The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

February 2013 Archives

Dram Shop Laws and DUI Liability

In too many DUI cases, someone other than the driver gets hurt or even killed. But under Arizona’s dram shop laws, the driver isn’t the only one responsible.

Criminally speaking, only the driver will face charges. The criminal system generally punishes the person who was involved in the crime, not the person who unknowingly contributed.

But when it comes to a civil case for damages, whether that is hospital bills or wrongful death, the victim and his family can sue the person who sold the alcohol too.

How Social Host Laws Can Hold You Liable

Legally speaking, a social host can be held liable for any injuries a drunken guest causes after driving away from a party. Now doesn't that put a damper on your party plans?

Well it shouldn't. Arizona's laws aren't as strict as social host laws elsewhere in the country. For example, in Arizona you won't be held liable for serving a drunken guest who then hits someone with his car, even if you served him too much or maybe should have taken away his keys.

But there is one specific exception: serving underage guests.

More Than a DUI: Sentencing Enhancements in Arizona

DUI laws are meant to punish drivers for endangering others, which means if your DUI is especially dangerous, you can expect some sentencing enhancements. Arizona law has harsher punishments for drivers who endanger others beyond just drinking and driving.

Those additional punishments can include a longer incarceration or higher fines, or both. It could also mean additional charges or changing a misdemeanor to a felony.

If you're busted for a DUI you can expect some serious punishment. But if you meet the factors for a sentencing enhancement, it can be even worse.

Here's what we mean:

Challenging DUI Blood Test Results: It Can Be Done

Challenging a DUI blood test may sound like an impossible task. But there are several ways to do it if you think the results are unfair.

That doesn't mean the challenge will always be successful. But a test that shows your blood alcohol level was over the legal limit -- 0.08% for adults 21 and over in Arizona -- isn't necessarily a guarantee that you'll lose in court.

Mistakes happen with blood tests; the technicians are only human. To take advantage of that, you just need to know where mistakes are most likely to happen. Some examples of potential mistakes include: