Many people in Arizona have heard that you have to have a BAC of over .08 to be convicted of a DUI. This is partially true. In Arizona there are several different DUI statutes. The one that most people think of is that a person who has a BAC of over .08 can be charged with a DUI. The statute that most people don’t know about is that a person is impaired to the slightest degree can also be charged with a DUI.
What this means is that you can have a BAC of under .08 and still be charged. I have seen cases where people with BAC of .06 and .05 have been charged with DUI in Arizona. Several years ago I represented a woman who had a BAC of .068. The prosecutor told me that since she had driver poorly and done poorly on the field sobriety tests he would not dismiss the charges even though her BAC was under .08. In general, prosecutor’s are unwilling to proceed on DUI cases where the reading is under .08. It took a long time for me to convince the prosecutor to offer my client a Reckless Driving charge instead of a DUI. The bottom line is you have drank alcohol and you feel impaired or buzzed in anyway avoid driving. There are so many cheaper alternatives today such as Taxi services, Uber, Lyft, and designated drivers.
Also remember that if you have drugs in your system you can also be charged with a DUI in Arizona. Arizona has a drug DUI statute that says if you have an illegal drug in your system you can be charged with a DUI. It does’t matter under the statute, how recently you ingested the drug. Also remember that the impaired DUI charge and the Drug DUI charge are not mutually exclusive. What his mean is that you can be charged with both. This is actually very normal and I see this with my clients often.