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Top 30 DUI FAQs

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DUI FAQS: Victim of A DUI – Now What?

If you or someone you love has been involved in a DUI case, you may have several DUI FAQs regarding such incidents’ legal implications and consequences. You know just how much of an effect a drunk driver has on everyday life. If the victim survives the crash, they can be left facing obstacles and unforeseen challenges. The cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation can take a toll physically, financially, and emotionally. 

When DUI victims do not survive a crash caused by an intoxicated or impaired driver, their families may have numerous DUI FAQs that arise in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Family members are often left wondering why their innocent loved one was taken away from them in such a devastating manner. Surviving family members may suffer from emotional trauma and financial hardship, among other things. During this difficult time, having access to information and resources that address the common DUI FAQs can provide some guidance and support to the grieving families.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an Arizona DUI accident, it is important to understand that you have rights,know DUI FAQS. Knowing, understanding, and asserting your rights as a victim or surviving family member can be fundamental to the healing process.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been victims of DUI accidents. If you need help filing a claim for one of these awful, life-changing accidents, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve or read our DUI FAQS. Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or via video call. If you are searching for a DUI victim lawyer in Chandler, Phoenix, Peoria, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, or Gilbert, do not hesitate to contact us. 

You can contact us for a free consultation or read on our DUI FAQS to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

Read Our Client Reviews: DUI FAQS

“Let me start by saying how impressed I was with Ms. Karissa Murphy. She was very professional and prompt with everything I needed to accomplish during my time of difficulty. She was able to answer all of my questions, was responsive and respectful to everyone we encountered, and made the whole process very easy for me. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a great lawyer.” – Pat D. (Read this Review on Google)

“What can I say about the… [Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm]? They are AMAZING!! It’s never fun when you need an accident lawyer because you are pretty much in a bad place. Shane and the staff have been wonderful, kept me informed at every step of this process. I would recommend…. [Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm] to anyone, in fact, I have referred several friends already!! Thank you… [Phoenix Accident and Injury] Law Firm for everything you did for me!!!” – Kimberly L. (Read this Review on Google)

One of the DUI FAQS, What is a DUI?

The commonly used acronym DUI stands for driving under the influence. In Arizona, it is against the law to commit an act constituting a DUI. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381:

It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

  1.  While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, or any combination of liquor, drugs, or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
  2.  If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle.
  3.  While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.
  4.  If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a commercial driver license as defined in section 28-3001 and the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more.

Notably, a DUI does not necessarily have to involve intoxicating liquors under Arizona law but may result from using drugs or controlled substances that cause hallucinations or impair a person’s cognitive and motor functions. While an intoxicated driver can have used a variety of substances that qualify them for driving under the influence, drivers who are impaired due to alcohol consumption, prescription medication, or marijuana use are commonly at issue in DUI accidents.

Driving under the influence in Arizona is a crime in and of itself. However, when an intoxicated driver and people who cause an accident are injured or killed, the severity of the charges increases, as do the potential punishments the perpetrator faces. Further, the DUI driver may face civil liability to the victim or their surviving beneficiaries. Read our DUI FAQS to know more.

Who Can be the Victim of a DUI? DUI FAQS

As defined by the Arizona Constitution, a victim “means a person against whom the offense has been committed or, if the person is killed or incapacitated, the person’s spouse, parent, child or another lawful representative, except if the person is in custody for an offense or is the accused.” (Arizona Constitution Article II Section 2.1(C).) A DUI is statutorily defined as a criminal act, therefore, individuals harmed as the result of another party driving under the influence are victims of a crime.

The victim of a DUI can be any individual who is harmed by the intoxicated or impaired individual while they are operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle and may include individuals such as:

  • A passenger in the car of the intoxicated driver
  • Another driver and their passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists

In the event that a victim dies as a result of the accident, then the deceased’s spouse, parent, child, or another lawful representative may assume the role of victim and is afforded the same victims’ as the deceased would have been granted had they survived. Read our DUI FAQS to know more about your rights.

DUI FAQS: Does the Victim of a DUI Have Legal Rights? 

