DUI Laws and Repercussions in Arizona

DUI in Arizona can be prosecuted based on whether your ability to drive is impaired, even slightly, or by violating the “per se” law by having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 per cent or greater within two hours of driving. Penalties increase according to your blood alcohol level and whether you have a child in the car.

Possible DUI Offenses

Drinking under the influence (DUI) offenses in the state of Arizona can include the following:

  • Driving under the influence of any of the following either on its own or in combination - any drug, liquor, or toxic vapor-releasing substance
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater within two hours of operating a vehicle
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or greater
  • For those under the age of 21, driving with any amount of alcohol in their system

Penalties and Court Repercussions

A DUI or DWI conviction in Arizona will get you different punishments and penalties, depending on the type of DUI you’re convicted of and your criminal record.

If you are convicted of First-Time DUI with BAC above .08 per cent but below .15 per cent, you will receive 10 days in jail, a fine of up to $950, 90 days suspension of your license and up to five years probation. A first-offense extreme DUI will earn you 30 days jail time, up to $1,500 in fines, 90 days suspension of your license, and an Ignition Interlock Device. Felony DUIs will get four months minimum prison time and up to $151,750 in fines if your had no prior felony convictions.

The table below outlines the most common penalties and fines for a DUI in Arizona. Keep in mind there are other penalties, like DUI school, that also may be associated and costly. It is imperative that anyone facing a DUI charge in Arizona consult with an attorney.

Arizona DUI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $950 10 Days
90 Days to 1 Year
2nd Conviction $2,150 Up to 90 Days
1 Year
3rd Conviction $2,850 Up to 4 Months
3 Years

If you are arrested in Arizona for DUI, you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV.

Extreme DUI Charges for Extreme Intoxication

If your blood alcohol level is greater than 0.15 per cent within two hours of driving, you will be charged with an ‘extreme’ DUI, or DWI. Minors (under 21) can be charged with DUI if they are caught with any measurable alcohol in their body.

Possible Escalation to Felony

Arizona DUI/DWI cases will usually be treated as misdemeanors, but may be treated as felonies when the accused has two or more DUI/DWI convictions within 5 years of the current offense, no matter what state they were convicted in. If you commit DUI/DWI while your driving privilege is suspended or revoked, or if a child under the age of 15 was in the car at the time of the offense, your case may also be treated as a felony.

Trial By Jury

If you are accused of DUI/DWI in Arizona, you have a right to trial by a jury of six people. If you waive that right, a judge will try your case.

Chemical Testing

Driving in Arizona implies that you have consented to have your blood alcohol tested. If you refuse testing, your license will be suspended for a year if a first offense, two years if a second, in addition to any suspensions or revocations assigned by the court.

Breath tests must be administered using equipment approved by the Department of Health Service.  Blood tests must be administered by a nurse, doctor, or other qualified individual who is not the arresting officer.  In addition, drivers accused of a DUI offense have the right to request a second, independent, chemical test at their own expense.

A DUI charge is a serious offense which can cost you a lot of time, money and headaches if not handled properly. It's important to contact an Arizona DUI Attorney immediately once charged.

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