The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.


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945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

Recent Blog Posts

Understanding Arizona's Ignition Interlock Devices

 Posted on April 16, 2020 in DUI

Tucson DUI Defense AttorneysArizona has harsh DUI penalties, even for first offenders. Arizona was also one of the first states to require a driver convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device. If convicted with a DUI, a driver will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device at his or her own expense, in addition to paying fines and undergoing mandatory driving education and counseling. If you are facing a DUI charge, you should be aware of how Arizona’s ignition interlock devices may apply to you.

Determining Whether Interlocks Apply.  Ignition interlock devices only apply if the driver was convicted of an alcohol-related DUI, and do not apply if the driver was under the influence of another substance, such as marijuana or prescription drugs.

How the Device Works.  An interlock device requires a driver to blow into the device before the vehicle can start. If the device detects a prohibited level of alcohol, usually .02 or higher, the device registers a failure, and .the car will not start.

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Preliminary Breath Tests 101

 Posted on April 14, 2020 in DUI

Tucson DUI Defense AttorneysIt may seem like there’s no hope for your DUI case:  the police officers have a breath test result and its over the legal limit.  However, the reality of both preliminary breath test devices and other breathalyzers is that they are often inaccurate, improperly calibrated, and, in certain circumstances,  cannot be used in Court against you. This Q&A gives a quick guide on preliminary breath tests, where officers will obtain a single breath sample using a handheld breath testing device.

What is a PBT Test? In Arizona, officers can capture a sample of your breath for measurement using a handheld device, commonly called a preliminary or portable breath testing device.  During the DUI investigation, officers may ask you to blow into the PBT. The device analyzes your breath for alcohol and returns an estimating number of that person’s blood-alcohol content (BAC).

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Top Ten Questions About Tucson Arizona Marijuana DUI Laws

 Posted on March 27, 2020 in DUI

1.Is it illegal to drive with marijuana in my system?

See Answer

2.Do I need a lawyer if I am arrested for DUI marijuana?

See Answer

3.What if I have a medical marijuana card?

See Answer

4.Do I have to be high in order to be guilty of Marijuana DUI?

See Answer

5.What kind of tests do they have for marijuana DUI?

See Answer

6.Are the tests for marijuana DUI reliable?

See Answer

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Throwback Thursday, DUI Style

 Posted on March 26, 2020 in DUI

Arizona DUI AttorneysState ex.rel. Verburg v. Jones, 121 P.3d 1283, 211 Ariz. 413 (App., Div. 1, 2005)

In this case, the Division One Court of Appeals was considering a special action filed by the State, challenging the reversal of a DUI conviction where a trial court had allowed the State to present evidence at trial that a DUI driver had refused to conduct field sobriety tests. Division One overturned the reversal, and held that the refusal to submit to field sobriety tests was admissible at a DUI trial. 

The holding is premised on the assumption that the field sobriety tests are a lawful search when supported by reasonable suspicion that a DUI offense has been committed. The Court of Appeals wrote:

"Because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the defendant was driving under the influence, the search by conducting field sobriety tests was lawful, and   therefore properly admitted."

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Out-of-State Prior Convictions and Arizona DUIs

 Posted on December 20, 2019 in DUI

Arizona DUI Law FirmBy Michelle Behan, The Behan Law Group

            In Arizona, the penalties for a DUI increase if the driver has previously been convicted of a DUI.  Penalty-enhancing prior convictions are not limited to DUIs that occurred in Arizona.  Under certain circumstances, an out-of-state conviction for DUI can enhance an Arizona DUI.  The penalties for second offense DUIs in Arizona that occur within seven years are harsh, and range from 30-180 days in jail, fines and fees in excess of $3,500, and supervised probation.  A third DUI within seven years is a felony, and will carry a sentence of 4 months -2.5 years in the state prison. 

            Statutory Elements

            In order for a court to determine whether an out-of-state DUI conviction can constitute a prior in Arizona, the court takes a look at the elements of the out-of-state statute the driver was convicted of violating.  If those elements are the same as the elements of the Arizona statute, then the out-of-state prior counts as a penalty enhancing Arizona prior.  In State v. Ault, the Arizona Supreme Court established that the reviewing court must conclude that the foreign conviction includes, “every element that would be required to prove an enumerated Arizona offense.”  157 Ariz. 516, 521, 759 P.2d 1320, 1325 (1988). 

