Why does my ticket say DUI-Liquor/Drugs/Vapors when there were no drugs involved?

Often people ask me why does their ticket for a DUI say “DUI-Liquor/Drugs/Vapors” when it was only alcohol related. The short answer is that what is written on the ticket or court document is just a short summary of the statute. There is not nearly enough room to print the whole statute in the small space.  The violation and arrest could be for alcohol only but the statute itself is broader than that and includes drugs and vapors. Your case simply falls under the umbrella of the statute- A.R.S. 28-1381A1 states:

A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

1. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.

It is also important to note that the A.R.S. 28-1381A1 is often just the initial charge. While every case is different, additional charges are usually added once the prosecutor obtains the results of the chemical test such as a blood or breath test you were given on the day of the incident.

These added charges are based on the either the presence of drugs or a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of over .08. If your blood is .15 to .19 they will be able to charge you with what is known as an “Extreme” DWI. If the blood results come back .20 or higher they can and will charge you with what is referred to as a  “Super Extreme” DWI.

If you have questions about your DUI charge or any other criminal law question please call my office at 520-261-2576 to set up an appointment.

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