What Should I Do After Being Arrested for DUI in Arizona?
1. Write Down What Happened.
- Your best memory of the events will be right after your arrest. To the best of your ability write out what happened before, during, and after your arrest. Don’t leave out any details; the slightest thing you remember could make a big difference. Remember, the police wrote their report, and unless you write your own, the only recording of the event will be their version.
2. Think About Talking to a Lawyer.
- Too often people think every DUI in Arizona is a slam dunk for the prosecutor and hiring an attorney is a waste of money. This just isn’t true. There are many good reasons to hire a lawyer: you will have someone you can talk to about your case at any time, you will have someone fighting for you, and you will not feel lost in what is a complicated system. Most attorneys offer free consultations, so why wouldn’t you at least talk to a few? They are only a phone call away.
3. 15 days, 15 days, 15 days.
- For most DUI arrests the officer takes your license and gives you a few pieces of paper. What you are not told is that one of those pieces of paper (the pink one) is a legal notification that your license will be suspended in 15 days. The suspension will last 90 days, although you can get it back in 30 days (more on that below). Fortunately you can challenge your suspension by requesting an administrative hearing. By doing this your license will not be suspended in 15 days. Either you or an attorney can request the hearing. Be careful if you request it yourself because, if done incorrectly, it could lead to more problems than you realize.
4. What Happens if I Win My Case or Lose my Case?
- If you win your case, either because it was dismissed or you won at trial, then you still have to deal with MVD. They can still suspend your license after a hearing. If, however, you took a plea or lost at trial, there are many requirements you will have to fulfill if you want to get back your license.
5. Alcohol Screening.
- No matter what, you will need to complete an “alcohol screening.” This can be done at any facility approved by the Department of Health, including the Scottsdale Treatment Institute. This alcohol screening is part one, but it is an essential part. Before you can get your license back after a DUI conviction (because it will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days) you must at least complete this screening.
6. DUI Education.
- After the screening you will be given a required number of hours of classes to complete. The minimum is 16 hours of classes. The screener is also required to give you the names of three DUI Education providers in your area, such as Scottsdale Treatment Institute. Usually it makes the most sense to go to the same place for both your screening and classes so that all your documentation is being held and transmitted by one provider. The Court may order you to go to a specific provider, and of course you must always follow the Court’s orders.
7. Traffic Survival School
- You will also be required to complete Traffic Survival School (TSS) because DUI’s carry 8 points on your license. TSS is NOT defense driving and cannot be completed online. Some Alcohol Treatment providers, like the Scottsdale Treatment Institute, have integrated TSS and other programs into the services they provide. Again, it is usually easiest to go somewhere that can provide all the services you need so that they can guide you and have all your information.
8. Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
- Even first time DUI convictions require that, after completing the mandated 30 day suspension, you must have an IID placed on your car before you can start driving again. Depending on different factors, this could be for up to two years or for a minimum of six months.
- With a DUI car insurance rates will always go up. Sometimes people are required to get a special type of insurance in addition to their regular insurance. It is called “SR-22.” Make sure you are aware of all the requirements for your particular coverage by speaking with a knowledgeable insurance agent.
- If you are reading this you just experienced a pretty awful event. Getting arrested is never easy, and the prospect of dealing with everything listed here may seem daunting. With that being said it has been my experience that, despite the stress and anxiety that people go through, they always come out the other end of it just fine. So take a breath, and give yourself a break.
This information was provided by Bretton Barber, Esq. Bretton is the owner of the Barber Law Group, PLLC, a criminal defense firm that represents people facing DUI charges throughout all of Maricopa County.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.