Perhaps you have driven your car after having a beer or two on numerous occasions. You have never had a problem.

However, let us say law enforcement pulls you over because of a broken tail light. The officer smells alcohol on your breath, so instead of giving you a ticket, he arrests you on suspicion of DUI and now you are facing some stiff penalties.

Your first offense

In the state of Arizona, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 percent. If you drive a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is 0.04 percent, and if you are under the age of 21, you can face charges of driving under the influence with any amount of alcohol in your system. For your first offense, you will pay at least $250 in fines and you are looking at driver’s license suspension of 90 to 360 days. You could also spend from 24 hours to 10 days in jail.

The IID requirement

License suspension can be crippling if driving is the only way you can get to work, to class or to the grocery store. The court can order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you drive. An IID is a small computerized device with a mouthpiece that attaches to the wiring in your car. You breathe into the mouthpiece, and if your BAC level meets the acceptable standard, the car will start. There will be random tests as you drive, to make sure you are not stopping for a quick alcoholic drink along the way. An IID may be a nuisance, but it enables you to get back on the road.

Looking for weaknesses

If you face DUI charges, you may think that your only recourse is to accept the penalties the court imposes upon you, but there are options for your defense and ways to challenge the prosecution. Among those is to investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and question the reason behind it in order to arrive at the best outcome possible for your case.