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 Posted on November 07, 2019 in DUI

Arizona DUI Alcohol Defense AttorneyA year-long investigation by the New York Times determined that breath alcohol tests are untrustworthy. The Times published an article revealing that tens of thousands of breath alcohol tests are scientifically unreliable. In an article titled These Machines Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them the Times wrote, “Alcohol breath tests, a linchpin of the criminal justice system, are often unreliable.”

The investigation included interviews of forensic scientists, industry representatives, independent experts, defense attorneys, court orders, and internal documents related to breath alcohol devices across the country.  As part of the investigation, the Times determined that there were several reasons why alcohol breath tests were unreliable.

The first reason that the test results are incorrect is due to the design flaws in the machines themselves.  The investigation uncovered that the basic programming of these breath alcohol machines, called ‘source code’ often contained mathematical errors that should have been discovered by even the most simple verification. Manufacturers fought tooth and nail to prevent defense attorneys and courts from gaining access to the source code.

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 Posted on August 22, 2019 in DUI

Arizona DUI Alcohol Defense

DUI Arrest in Tucson? Breath Alcohol Test? For a long time, the Tucson Crime Lab has known that the breath testing device they use, called an Intoxilyzer 8000, can be off by as much as 11.7%.  The state tried to stop this information from being used in court.  But Tucson DUI Lawyer Michelle Behan, known nationwide as Miss DUI Arizona, together with other defense attorneys just won a three-hearing when a judge ruled to allow this evidence to be used in court to defend someone charged with DUI. This information could radically change your case.

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 Posted on August 08, 2019 in DUI

DUI Arrest in Arizona? Blood Alcohol Test? Your test may be challenged if there was an insufficient amount of preservative in the blood tubes. Tucson DUI Lawyer Michelle Behan, known nationwide as Miss DUI Arizona, has learned through her sources that a lot of tubes that were used to draw blood for DUI alcohol tests failed to contain the proper amount of preservatives. There is a recall in effect right now for many of these blood alcohol vials (made by Becton Dickenson). This could render the test results false or invalid. 

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 Posted on July 31, 2019 in DUI

Arizona DUI Defense

Arizona DUI Attorney Michelle Behan recently spearheaded a challenge to the DUI breath alcohol testing program run by the Tucson Police labs. She and others discovered that the breath alcohol tests were off target by an amount that makes some people who receive an #ArizonaDUI, #ExtremeDUI or #SuperExtremeDUI arrests not guilty. 

The TPD DUI crime laboratory is attempting to prevent this evidence from being used in court. Michelle, also known as Miss DUI Arizona,  along with a team of DUI defense attorneys, argued that the truth behind the breath testing must be made public.

Very few Pima County DUI attorneys are involved in this challenge. If you want to find out whether your test might be affected by this information, call Behan Law Group at 520-220-5047. If you or a loved one have been subjected to this test, the future WILL depend on this call. #AZDUIAttorney #MissDUIArizona #BreathAlcoholDefenses

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Where Are the Arizona DUI Checkpoints Near Me Tonight?

 Posted on July 03, 2019 in DUI

shutterstock_744414736.jpgDUI checkpoints, or DUI roadblocks, are run throughout Arizona. DUI Checkpoints often receive federal funding for checkpoints run around holidays such as July 4th (Independence Day), Memorial Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve and Day. The roadblocks might pop up for several days or at several locations.

The United States Supreme Court has approved roadblocks but requires that they have several features:

  • The roadblock should be well-lit with proper signage and safety cones etc.;
  • Stops must be made systematically (such as every 3rd car) and not arbitrarily changed;
  • Officers at checkpoints must be given very limited discretion as to what they can or cannot do;
  • The purpose of the roadblock must be lawful (such as to catch drunk drivers) and not for the detection of ordinary criminal wrongdoing;
  • There must be an operational plan approved by supervisory personnel;

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