Arizona DUI Victim’s have legal rights as guaranteed by Article II Section 2.1 of the Arizona Constitution. In addition, the Arizona legislature has codified crime victims’ rights in Arizona Revised Statute Title 13 Chapter 40.

As stated in the Arizona Constitution, a victim has the right:

  1. To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the justice process. 
  2. To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
  3. To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
  4. To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea, and sentencing.
  5. To refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant.
  6. To confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before trial or before any disposition of the case and to be informed of the disposition.
  7. To read pre-sentence reports relating to the crime against the victim when they are available to the defendant.
  8. To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the conduct that caused the victim’s loss or injury.
  9. To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered.
  10. To a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence.
  11. To have all rules governing procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims’ rights and to have these rules be subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature to ensure the protection of these rights.
  12. To be informed of victims’ constitutional rights. (Arizona Constitution Article II Section 2.1(A).)

DUI FAQS: What Should I Do if I Was the Victim of a DUI?

Being the victim of a DUI accident can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. As the victim of a DUI accident you may wonder how to proceed to ensure that the intoxicated driver is held liable for their wrongful behavior, and how you, or a loved one, can be properly compensated for the resulting harm. If you were the victim of a DUI accident there are some steps you can take to help ensure your rights are not violated. You can also read ou DUI FAQS to know more.

After you have been treated for your injuries and as soon as you are well enough, it is important to contact the police department and get a copy of the accident report. This will allow you to review the facts surrounding the accident and make changes if any information is inaccurate. Having an accurate police report can help in establishing consistent factual accounts in a civil trial.

In addition, It is crucial that the victim keep accurate records of expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Expenses can include things such as:

Further, it is important to keep records of how the accident has affected your daily life in terms of accomplishing routine tasks, work, and how you interact with peers, friends, and loved ones.

It is prudent to contact an attorney to help you through this difficult time. An attorney will not only help you to determine what viable legal claims you may have against the intoxicated, or impaired driver, but can also do things like help ensure your privacy. An attorney can also serve as an intermediary so you will not be harassed by the perpetrator. This can especially be the case in instances when the perpetrator sues the victim, a tactic some perpetrators use to intimidate the victim in an effort to get them to drop their civil suits. The most common legal claim a perpetrator will use to sue a victim is slander or libel. Victims should know that truth is an absolute defense to these claims.

DUI FAQS – I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver. Who is Liable?

There are numerous parties who may held liable to the victim of a DUI. These parties include the individual who was operating the motor vehicle or was in physical control of the motor vehicle at the time of the, and, under what is known as the Dram Shop Laws, a licensee that serves or sells alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person or a minor, or a social host who serves alcohol to a minor. 

DUI FAQS: What are Dram Shop Laws?

Dram shop liability refers to the laws governing the liability of commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. The purpose of dram shop liability laws is to extend personal injury and wrongful death responsibility to the dram shops that serve alcoholic beverages to inebriated individuals and minors, who then go on to cause an accident involving a third party. Put another way, you cannot over-serve or sell to someone and then claim you had nothing to do with them causing an auto collision.

These laws permit a person injured by an intoxicated person to seek compensation for her injuries from not only the intoxicated person but the social host or vendor who provided the already-intoxicated person alcohol.

DUI FAQS: Does Dram Shop Liability Apply to Casinos?

Dram shop liability does not extend to Indian reservations or casinos on those reservations. In Filer v. Tohono O’Odham Nation Gaming, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that because Indian reservations are a sovereign nation, casinos on their land cannot be held liable for civil actions unless they expressly waive their sovereign immunity. This means that an individual who is injured as the result of an intoxicated driver who became intoxicated as a result of being served, or buying alcohol at a casino does not have recourse against the casino because they are operated by the Indian nation on whose land they sit.

DUI FAQS: Does Smoking Weed and then Driving Count as a DUI?

Driving under the influence of marijuana has become increasingly common and is recognized as a drug that qualifies for a DUI in Arizona. While some may be under the misconception that marijuana does not affect their driving ability, or in some cases, believe that marijuana use actually makes them a better driver, these misguided beliefs are false.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2016 drugs, both illegal and legal, other than alcohol, were a factor in 16% of all crashes for that year. Additionally, data for crashes in 2016 indicate that 38% of people involved in fatal accidents had marijuana in their system. 

