been issued a medical marijuana card, was pulled over and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Unsurprisingly, Kemmish maintained that he was allowed to possess the drug under Arizona’s medical marijuana law due to the fact that he has a physician’s recommendation for the cannabis.

Prosecutors largely disagreed, asserting that the doctor’s note was in no way equivalent to possessing a medical marijuana patient card (issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services).

The appellate court’s panel relied on Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act (voter-approved). This allows “visiting qualifying patients” to have the same immunity as people with medical marijuana cards issue by the state of Arizona.

The court noted:”[w]hether another state’s medical marijuana law requires an identification card, a physician’s letter, or some other documentation is immaterial, so long as the documentation is sufficient under the law of the issuing state.”

Nonetheless, medical marijuana users who are visiting from other states are still not allowed to purchase cannabis from dispensaries located in Arizona.

The Why

As a result of conditions like cancer and chronic pain, voters in Arizona approved the medical marijuana program in 2010. The effects of the program didn’t gain notable momentum until 2012 when dispensaries began to pop up around the state.

Not only that, consider the following fact, courtesy of herb.co:

“Studies have shown that the time-period following the legalization of medical cannabis has shown an almost five percent decrease in the total suicide rate. Even better, males aged 20-29 displayed an eleven percent decrease in suicide, meaning that cannabis can help youth recover from suicidal tendencies and mindsets.”

With the presence of dispensaries, the drug has become much more accessible for people who are issued medical marijuana cards. This is for good reason, as the discovered benefits seem to be increasing as more research is done. Research into the impact of marijuana are clearly trending toward the conclusion that it is a welcome remedy for many people suffering a variety of medical conditions.

Just over 150,000 people actively participate in the program. Last year, for example, over one million ounces of marijuana were purchased (equivalent to roughly 87,000 pounds).

The program is bound to grow even more over the coming years as medical marijuana rules continue to change.

Scam Stemming from Gila County Sheriff’s Office

It’s unfortunate, but it happened.

Charlie Beier, a dentist in Payson, fell for the scam. After all, the male scammer had most of Beier’s contact and personal information.


“You may say that this will never happen to you, but I was shocked at how real this all seemed,” said Beier.

Beier couldn’t believe how easily he was scammed. However, he soon realized that this type of scam has been rampant, especially because the scam appears to be very realistic.

It all started with a voicemail on March 9th when Beier received a message from a Gila County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Beier came home and listened to a very official sounding Chief Deputy Carl Saunders. It noted that he had an outstanding warrant because he failed to appear in court for jury duty. He soon learned more about what his crime entailed.

Beier was fined twice: once for failure to appear for jury summons and the other for contempt of court. Both fines totaled $5,100.

Ultimately, Beier had two options. He could either stay on the line with him while he drove to the Sheriff’s Office for fingerprinting, or he could pay 10% of the fines at a kiosk at the Globe office of the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.

Beier felt pressure, noting that the deputy informed Beier that he had to stay on the phone in order to avoid facing further consequences. Ultimately, keeping Beier on the line was essential to keeping the scam from falling apart.

Beier was instructed to purchase a Green DOT MoneyPak card at either Walgreens or Giant. Since 10% of $5,100 is $510, the deputy informed Beier that the additional $10 will be waived. This, of course, was another indication of the whole thing being a scam.

That’s when Beier finally figured out he was being conned and decided to drive to the police station to see if there were any warrants out for his arrest.

It turns out, of course, that he was clean.

Soon after, the scammer was off the phone. Beier was told that the police department doesn’t just call people to tell them they have a warrant out for their arrest. Furthermore, funds are never exchanged over the phone.

Although Beier may face some ridicule, he felt it necessary to inform others about his situation. This is a very realistic scam on which people need to be educated.

Sure, he may have lost $5.95 and a bit of dignity, but he saved a lot more than that.

In order to avoid this scam, Gila County’s Sheriff suggests that you say you’re personal friends with the sheriff and that you will get back to him (the scammer) right away. That will surely drive the scammer away immediately. If you want to find out whether you actually do have a warrant, it’s always safest to have an attorney look into it so that you can respond to the situation in the best possible way.

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