Tucson DUI Attorney

In Arizona, a DUI (“driving under the influence”) offense is a very serious charge that carries with it potentially very serious legal, financial and emotional consequences, including the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence. Anybody can be arrested for DUI. Many good, honest, and hardworking people are arrested for DUI each year, and for most of those of people, it represents their very first encounter with the criminal justice system.  Elias Damianakos is a top rated Tucson DUI attorney that provides affordable and skilled representation for all people charged with DUI.

A person can be charged with DUI not just for having consumed alcohol, but also for driving after having taken lawfully prescribed medications. Did you know that you can be charged and prosecuted for DUI by just sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, with the engine off, and the keys in your pocket?

More and more we are seeing a rise in DUI prosecutions in Tucson and Arizona. The police routinely employ DUI checkpoints. Police departments also employ “DUI Squads”, which consist of specially trained police officers who are certified phlebotomists and that perform blood draws, even on the side of the road! DUI officers are trained to administered field sobriety tests such as the Walk and Turn test, and the One Leg Stand test, and chemical testing using the Intoxilyzer 8000, or blood testing for alcohol or drugs.

Experienced & Skilled Tucson DUI Attorney

A DUI case is a very technical area of the law. However, an experienced DUI defense attorney can expose the flaws in police DUI investigations, and successfully challenge the State’s case against you in all aspects of the investigation including, 1) the initial traffic stop, 2) the so-called signs and symptoms of alcohol consumption, 3) the administration of field sobriety tests, 4) the interrogation or question and answer portion of the investigation, 5) the arrest, and 6) the breath or blood test. It is extremely important that you retain an experienced attorney to defend you and guide you through what is one of the most complex areas of criminal law.

My legal career began as a State prosecutor, which included prosecuting DUI cases. I know the strategies and arguments prosecutors use to try to convict as many people as they can of DUI. As a Tucson DUI Attorney, together with my experience in handling hundreds of DUI cases, I have the experience to successfully defend you in your DUI case.

DUI with Medical Marijuana Card, Prescription Drugs or Illegal Drugs

A DUI based on the consumption of a prescription or non-prescription, or with a medical marijuana card, is significantly different than a DUI involving alcohol. A drug DUI usually involves different and additional field sobriety tests, such as a Drug Recognition Evaluation, the Modified Rhomberg Test, and the Finger to Nose test. In addition, the State will use a chemist from the crime lab to support their case. The available defenses in drug DUI cases are different than alcohol based DUI cases, so it is important to consult with an attorney that is experienced in this area. I have substantial experience successfully defending against drug DUI cases involving a breadth of underlying substances, including marijuana, lawfully prescribed medications, and illegal narcotics.

Penalties for Arizona DUI Offenses

When a person is charged with a DUI in Arizona, there are two separate cases that need to be addressed. The first is a criminal traffic case, which if a misdemeanor, is generally held at a city court, or a justice court. If the DUI is charged as a felony, the case will be heard in a county Superior Court. Whether charged as a misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI, the purpose of the criminal case is to determine guilt or innocence, and what penalty should be imposed. The penalties for a DUI conviction Arizona generally include:

  • jail
  • license suspension or license revocation
  • installation of an ignition interlock device
  • fines and fees in excess of $2500 for a first time conviction
  • probation, which can include supervised probation
  • alcohol or drug treatment
  • Mother Against Drunk Drivers Victim Impact Panel
  • jail fees (yes, you have to pay for your stay in the Pima County Jail)
  • 8 points on your Arizona driver’s license
  • Traffic Survival School
  • Restricted license (driving only between home, work, school, probation appointments)
  • court hearings to ensure compliance with sentence

Unlike a reckless driving conviction, a DUI conviction carries mandatory jail. Read below for further details regarding DUI penalties in Arizona.

Penalties for 1st DUI Conviction

Minimum 10 days jail; approximately $2000 in fines and fees; up to 5 years probation; mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment; Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Victim Impact Panel; 90 day license suspension; ignition interlock device for 12 months.

Penalties for 2nd DUI Conviction

Minimum 90 days jail; approximately $3500 in fines and fees; up to 5 years probation; mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment; Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Victim Impact Panel; 1 year license revocation; ignition interlock device for 12 months; 30 hours community restitution.

Penalties for 3rd DUI Conviction

4 months prison; approximately $4600 in fines and fees; up to 5 years probation; mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment; Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Victim Impact Panel; 3 year license revocation; ignition interlock device for 12 months; vehicle forfeiture.
Read More: DUI Penalties

The second component to a DUI case in Arizona is civil in nature. The purpose of the civil case is for the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether your driving privileges should be suspended, and if so, for how long, and whether you are entitled to a restricted drivers license. Your previous driving record and the outcome of the criminal case have nothing to do with the civil case. The outcome of one will not affect the outcome of the other.
Read More: DUI & MVD License Consequences

Arizona DUI cases are highly technical, complicated, and carry very severe penalties upon conviction. You shouldn’t take on a DUI charge without the assistance of an experienced attorney. As an experienced Tucson DUI Attorney in Arizona, I have assisted people navigate the complicated and technical waters of Arizona DUI charges, and always strive to provide honest and aggressive representation.