You are driving home from an office happy hour, taking your eyes off the road for only a second to check your phone. When your eyes move back up they are drawn involuntarily to your rearview mirror as the flashing red and blue lights breaking the darkness behind you. You hold out hope that maybe the officer has turned on his lights to signal for you to move out of the way so he can chase a real criminal (a drug smuggler or a car thief or something). You slowly navigate your car to the shoulder and your heart drops as you see him following you. If this sounds familiar, you know that this is just the beginning of a very long and ugly experience in the criminal justice system. The following information should be helpful in navigating it.
If you haven't been arrested yet: Good for you. Know your rights. Review this guide to identify the steps to take, and missteps to avoid, prior to getting behind the wheel.
If you have been arrested:
1. How to request your police report. Under Arizona law, police reports are public records available upon request. This is a good thing, as your police report is the first document you are going to want to have. Before submitting it, it is always smart to check out the individual city's requirements. You can find more specific information here for Apache Junction, Avondale, Buckeye, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Peoria, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, and the Department of Public Safety.
2. How to request a hearing with MVD. This is MVD's online explanation of how to request a hearing if you wish to challenge your license suspension. You will generally have 15 days from the date of your arrest, or the date of the submission of your blood test to MVD, to request a hearing. If you fail to do so within that time period, your license will be suspended.
3. Understanding the penalties you face. There is, at this time, no quick and easy guide to understand the exact ramifications you face (we are working on one). In the meantime, mcdui.com offers the best database we know of to quickly identify the potential range of penalties for a given charge.
MVD Resources: Ramifications of a DUI extend beyond arrest. If you have been cited for a DUI, your license will typically be suspended for 90 days. If convicted, you may also face a license revocation. And you will be required to place an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The following links can help you navigate the system.
MVD-Approved Screening Providers. Depending on your driving history, you may be eligible for a restricted driving permit (enabling you to drive to and from work, doctor's appointments, court hearings, and other necessities) after 30 days. Most people are. Before you can go to your local MVD location and get your restricted license, however, you must complete a substance abuse screening at one of the facilities listed in this guide.
Preferred Interlock Provider. Depending on your BAC, you could be required to place an interlock on your vehicle for at least 6 months (and possibly as long as 24 months). The company we recommend is Safe Harbor. We don't get any type of referral fee or kickback. They simply seem to be the best company out there.
MVD Revocation Packet. If your license has already been revoked, and is eligible for reinstatement, you'll need to complete this document to complete the process.
The People's DUI Guide (coming soon)