West Virginia Basketball Coach Steps Down Due To DUI Arrest

Working in professional sports, especially as a coach, would be a dream job for many people. But even successful people make mistakes, and that can take away from career opportunities they have spent their entire lives working for. Getting arrested for drinking and driving is a prime example of one of these kinds of mistakes. This month, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins stepped down from his position just hours after being arrested for DUI. He was caught driving with a BAC of more than double the legal limit. This came on the heels of controversial public statements regarding homophobia and Catholicism. Huggins is currently the third-ranking coach for wins in Division I. While the controversy may have contributed to him stepping down, undoubtedly the DUI arrest was the final straw for Huggins. This just goes to show that no one is immune from the negative effects that a criminal arrest can have on your life. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Arizona, you should seek out experienced legal counsel to protect your interests. To schedule your free phone consultation with a member of our Arizona DUI lawyers, call 480-448-9800.

DUI law in AZ

Arizona DUI Penalties

Being arrested for driving under the influence is a serious matter in any state but could be the most serious in Arizona. Arizona is notorious for having the strictest DUI laws in the country. One of the reasons behind this is that jail time is mandatory after an Arizona DUI conviction, even for a first-time offender. Arizona’s penalties are mostly based on the defendant’s BAC (blood alcohol content) at the time of the arrest and if they have previous DUI convictions. If a driver has a BAC of 0.05 to 0.079 at the time of the arrest, the driver may be considered intoxicated based on the law enforcement officer’s discretion. Once the driver hits 0.08, there is a legal presumption that the driver is intoxicated. If the driver has a BAC of 0.15 to 0.19, it is considered an Extreme DUI. If the driver’s BAC tests at .20 or above, they will be charged with Super Extreme DUI. 

When a driver is convicted of a first DUI in Arizona, they will need to spend at least one day in jail, no matter what. Technically the minimum sentence is 10 days, but 9 of those can be suspended. The defendant can expect to pay a minimum of $1,250 in fines and assessments, but the judge can order much higher fines when appropriate. The defendant’s driver’s license will also be suspended for several months or up to a year or longer. The driver will need to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in their vehicle to get their driver’s license back. A defendant convicted of DUI in Phoenix will also need to complete drug and alcohol screening and education, driving school, and community service. 

All of the offenses described above are at the misdemeanor level in Arizona. Things get more serious if the driver is charged with a felony DUI, also known as Aggravated DUI. Contrary to common belief, felony DUI isn’t based on BAC level at the time of the arrest. There are a few factors that can cause a driver to be charged with felony DUI in Arizona:

  • Driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 15.
  • Driving under the influence going the wrong way on a highway.
  • Driving under the influence with a driver’s license that is suspended, revoked, canceled, etc. 
  • Driving under the influence while ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed.
  • Being convicted of 3 or more DUIs in an 84-month (7-year) period.

The penalties are far more severe for a felony DUI than for a misdemeanor DUI. The minimum prison sentence for a felony DUI in Arizona is 4 months. The fines are higher, and the defendant’s driver’s license will be revoked rather than suspended. 

Can I Lose My Job If I’m Convicted Of a DUI?

Arizona generally is an at-will employment state. That means that an employer can terminate an employee for almost any reason that isn’t illegal discrimination absent an employment contract. Usually, an employment contract will allow an employer to terminate an employee for any type of criminal arrest or conviction, including DUI. However, just because you’ve been arrested or convicted of DUI doesn’t necessarily mean your employer will fire you. Some employers may not even be aware of your conviction if you are careful, and some may simply not care. However, it’s entirely possible that the repercussions of a Scottsdale DUI conviction could cause problems with your job. For example, you may need to miss work to serve your jail time, or you could have tardiness problems while waiting for your driver’s license suspension period to end. 

Many professions require some form of professional licensure. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals may see issues with their state examinations after a DUI conviction. Several professions rely heavily on driving, which is impacted by a DUI conviction. A defendant who relies on driving for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc., may need to find an alternative source of income after being arrested for driving under the influence in Arizona. Commercial truck drivers will also face significant issues if convicted of DUI. The legal limit for commercial truck drivers in Arizona is only .04. Additionally, a CDL holder convicted of DUI will have their CDL suspended for one year. A second conviction will result in permanent loss of their CDL. 

What Can I Do To Fight DUI Charges?

Just because you’re arrested for DUI in Arizona doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be convicted, although you may face negative consequences from an arrest alone. You should begin mounting your Arizona DUI defense as soon as possible. Review the specific facts of your situation to see if there were procedural errors or violations of your constitutional rights that could damage the prosecution’s case. You may also want to consider plea bargaining with the prosecution. Here, you would plead guilty to an agreed-upon charge in exchange for reduced penalties. If you want an attorney that has the time and resources to pour into your case and negotiations, you should consider private defense counsel. To schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Mesa DUI lawyers, call 480-448-9800. 

Mitigate The Damage To Your Future After An Arizona DUI Arrest

Whether you’re a college basketball coach or just an average person who watches the occasional basketball game, DUI charges can have a lasting negative impact on your life. It can take swift and aggressive defense to make sure that a small mistake doesn’t derail the rest of your choices in life. At Arizona Zero Down DUI Lawyers, we have experience helping our clients out of bad situations. We can assess your situation to determine the legal strategy that will yield the best outcome for you. Contact us to get started with your free consultation or call 480-448-9800

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Mesa, AZ 85202

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Phoenix, AZ 85003

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