So you have been arrested while driving under the influence (DUI) and you may wonder what to expect. It is best to know what kinds of sanctions you face and how to continue your life after dealing with these sanctions.
In Arizona it is unlawful to drive or even by in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08 within two hours of driving. A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(2). Further, it is unlawful to drive or even be in physical control of a vehicle if you are under the influence of any drug or vapor substance. A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(1). There are stricter standards for drivers of commercial vehicles who may not drive with a BAC at or over 0.041 and drivers under 21 with any BAC level will be sanctioned with an aggravated DUI charge.
What sanctions to expect after an arrest
The level of sanctions you can expect after an arrest depend on your BAC and circumstances. If you are saddled with a DUI you typically will be sentenced to no less than 10 consecutive days in jail without any eligibility for probation. A.R.S. § 28-1381(I)(1) and you will be required to pay a fine of $200 or more. Further, you will have to equip your vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device that is approved under Arizona law. A.R.S. § 28-1381(I)(6).
The court may order community restitution or other assessments of about $500 to be deposited to the state treasurer. A.R.S. § 28-1381(I)(4)-(6). If this is not your first violation, both jail term duration and monetary fines will increase depending on how many violations you have.
It is important to note the effect a DUI will have on your driving record as well. Driving record points are accumulated whenever you are convicted of certain crimes and can result in driver’s license suspension and more.2 A DUI charge can add 8 or more points on your driving record within 1 year (12 months).3
If your license has been suspended and you complete the requirements of your criminal court sentence, you can reinstate your license by paying the applicable fee, submitting court clearance documents, passing any required DMV drivers license tests, and submitting proof of your insurance with an SR22 form.4
Arrests with a BAC of .15 or higher
Your first offense with a BAC of this level will come with jail time of 30 consecutive days or more and fines of $2,500 or more.5 A second offense carries a heftier weight of 120 days (4 months) or more of jail, high fines of $3,250 or more, and license revocation for 1 year (12 months).6
Arrests when you are driving without your license
If you are charged with a DUI or DWI while driving with a suspended, canceled, or revoked driver’s license you may be charged with an aggravated DUI/DWI. A.R.S. § 28-1383(A)(1). This is classified as a class 4 felony in Arizona. A.R.S. § 28-1383(L)(1). There are many scenarios in which you may be charged with an aggravated DUI, which results in having your driving privileged revoked and higher fines. A.R.S. § 28-1383(J)(1)-(2). Further, you will need to go through alcohol education treatment and obtain a certified ignition interlock device for your vehicle.7
No matter what sanctions you face, it is best to consult an experienced Phoenix attorney about your charges and what to do with your life afterwards.
 A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(4).
2 Suspended License in Arizona, dmv.org, http://www.dmv.org/az-arizona/suspended-license.php (last visited Sep. 16, 2014).
4 DUI and DWI in Arizona, dmv.org, http://www.dmv.org/az-arizona/automotive-law/dui.php (last visited Sep. 16, 2014).
5 Driver Services, azdot.gov, http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/driver-improvement/dui (last visited Sep. 16, 2014).