What Is Drunk Driving in The State of Arizona?

what is drunk drivingGetting pulled over for a DUI is never a fun time for anyone. Even getting pulled over under the suspicion of being drunk can be embarrassing, even if you haven’t had a sip of alcohol. There are different levels of drunkenness though. Not everyone is affected by alcohol in the same way. A six-pack for one person could be as potent as one drink for another.

When you find that you have been pulled over and you are facing a possible DUI, make sure you call an expert DUI attorney in Arizona to build your defense.

“Drunk” Doesn’t Necessarily Describe It

The fun thing about the English language is that it has so many different words and meanings, even slang classifies as language. The word “drunk” is a loosely defined word. It is used to blanket both the minor to the extreme levels of being intoxicated. Saying that someone is drunk could mean several different things.

  • Level One: Buzzed
    • Buzzed is the beginning stages of feeling the alcohol in your system. You still function as if you were sober and you probably have not reached the legal limit if administered a breathalyzer test.
  • Level Two: Tipsy
    • Tipsy is when you start to feel “good”. The amount of alcohol that has been consumed has given you a light-headed feeling.
  • Level Three: Drunk
    • This is where you find the word drunk. It is one step away from the highest level of drunken stupor that allows you to still resemble a human being. This is where the decision-making processes are compromised, and balance is distorted.
  • Level Four: Plastered, hammered, wasted, smashed
    • This is the last step before “blackout” drunk. You will more than likely feel the effects of your alcohol consumption in the morning and you may not remember how you got home.

This lesson in vocabulary is to explain that different levels of intoxication also bring about different levels of blood alcohol content.

1 Drink, 2 Drink, 3 Drink, More?

Every person’s body is different and every person’s body metabolizes alcohol differently, but the Arizona Department of Public Safety has a chart on their website that tries to illustrate the blood alcohol content in a person of a specific weight after one hour from consumption of an alcoholic beverage.

They define a single drink as one of the following:

  • 1 ounce of 86 proof liquor
  • 3 ounces of wine
  • 12 ounces of beer

The ranges for the blood alcohol levels are as follows:

  • Less than .05% BAC, use caution if you are going to drive
  • .05% to .079% BAC may be impaired and probably starting to show signs of being intoxicated
  • .08% BAC or higher, presumed for all intents and purposes to be under the influence

Looking at the chart, it is easily assumed that one drink from the above is not going to put anyone over the legal limit or consider them possibly impaired. This is why you see a lot of restaurants offering alcoholic beverages to their customers but within a limit.

The pattern seems to be every 40 pounds of a person can tolerate another drink. To put this in perspective, a 240-pound person can presumably drink 6 drinks before they are considered over the influence. On the flipside, a person who is 100 pounds lighter, weighing in at 140 is over the legal limit at 4 drinks.

Terminology and “Drunkenness” Matter

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been pulled over for being under the influence, but you know that you are well below the legal limit if there was an accident the officer may still try to book you for a DUI.

If this is the case and you are charged, you need to hire a DUI lawyer in Arizona to handle your case and work toward either getting the charges lessened or dropped completely. They will use the evidence from the accident as well as your blood alcohol content to build your defense.

Find out about advanced roadside impaired driving enforcement in Arizona.