DUI, Even if Below the Legal Limit

Alcohol Intake that Impairs Driving Can Result in DUI, Even if Below the Legal Limit

by Jeffrey D. Gautreaux, Attorney at Law, Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack, PC

It’s summertime in Prescott.

That means attending weekend festivals on the Courthouse Plaza, dining al fresco on the patio of one of our many wonderful restaurants and enjoying outdoor parties and barbecues at the homes of friends.

With each of these activities, alcohol often enters the picture. That’s not a problem if those drinking alcohol are 21 years of age or older, and they are consuming it responsibly. Responsible consumption of alcohol entails many things, including designating a driver or calling a cab, Uber or Lyft to take you home or on to your next destination.

Many of us may think that having a beer or two and then getting behind the wheel of our automobile does not put ourselves or others at risk.

But it may.

Even though one may not feel it, consuming even a single alcoholic beverage may impair one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. And, under Arizona law, operating a vehicle while impaired, even to the slightest degree, by alcohol is a criminal offense.

A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(1) provides that even a person who does not have a blood alcohol level above “the legal limit” of 0.8 can nevertheless be charged with DUI if alcohol has impaired the ability to drive a vehicle. That type of DUI is called DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree, and if you are charged with it, it can substantially impact your life.

The penalties for DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree include at least one day in jail, a fine, alcohol screening and counseling, as well as other penalties like a driver’s license suspension and the requirement of the installation of an ignition interlock device. Moreover, the penalties are much more severe for a second DUI within seven years of a prior DUI. A third DUI within seven years can be a felony offense, which can result in a prison sentence.

Getting charged with a DUI is avoidable. If you are unable to designate a sober driver, call one of our community’s numerous taxi cab companies, or use your smartphone to order an Uber or Lyft. You not only will be glad you did, but so will your family, your friends and your community.

Jeffrey D. Gautreaux focuses his practice in the areas of criminal law (including DUI defense), personal injury and general civil litigation. Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack, PC is a full-service law firm serving our community for more than 30 years. For more information about the firm go to mdkflaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: The materials in this article are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain legal advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the individual author.

We’re thankful to be a part of this community! Summer is busy around here so get out there and enjoy some of these fun activities:

Prescott Film Festival

Special screenings, events, gourmet dinners, wine, guest filmmakers and amazing indie films will be a part of the experience at the 10th Annual Prescott Film Festival June 7-15th! Free Filmmaker Boot Camp, workshops discussions and more all in the beautiful Performing Arts Center at Yavapai College.
June 7th – 15th
Performing Arts Center • 1100 E. Sheldon St. prescottfilmfestival.com

Breakfast with the Animals at Heritage Park Zoo

Join the Heritage Park Zoo for Breakfast with the Animals! Enjoy breakfast prepared by Chef Kristina Jones, owner of KitchAcademy who teaches cooking classes. While you enjoy breakfast, keepers will feed the featured animal, share interesting facts and artifacts concluding the program with a craft for all. 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., $25.00 for adults and $15.00 for children 12 & under. Pre-registration is required.
June 8th
1402 Heritage Park Road heritageparkzoo.org

Frontier Arizona Experience

Join Living History interpreters for a “day in the life” of soldiers, officers, and their wives in the Arizona Territory. Learn about Fort Whipple’s important founding influence in the Prescott area, and its colorful history–from military fort to hospital and everything in-between, starting at 10 a.m.
June 15th
Ft. Whipple Museum, 500 AZ-89, on the grounds of the VA Hospital • Free Admission sharlot.org

World’s Oldest Rodeo & Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade

Prescott is home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo, a week-long event that starts Monday, July 1st with day and night performances. Dress up in your favorite rodeo attires and head on over to enjoy festivities from barrel racing to bucking broncos! You can also join more than 30,000 folks Downtown around the Courthouse Plaza on Saturday, July 6th for the annual Prescott Frontier Days Parade starting at 9 a.m. If there is one thing Prescott knows how to do well, it’s a parade, so don’t miss it!