Arizona police arrested several motorists for drugged driving during the latest DUI sobriety patrol conducted in the state.
The recent Labor Day weekend was a very busy time for police officers across Arizona. Various law enforcement agencies were participating in a DUI crackdown, and over 580 people were arrested for the crime. This was an increase of 16 percent from last year's Labor Day drunk driving campaign.
The number of individuals facing DUI charges due to drug use was concerning to officials. Over 100 of the DUI arrests were the result of motorists being under the influence of some kind of illegal drug, an increase of 21 percent from 2013. These stops often require the involvement of drug recognition experts (DREs), who are police officers specially trained to detect when a motorist has been using drugs.
The DREs conduct several tests when investigating drivers that they suspect have used drugs. If the motorists perform poorly on any of the tests, the officer may order a test to determine both the amounts and types of drugs currently present in the systems of the individuals who have been stopped. Motorists cannot refuse these blood or chemical tests under the state's implied consent laws, or else they will immediately lose their driving privileges.
Drugged driving is a very significant offense in Arizona, and prosecutors take these cases very seriously. The penalties for a drugged driving conviction are the same as those for any other kind of DUI charge. Even a first offense could result in jail time, with the possibility of 180 days in the most severe cases. Additional offenses only add to the penalties, and if an individual is charged with a third DUI within a seven-year period, it is possible that felony charges may be handed down.
The crackdown by police in the region could lead to many individuals facing DUI charges. If you have been arrested and are charged with a crime, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights as soon as possible.
You should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to begin building your defense. Your attorney can help you understand the seriousness of the charges, and also answer your questions about the process. This allows you to be able to carefully consider all of your various options, and make the decision that is best for your future.
The consequences of a conviction are often very significant, especially for individuals still in school. If you are convicted of a crime, even a DUI, you could have a much more difficult time finding employment once you have finished. You need to be sure that you are informed about these possible complications before you decide to simply plead guilty.