What’s a DUI?
What exactly does DUI stand for? DUI means “driving under the influence,” or “driving while intoxicated.” What does it mean to drive under the influence? Everybody knows driving drunk is illegal, but in Arizona, it’s also driving under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, including over the counter and prescription medications.
There are several DUI types in Arizona. Most are misdemeanors, but there are felony DUIs too. For example, committing a DUI with a suspend license can be a felony DUI. Going back to the misdemeanors, you may have heard that Arizona is a “zero tolerance state.” The reason for this is because of Arizona’s most common type of DUI, A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(1), also known as “DUI – Slightest”. Under this DUI, someone can be charged and convicted if they have any drug or vapor releasing substance (think “huffing”) in their body, so long as it impairs you.
Impairment is an oft litigated and somewhat imprecise subject. Police, State experts, and prosecutors will testify and argue that impairment is any change in your body due to the drug, regardless of whether it affects driving. The ultimate decision on impairment is determined by the specific facts of the case and the interpretation of those facts by the finder of fact, which in DUIs is a jury. This blog is only educational in purpose and is not advice on your case. If you have questions about your case, you should talk to your attorney or schedule a consultation with Signature Law Group.