While some of those 38% may have had additional drugs in their system and, or alcohol, research suggests that with increased marijuana use, accidents rates have increased. As wide array of studies have shown, this is in part due to the fact that marijuana decreases cognitive function and a driver’s ability to track lanes, impairs motor skills, reduce a drivers ability to multitask, slows reaction time, and decreases coordination. 

DUI FAQS: What if the Driver Who Hit Me Was High, but They Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) was passed by voters in 2010.. While the AMMA broadly immunizes medical marijuana users from prosecution while using the drug as detailed in the Act, in the 2015 case of Dobson v. McClennen the Supreme Court of Arizona held that the AMMA does not immunize from prosecution a driver charged with a DUI resulting from marijuana use. The act states that it is illegal for any person to operate or be in control of a motor vehicle “[w]hile there is any drug defined in section A.R.S.§ 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.”

The court did say however that the AMMA provides an affirmative defense for the DUI driver using marijuana. It is the driver’s obligation to prove that the marijuana or its metabolite in their system was not enough to cause impairment.

In other words, if a driver hits you who is under the influence of marijuana, they still may be charged with a DUI. If the driver can prove that the marijuana in their system could not have caused impairment, then they may not be charged with a DUI. However, they can still be taken to civil court if they caused the accident.

DUI FAQS: How Can You Know if the Driver Who Hit You Was High?

One of the issues with the increased use of marijuana and determining how great a role it plays in accidents is that it is difficult to judge if a person was impaired at the time of the crash. Unlike alcohol, which can be measured in a person’s body to a great degree of accuracy at the time of an accident, there are yet to be developed accurate testing methods to determine if marijuana played a role in impairing a driver at the time of an accident. 

Unlike alcohol which the body metabolizes, in a relatively short period of time, marijuana can stay in a users system for weeks or even sometimes a month or more after they use it. Ultimately, in civil cases, the question will be left to the jury to determine whether the driver was impaired in their driving ability and committed a DUI, and, or acted negligently.

DUI FAQS: What Are the Punishments for Drunk Driving in Arizona? 

A person convicted of driving under the influence for the first time… 

  • Will be sentenced to serve no less than 10 consecutive days in jail and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire sentence is served. 
  • Will pay a fine of no less than $250. 
  • May be ordered by a court to perform community service. 
  • May pay an additional assessment of $500 to the prison construction and operations fund.
  • May pay an additional assessment of $500 to the public safety equipment fund. 
  • May be required by the department, on report of the conviction, to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device which will prevent the vehicle from starting unless the occupant breathes into it 

If a person is convicted of driving under the influence for a second time within 84 months of the first conviction (or under certain other circumstances), the person… 

  • Will be sentenced to serve no less than 90 days in jail, 30 days of which shall be served consecutively, and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire sentence has been served 
  • Will pay a fine of no less than $500 
  • Will be ordered by a court to perform at least 30 hours of community service 
  • Will have his or her driving privilege revoked for one year 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,250 to the prison construction and operations fund 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,250 to the public safety equipment fund 

“Extreme” DUI is the condition of having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more (i.e., about twice the legal limit or higher) within two hours of driving or being in control of a vehicle. 

A person who commits extreme DUI… 

  • Will be sentenced to serve no less than 30 consecutive days in jail and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire sentence is served 
  • Will pay a fine of not less than $250 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $250 
  • May be ordered by a court to perform community service 
  • Will be required to equip any motor vehicle they drive with a certified ignition interlock device 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,000 to the prison construction and operations fund 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,000 to the public safety equipment fund 

A driver who has a second extreme DUI conviction within 84 months of the first one… 

  • Will be sentenced to serve no less than 120 days in jail, 60 days of which shall be served consecutively, and is not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire sentence has been served 
  • Will pay a fine of no less than $500 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $250 
  • Will be ordered by a court to perform at least 30 hours of community service 
  • Will have his or her driver’s license suspended
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,250 to the prison construction and operations fund 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,250 to the public safety equipment fund 

DUI FAQS: What do DUI Proceedings Look Like? 

