How to Expunge a DUI in Phoenix, Arizona
The legal limit for the amount of alcohol you can have in your bloodstream in Arizona is 0.08 per cent. There are different degrees of offence for different amounts over this limit. Between 0.08 and 0.14 per cent, you may be charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and driving with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) over 0.08 per cent.
For amounts above 0.15 per cent, the charges are DUI, driving with a BAC over 0.08 per cent AND Extreme DUI. Note, however, that the authorities do not have to prove your BAC was over 0.08 per cent, merely that your driving was impaired.
Clearly, it's better not to drink and drive at all. If you are stopped for DUI, know your rights and be on your best behavior. This is not the time for jokes or wisecracks or reminding the officer who pays his salary. Do not offer a confession at this time. You have the right to decline to submit to a field test, to allow a search of your car or to answer questions. Do this politely. Your attitude and demeanor are taken into consideration and the more cooperative you are, the better off you will be. You are, however, required to take a blood or urine test if one is offered to you. This is called 'implied consent', and, whether or not you remembered it, you agreed to it when your drivers license was issued to you.
If you are convicted of DUI in Arizona, it is possible to have the conviction removed from your record. This is not strictly synonymous with the term, 'expunge'. That process is reserved for people under the age of 18. You can, however, have the conviction set aside. Once you have fulfilled all of your financial obligations to the courts and completed your DUI probation period, and you have managed to stay out of trouble, you should consider applying to have the conviction removed from your record.
To have a DUI removed from your record, you need to obtain the services of an attorney who is qualified and experienced in this area and file a motion to have the conviction removed. If the motion is granted, the DUI will remain visible to the police authorities, but it will not be accessible to potential employers, etc. It will appear to them as a dismissal, and you may legally state that you were not convicted of the crime. If you are arrested and later cleared of the charges, you may apply to the Motor Vehicle Department to have the arrest completely expunged from your record.
While the laws on expunging a DUI in Arizona and for having a conviction removed from your record are there to give people a second chance at a normal life, it is better, and cheaper if you don't drive after drinking alcohol. At the very least, taking a cab home is far cheaper than legal fees.