Can You Get a DUI if You Hire a Rideshare in Arizona?
If you’ve been drinking and need a way to get home, the best thing you can do is ask a friend or family member who is sober or call a taxi or rideshare company.
The risk of a DUI enters into play if you get behind the wheel of your car, drive a few blocks and realize your driving abilities are impaired. So you call a taxi or hail a rideshare who shows up to take you the rest of the way home.
But then events change and your best intentions can work against you. If the rideshare driver notices you are impaired, drops you at your vehicle and notifies the police, you could face DUI charges.
Proving such cases is more challenging because the law enforcement officer didn’t observe you operating your vehicle or having physical control over it while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
We’ll explain how this special circumstance can take place and why you should avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve been drinking to avoid such special circumstances in Arizona.
How a DUI Charge Could Be Valid in These Scenarios
Rideshare drivers likely feel as though they are doing the right thing by turning in individuals they believe to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. And, they might not want someone who has been drinking in the back seat of their vehicle due to risks of vomiting and the expense of cleaning up the mess from their vehicle.
But to prove a DUI, law enforcement will need to demonstrate that you operated your vehicle before hiring the rideshare. They might do this by demonstrating that your vehicle is now parked nowhere near a drinking establishment.
Or law enforcement might use your own words against you. That’s why it’s so important to invoke your fifth amendment rights during a traffic stop. If you admit to having driven your vehicle even a few blocks before deciding it was wise to hire a rideshare, you might be incrementing yourself even though you were trying to do the right thing.
While you might think that the DUI will be challenging for the prosecution to prove, realize that Arizona takes drinking and driving very seriously and has far more stringent laws compared to other states. Arizona pursues DUI charges in situations where other states would never do so.
Defense Strategies for Unique DUI Cases
If you’re facing a DUI charge, you should not sit back and allow it to unfold and hope for the best. Without a strong defense strategy, you’ll likely be convicted of the charges against you and face the life-changing repercussions of the experience.
Instead, you should work with an experienced Arizona DUI attorney who can aid you in building one of the following defenses.
- Your BAC increased between the time you were behind the wheel and the time of the traffic stop. Your blood alcohol content can continue to increase as your body metabolizes the alcohol. Therefore, at the time you were behind the wheel, your BAC might not have been illegal and you might not have been intoxicated at the time you had control of a vehicle.
- You never actually moved or assumed control of your vehicle. The prosecution bears the burden of proof in these cases. That means that they must prove that you did operate your vehicle. This will be challenging for them to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt unless the law enforcement officer witnessed it.
- The police failed to follow legal protocols during the traffic stop or arrest. This could mean that the way they administered field sobriety tests incorrectly or your arrest failed to meet the legal standards.
- The test results were unreliable. Blood alcohol level testing has several weaknesses that your attorney can work to bring to light.
Individuals facing DUI charges in Arizona should secure legal counsel as soon as possible. Doing so could have a large impact on their future. Contact our office now if you need a legal defense for a DUI.