In a criminal action, the intoxicated driver will be prosecuted by a state appointed attorney whose aim is to punish the perpetrator on behalf of a perceived wrong committed against the state and community at large. While a case is undertaken by the state, it does not mean that the victim/survivor, or surviving family members cannot be involved in the criminal case and that they do not have rights. (See the Victims’ Rights Section above.)

If convicted, the perpetrator may face fines and, or jail time. The degree to which the perpetrator is punished will depend on numerous factors that may include things, such as:

  • Whether this was the defendant’s first DUI
  • Whether the defendant has any other criminal record
  • Whether anyone was killed in the accident
  • The age of the victims
  • How badly the accident victims were injured if they survived

DUI FAQS: What are the Potential Charges for DUI?

The charges against the defendant in a DUI case will be discretionary for the prosecuting attorney and may depend upon things like whether the victims in the DUI case were injured or killed, and whether the defendant has any prior convictions. In the event that the victims of the DUI survived the accident, the charges may be lesser and can include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a class 3 dangerous felony. In the event that a victim dies as a result of the accident, the prosecutor may charge the intoxicated, or impaired driver with manslaughter, a class 2 dangerous felony.

Significantly, it is crucial to understand that the defendant will be charged for a separate criminal offense for each victim they harm. For example, if the defendant caused a crash resulting in two people being injured, and one person being killed, the defendant will face separate charges for each victim. Such that the defendant may be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of manslaughter. If convicted, this means that the defendant will face separate punishment for each conviction, but which punishment, if including jail time will generally run consecutively.

DUI FAQS: Can I take the Driver Who Hit Me to Civil Court too? 

In addition to a criminal prosecution and penalties, an intoxicated or impaired driver may face a civil lawsuit, which the victim of the DUI files, or the victim’s surviving beneficiaries if the victim dies due to the accident.

In a civil lawsuit, the victim of a DUI accident has the right to sue the intoxicated driver for any harm they suffered as a result of the accident. Additionally, in cases where the victim of the DUI accident does not survive, a lawsuit may be filed by certain individuals surviving the victim. This legal action is referred to as a wrongful death action. A victim/survivor, or their surviving family members, may try to represent themselves in a civil action against the perpetrator, however, because of the great complexity of lawsuits it is strongly advisable that they hire a private attorney to represent them in their case against the perpetrator. This will not only allow the victim/survivor, or their surviving family, to focus on healing, but also will help ensure that they are fairly compensated and not bullied by adverse parties.

DUI FAQS: What Civil Claim can I File Against a DUI Driver?

There are a variety of potential civil law claims under which the surviving victim of a DUI can sue the intoxicated or impaired driver. Some of the most common include negligence and negligence per se. In addition, if the victim of a DUI accident does dies as a result of the crash, then certain surviving individuals may have a wrongful death claim against an impaired driver. For more on wrongful death lawsuits, visit Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm’s web pages addressing Wrongful Death.

How Can I Prove Negligence in A DUI Case? 

In order to prove negligence, four elements must be met. First, it must be established that the defendant had a duty to adhere to a certain standard of care. Second, it must be shown that the defendant breached that standard of care. Third, a causal connection must be made between the defendant’s beach of the standard of care and the resulting injury. Fourth, the victim must have suffered actual damages. Whether a duty exists is a matter of law, while whether a breach of the duty occurred that caused injury and real damages are questions for the jury to decide. 

The question of duty is whether the relationship between the parties is such that the wrongdoer was under some obligation to the victim to use reasonable care to prevent or avoid harming the victim. 

In general, it is well established that an individual operating a car or motor vehicle has a duty to others to operate the vehicle in such a way as to prevent foreseeable harm to others. In a DUI case then, the question will be for the jury to decide if the driver breached the duty, did the breach of the duty cause the accident, at least in part, and to what extent did the victim suffer damages.

If the jury finds that the intoxicated driver was negligent thereby causing an accident and harming the victim, it will be for the jury to decide what amount of money to award the victim to compensate them for their resulting damages.

DUI FAQS: What Types of Compensation Can the DUI Victim Recover?

