How Is A DUI Defined In Arizona?
For misdemeanor DUIs, it’s operating a motor vehicle while being impaired. There really are four main misdemeanor charges that you can get; the first is called “Impaired to the Slightest Degree.” This means that if you are driving a car and you are impaired at any level, whether it’s on alcohol or drugs, they can charge you with a DUI. This happens in a lot of cases where people will take prescription medications, like Ambien or Xanax. The drug is not necessarily illegal, but by taking that drug, they were impaired; and because they were impaired to the slightest degree, they are charged with a DUI. That’s really the threshold level of a DUI in Arizona. As long as you’re impaired, they can charge you with the DUI. The definition changes a little bit from there going up. Then you have the legal limit DUI, which is the next level; the legal limit is 0.08. So if you are driving a vehicle while you are impaired by alcohol at a blood-alcohol level that’s 0.08 or higher, they can presume that you were impaired and then they can move forward with the DUI. The definition is similar for the next two levels— the extreme DUI where the BAC reaches 0.15, and the super extreme level where the BAC reaches 0.20 or above. Obviously, as the BAC goes up, the penalties can become more severe with each different tier.
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