Football Star Arrested For DUI & Other Criminal Offenses

Consuming alcohol can be a huge part of socializing and nightlife. However, it also leads to bad decision-making, with one of the most dangerous decisions a person can make after drinking being getting behind the wheel. In the past, arranging a Designated Driver or trying to find a taxi were the only options for intoxicated celebrants looking for a ride home. Now, with rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, as well as self-driving options like Waymo, ride unavailability is no longer an excuse for driving under the influence. One of the latest well-known names to be arrested for drunk driving is Georgia running back Trevor Etienne. 

Etienne is 20 years old and Georgia’s top running back after transferring from Florida. On Sunday, March 24, 2024, he was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane/improper driving on the road, and affixing materials that reduced the visibility of windows/windshield. His exact BAC, or blood alcohol content, at the time of arrest was not released, but was classified as “less than safe.” Like in Arizona, Georgia drivers can be arrested for DUI with a BAC of less than 0.08, which is the standard level for sobriety in most states. It should also be noted that Etienne is still not of legal drinking age, which could have impacted the charges against him. An arrest at the onset of his career could create issues and cause him to face obstacles in his career that would not have otherwise been present. When facing strict criminal penalties due to a DUI arrest, it’s important to seek high-quality defense representation. If you’ve been arrested in Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona, for driving under the influence, our firm can assist you in fighting the charges against you. To get started with your free consultation by phone, call 602-661-0988

Football Star Arrested For DUI & Other Criminal Offenses

Arizona’s DUI Classifications

The driver’s BAC at the time of arrest is a huge factor in how the defendant will be charged in a DUI prosecution in Arizona. Other factors include if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle if the driver was under 21 years old, and other special factors that can increase misdemeanor DUI charges to felony charges. 

  • 0.01 BAC: A driver under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI for any amount of alcohol in their system in Arizona. When a driver under 21 years old is arrested with a BAC of less than 0.08, this is referred to as a “baby DUI.” 
  • 0.04 BAC: A CDL driver cannot operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC higher than 0.04. Commercial vehicles are often much larger and heavier than standard vehicles, meaning they must be operated with more care and precision. That is why CDL drivers can be arrested for DUI at a lower BAC than drivers of standard vehicles. 
  • 0.05 BAC: A driver of any type of vehicle with a BAC of 0.05 to 0.08 can be arrested for DUI if they appear to be under the influence. This is up to the discretion of the police officer, and the driver will be categorized as impaired to the slightest degree. 
  • 0.08 BAC: This is the level at which a driver is presumed drunk in Arizona. Without any special factors present, this type of DUI is a misdemeanor. 
  • 0.15 BAC: A driver whose BAC reaches this level can be charged with Extreme DUI. While still a misdemeanor, it comes with stricter penalties about the increased danger of operating a motor vehicle while highly intoxicated. 
  • 0.20 BAC: A driver arrested with a BAC of 0.20 or higher in Arizona will be charged with Super Extreme DUI. This is still a misdemeanor if no special factors are present, but will come with stricter penalties than a regular or Extreme DUI. 

Baby DUI

As mentioned above, a Baby DUI is when a driver under 21  years old is arrested for trace amounts of liquor in their system, or a BAC lower than 0.08. Unlike the rest of Arizona’s DUI charges, a baby DUI conviction doesn’t carry a mandatory jail sentence. The defendant can still be sentenced to jail, but the judge isn’t required by law to do so. The defendant can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail. The drawback of a conviction under the Baby DUI distinction is that the driver’s license can be suspended for up to 2 years. This can be highly detrimental to a young person in school or just starting their career. A Baby DUI should be defended just as vigorously as a standard DUI. For your free consultation with one of our experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers, call 602-661-0988

Aggravating Factors for DUI in Arizona

Several factors can turn a DUI from a misdemeanor into a felony in Arizona. If the defendant causes an accident that results in bodily injury or death, they can be charged with a felony such as vehicular manslaughter in addition to DUI. Whether or not the defendant causes an accident, they can be charged as a felon for DUI if they have a passenger younger than 15 with them at the time of the arrest. If the driver has 2 other DUIs on their record from the past 7 years, the third DUI is considered a felony. The driver can also be charged as a felon if they were arrested for DUI with an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle or while under a court order to have one installed. The driver can also be charged with felony DUI if their driver’s license is revoked, canceled, suspended, etc. Lastly, a DUI is increased from a misdemeanor to a felony in Arizona if the driver is arrested while driving the wrong way on a highway. All of these factors show that the driver was putting other people in danger and/or that they have a history of driving under the influence. 

A misdemeanor DUI in Arizona is serious enough already, but a driver facing Aggravated DUI charges needs to craft a strong defense or be prepared for harsh consequences. Convicted felons lose certain civil rights and will struggle to find housing, employment, and other opportunities that require background checks. If you’ve been arrested for Aggravated DUI in Arizona, don’t hesitate to contact our firm for your free consultation at 602-661-0988.  

Reckless Driving vs. DUI

Trevor Etienne was charged with both reckless driving and DUI. However, reckless driving is often used as a plea bargaining tactic, especially in Arizona as reckless driving doesn’t carry mandatory jail time like DUI does. When the prosecution has too much evidence against a defendant for the charges to be dismissed, their attorney might attempt plea bargaining instead. Here, the defendant would agree to plead guilty, usually in exchange for benefits like a lesser criminal charge or avoiding jail time. Not every DUI defendant can execute a reckless driving plea bargain. For your free consultation with a skilled Arizona criminal defender experienced in every step of the process, from arrest to plea bargaining and even trial, call 602-661-0988

Let Our Skilled Lawyers Build Your Defense Case

It’s no secret that people who are rich and famous, such as football players, often get off easy when charged with criminal offenses. Most drivers arrested for DUI in Arizona will not benefit from this, and could face several months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. There is no time to waste if you’ve been arrested for DUI charges, as the process occurs fairly quickly. Arizona Zero Down DUI can review your case to determine the best legal strategy for your situation. We are prepared to vigorously defend your case from start to finish. To get started with your free consultation, contact us through our online form or call us at 602-661-0988.

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