The surviving victim of a DUI accident may be able to recover compensation for things such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Damaged Property

If the victim of the crash does not survive, certain surviving family members, known as statutory beneficiaries, may file an action against the intoxicated driver in what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. Types of compensation that may be available to the deceased’s statutory beneficiaries include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages of the deceased
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses of the deceased

DUI FAQS: What Amount of Compensation Can Victims of a DUI Receive?

The amount of compensation the victim of a DUI, or their surviving family, may recover will vary depending upon the circumstances of each case. Below of some examples of compensation in Arizona cases.

Gehres v. City of Phoenix

In Gehres v. City of Phoenix, the victim of the DUI accident, Violet Gehres, died when her vehicle was hit by the perpetrator Lawrence Speck, who also died in the accident and had a blood alcohol level of .27% at the time of the accident. The victim’s surviving daughter and husband brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of Lawrence Speck, Vinnie’s, an establishment where Speck became intoxicated, and the City of Phoenix, whose police officers were pursuing Speck when he crashed into Violet’s car, killing her. The jury found all three defendants liable and awarded the surviving husband and daughter a combined amount of $577,600.

Note that this case went to trial before joint and several liability was abolished so all defendants were technically responsible for paying the judgment. This was the issue on appeal, but the court upheld a verdict for the plaintiffs, since it could not apply the several liability law retroactively. (Gehres v. City of Phoenix, 156 Ariz. 484, 753 P.2d 174 (Ariz. App., 1987).)

Essson v. La Puesta Del Sol Party Facility and AYOUB (2004)

In the 2004 case of Essson v. La Puesta Del Sol Party Facility and AYOUB, the jury awarded the plaintiff a total of $2.6 million, assessing liability to La Puesta in the amount of $2.1 million, to AYOUB in the amount of $500,000. In this case, the victim was a passenger of AYOUB who was driving while intoxicated, after consuming alcohol at event hosted by La Puesta. The victim was killed in a car accident so the lawsuit was filed by his mother, who was awarded the judgment.

Shalley v. A & M Beverages dba Mecca Lounge, McConaha, and Sainsevain (2004)

In the case of Shalley v. A & M Beverages, dba Mecca Lounge, McConaha, and Sainsevain, the plaintiff was hit while stopped at a red light by defendant Sainsevain after Sainsevain had just left Mecca Lounge. The plaintiff alleged that Mecca Lounge continued to serve alcohol to defendant Sainsevain after she was obviously intoxicated, her blood alcohol level was .315 at the time of the accident. The jury relieved Mecca Lounge of liability, finding the defendant Sainsevain was 100% at fault for the accident, and awarding plaintiff a total of $400,000, breaking down to $200,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.

Is It Worth Suing a Drunk Driver? DUI FAQS

It depends on how much you are awarded in the criminal trial, and various other circumstances for your case. Some guidelines are that you should file if insurance plus your award in the trial is not enough to cover your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may also want to file a lawsuit if either insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim or the drunk driver who hit you was uninsured. This is a complex question with no easy answer. Give us a call, and we will help you determine whether a lawsuit is appropriate in your specific case.

DUI FAQS: How Does Drunk Driving Affect the Victims?

The aftermath of being hit by a drunk driver in a DUI accident is far-reaching and different for every person. Physically, you may be injured and need to take off work to rehabilitate. This affects your family as well- whether someone moves from another state to care for you in the short term or you lose the ability to bring home wages to feed your family. Financially, you may be struggling because of unexpected medical bills and time off work. Or, you may lose other concrete benefits from your job to use in the future, like an allotment of sick days or vacation time which are instead used for recovery and doctor’s visits.

Mentally, you may suffer from increased anxiety, depression, paranoia, or sometimes even PTSD. Emotionally, you may be experiencing grief- either for a lost loved one if they were killed in a DUI crash or for your own injuries. You may not be able to sleep very well, or get panic attacks when you get behind the wheel of a car. In a DUI crash, decisions made in a split second can have far-reaching consequences with a life-long impact.

How Much More Likely Are You to Crash While Driving Drunk?

Let’s talk about this in terms of beer. Everyone’s tolerance is different, but generally speaking, 2 beers puts you at a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.04- half the legal limit. Let’s say you have 2 more beers to put your BAC at 0.08 (the legal limit). At this point, a driver is 11 times more likely to get into a crash than a person not driving under the influence.  

