What is "Impaired To The Slightest Degree?"

by Aaron Black • December 28, 2011

When most of us think about DUI, we think about being over the legal limit of a .08% BAC. What few people know is that when you are arrested for DUI in Phoenix, Arizona, you are always charged twice. The other charge falls under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381(a)(1) which says if a person is in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of n intoxicating substance and is "impaired to the slightest degree" than you are guilty of DUI.

There are two DUI charges so the prosecutor can have two chances of convicting you; they can get you for being over the .08 and for being "impaired to the slightest degree." The punishment is the same.

After handling approximately 1000 DUI cases in Phoenix, Arizona, "impaired to the slightest degree" in the simplest terms means - kind of tipsy. The police use their observations in order to say you were "impaired to the slightest degree." The police say you had bloodshot watery eyes, odor of alcohol, swayed when you exited the vehicle, failed the field sobriety tests, used your vehicle for balance, made a wide turn, did not use a blinker, drove slower than the posted speed limit....

What this basically means is the prosecution does not need your blood or breath results in order to bring DUI charges against you. All they need is evidence you were "impaired o the slightest degree." This is why you NEVER agree to perform field sobriety tests for the police officer. This is why you ALWAYS refuse the tests and you ALWAYS ask for a lawyer. Read my blog post What To Do If I Get Pulled Over For DUI to learn more about what to do when stopped.

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI contact Phoenix DUI Lawyer Aaron Black for experienced and aggressive representation 480-729-1683.

About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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