DUI Charges: The effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in “Arizona v. Zaragoza” made it easier for persons to be found guilty of DUI even if they were not driving.

“Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle” Tempe AZ

In Arizona, under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382 a person a person may be charged with a DUI if they are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, and in “Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle (APC)”. A Supreme Court decision Arizona v. Zaragoza actually made it easier to charged persons who are not actually driving with a DUI. It held that in determining if a person is in APC, a totality of circumstance supported by evidence of whether a person is currently or imminently in control of a vehicle; and whether or not that control presented a real danger to themselves or others. The Supreme Court stated that although the State of Arizona did not define APC, it could be considered on a case’s own merits based on the totality of certain factors.


AZ DUI Laws: Determining Factors for Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

Under A.R.S. § 28-1381 and A.R.S. § 28-1382: It is a violation of the law for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired, due intoxicating alcohol or drugs. Since AZ DUI Laws do not define this standard, alternative jury instructions were provided by the court in Arizona v. Zaragoza. The jury used these guidelines to conclude their verdict. These guidelines are currently being used. (List not all inclusive):

• Whether or not the vehicle was running;
• Whether or not the key was in the ignition;
• Whether or not the ignition was turned on;
• Where the key to the ignition was located;
• Where the driver was found in the vehicle by police;
• What position the driver was found in;
• Conscious state of the person, awake or sleeping;
• Whether or not the vehicle’s headlights were on;
• Where the vehicle was found or stopped;
• Location of the vehicle;
• Whether it appeared that the driver pulled over voluntarily or not;
• Day or night, and time the person was found;
• Climate and Weather conditions;
• Whether the vehicle’s heat or air conditioner was running; Windows down or up;
• Any other reasonable explanation that can be supported by the evidence for a reason the driver was found under the circumstances.


DUI Lawyer Tempe AZ

The penalties in Arizona are a harsh as the DUI laws are strict. All DUI convictions currently result in jail terms, ignition interlock devices on vehicles, alcohol/drug counseling and treatment. If you or someone you know were arrested for DUI charges, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case, and options for defense. There may be defenses you are not aware of that if used, may help you get a favorable outcome in your case; avoid jail time; and help you get your driving privileges reinstated.

Law Office of James Novak
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe AZ 85282
(480) 413-1499
www.Arizonacriminaldefenselawyer.com
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Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense
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