Let’s have 2 more beers- a 6 pack. Your BAC is now at least 0.10, and you are 48 times more likely to crash than someone who hasn’t drank.  

You’ve had a 6 pack already- say you have 2 more beers. Your BAC is now approximately 0.15, you are 380 times more likely to have an accident than someone not driving under the influence, and if you drive you are committing extreme DUI.  

Is Arizona a No Tolerance State?  

Arizona is a no tolerance, or 0 tolerance, state for DUI offenses. This means that you can be arrested for having a BAC of less than 0.08, particularly if you are driving recklessly.  

How Many Car Accidents Are Caused By Drunk Driving? 

Of the 129,750 car crashes in Arizona in 2019, 4,907 of them were drunk driving accidents, which accounts for nearly 4%. Of those, 85% occurred in Maricopa County.  

What is Aggravated DUI?  

Aggravated DUI occurs when a person… 

  • Commits a DUI violation while their driver’s license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked, or while a restriction is placed on the person’s driver license or privilege to drive as a result of violating the DUI laws 
  • Within a period of 84 months commits a third or subsequent violation of the DUI laws 
  • While a person under 15 years of age is in the vehicle and commits a violation of the DUI laws. 
  • Commits a DUI offense after being ordered to install an ignition interlock device 

A person convicted of aggravated DUI… 

  • Will not get a new driver’s license within one year of the date of the conviction and must equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device 
  • Must pay an additional assessment of $250 
  • Will pay a fine of no less than $750
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,500 to the prison construction and operations fund 
  • Will pay an additional assessment of $1,500 to the public safety equipment fund 

Can You Drive When Taking Prescription Drugs?

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, and they apply equally to driving while impaired by prescription medication. In 2014, residents of the Phoenix area got reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence of prescription medication when a heavily medicated truck driver caused a fatal accident that took the life of one and injured five others.

What Prescription Drugs Shouldn’t You Drive On?

While the list of individual prescription medications that affect driving is far too long and complex to put here, there are several categories of drugs that make driving dangerous. Always ask your doctor about any potential side effects, and whether it’s safe to drive when taking your individual medication. It’s also important to note that some over the counter medications may affect your ability to drive as well.

The categories of prescriptions that can impact your ability to drive safely are antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, anxiety medication, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, some antihistamines, some CBD medications, some cold medications, stimulants, and diet pills.

I was a victim of a hit-and-run DUI accident. What can I do?

You should contact your own insurance company. You may have medical payments insurance or other coverage that can help you.

Additionally, the police will try to find the hit-and-run driver. One of the main ways they do this is through red light cameras. While they are originally designed to catch red-light runners, red light cameras also help in hit-and-run cases. Because we are local to the East Valley, we know where the cameras are, and can help you figure out next steps.

Check out our red light camera maps on any of our location pages.

My Family Member Moved In to Take Care of Me After My DUI. Can They Get Compensation?

The short answer is Yes. While the longer answer is difficult to explain, feel free to call us for more information about including your relative’s compensation.

DUI FAQS: How Many Car Accidents Are Caused By Drugs?

According to the CDC, in 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. That is around 1% of the 111 million cases of adults reporting themselves for driving under the influence in anonymous reports. That year, drugs other than alcohol were involved in about 16% of car accidents. That figure includes both legal drugs, like prescription medication and marijuana in Arizona (and other states), and illegal drugs like cocaine, heroine, or LSD.

It is estimated that around 13% of drivers on weeknights and weekends have marijuana in their system, with that number being slightly higher in states that have legalized recreational use. The CDC also states that marijuana users (who are driving while high) are about 25% more likely to get into a car accident than non-marijuana users, although other factors may increase or decrease that risk.

DUI FAQS: What Drugs Are Known to Impair Driving? 

Many drugs can impair driving, including over the counter drugs, prescription medication, recreational drugs, and illegal drugs, and the list is far to long to include in this article. If you are taking prescription medication, check with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to drive.

Prescription medication can impair driving in many ways. Some prescription drugs may impair your judgement or induce nausea or drowsiness. Others can lessen your coordination ability. Even more have common side affects of dizziness, shakiness, or an irregular heartbeat.

