Sober Man Arrested for Drunk Driving Sues Surprise, AZ

Imagine 64 year-old Jessie Thornton’s surprise and frustration when he was recently pulled over by Surprise, Arizona police officers on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) despite being completely sober. Thornton, who was subjected to a sobriety test at the traffic stop, was arrested and brought to police headquarters where he passed both a Breathalyzer test and a blood analysis – neither detected alcohol in his system. Although the DUI charge was subsequently dropped, Thornton is suing the city of Surprise for damages. It’s clear police officers can make mistakes, so our Tucson criminal defense lawyers can help you if you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI offense.

What qualifies as a DUI under Arizona law?

Arizona state law prohibits anyone from driving or physically controlling a vehicle if he or she:

  • Is under the influence of intoxicating liquors, drugs, vapors, or a combination thereof, which may impair the driver
  • Has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher within a two-hour window of time prior to or after driving or controlling the vehicle
  • Shows traces of a prohibited drug in the body
  • Possesses a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more while operating a commercial motor vehicle

Potential DUI penalties

A first-time DUI offense is classified as Class 1 misdemeanor under Arizona law. If convicted of such an offense, a person faces the following penalties:

  • Minimum ten-day jail sentence
  • Minimum fine of $250
  • Potential requirement to perform community service, known as community restitution
  • Assessment of additional fines to be allocated to state prison and public safety funds amounting to $1,000
  • Use of an ignition interlock device

With such serious potential penalties, it’s important to contact a veteran Tucson DUI lawyer as quickly as possible if you or a loved one has been stopped on suspicion of a DUI. At the Benavidez Law Group, P.C., we are committed to aggressively pursuing your defense and helping you minimize any potential consequences.