Stronger prescription medication, like opioids, sedatives, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants have also been associated with a higher crash risk. To make it even more confusing, some prescription medication is perfectly fine to drive with when taken on its own, but if it’s taken in conjunction with other medication, drugs, or alcohol becomes an increased crash risk.

For More Information, Take a Look At These Articles: DUI FAQS

In order to help you find the information you need, we’ve compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions. Either click on the question or DUI FAQS to read the article, or read on in this article to learn about the laws behind DUI.

What are my rights as a drunk driving victim when the at-fault driver goes to court? 

Can I get paid for the frustration and suffering that comes with being in a DUI accident? 

If I’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident, will I have to go to civil or court? 

What if the person who hit me has had more than one DUI? 

What happens if the person who hit me had an open beer in their car? 

How can I get paid by the bar who let the person who hit me drive? 

Why are DUI accidents the worst type of accidents to be in? 

Does a bar have liability in a case where they kept serving the at-fault driver? 

How do I know I’m getting a fair settlement for my DUI case? 

What happens if the drunk driver leaves the scene of the accident without giving their contact information? 

What are peripheral injuries in a DUI accident and how can I prepare for them? 

What does it mean if I have a headache after my DUI accident? 

What are punitive damages, and what do they mean for my settlement? 

What is the BAC limit and laws in AZ? 

What are common defenses for DUI hit-and-run cases? 

Get Help Now: DUI FAQS

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from DUI accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you have been in a DUI accident our DUI FAQS can help you or contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

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Brenden Lewis
a month ago

So I suffered a tragic motorcycle accident leaving me injured and quite unhappy…… also the bike was totaled. This all star law team secured a large settlement for all my suffering. This process was very well advised by an aggressive and determined lawyer. All I can say is now I’m left a very happy man. Thank you karissa for working quick to bring my tragic story to a much warmer end. Just call them! You won’t regret it!

Shayianna Guyton
a month ago

They literally conversed with me every step of the way throughout my journey. Thank you guys

I was very pleased with my experience. They kept me informed the whole way through the process and checked on me through my treatment. Definitely would recommend

My dad was in a car accident and during those difficult moments, Phoenix Accident and Injury Law firm has been there for us. They care for their clients, will walk you through everything you need to know step by step, they follow up, very easy to reach and fast to respond. And one thing is for sure! they will fight for you! we felt safe with them! Me and the entire family thank them all so much for all their help! These people that works here are amazing!

Jenifer henke
a year ago

I was in an accident that resulted in getting whiplash and a concussion. I contacted Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm that day. Everyone was helpful (Rhea, Karissa, and Jeff) from the very beginning to the very end. They sent me to a physical therapy location that was pretty far away but the doctor and physical therapist were very kind so I did make the trek. They handled all aspects of my case in a timely manner and answered all my questions. They got the max amount possible, and from that, paid the medical bills and took their fair cut. I would not hesitate to recommend them to family or friends.

I would give ten stars if I could. This law firm is about as professional and friendly as it gets!! They stayed in constant contact with me and answered every question I had. I got a settlement that was higher than I expected and will definitely use this law firm again. I highly recommend hiring them to handle your legal issues!!

Fernando Lopez
a year ago

My experience with this team was superb, as they were ongoing with the case and making sure that the client gets what they deserve. I recommend anyone looking for a accident law group that this is the team you want to be representing you!!

Kimberly Legaspi
2 years ago

What can I say about the Thompson Law Firm? They are AMAZING!! It’s never fun when you need an accident lawyer because you are pretty much in a bad place. Shane and the staff have been wonderful, kept me informed at every step of this process. I would recommend Thompson Law Firm to anyone, in fact, I have referred several friends already!! Thank you Thompson Law Firm for everything you did for me!!!

Amanda Olney
2 years ago

These guys were absolutely amazing. They were very clear with me about what I needed to do on my end and I saw fast results. I just recommended them to a friend a week ago and he also dealt with my mother's case. I wouldn't see anyone else.

2 years ago

Karissa and Shane were amazing! They were there for any questions I had and checked up on me regularly. Highly recommend these guys!!

Karissa Murphy
2 years ago

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