What is the Penalty for DUI in Arizona?

Driving a car on the roads of Arizona is a privilege, not a right, according to the state’s Department of Transportation. Therefore, earning a driver’s license means accepting to oblige all the traffic laws, including the ones that refer to driving under influence (DUI).

When it comes to DUI, Arizona law is clear. It represents the offense of driving:

  • Under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance
  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08
  • Under the influence of a drug, as defined in section 13-3401 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Special Provisions for Underage DUI in Arizona Law

Although the limit for DUI is 0.08 for adult drivers, any driver under the age of 21 is prohibited from any kind of alcohol consumption before taking the wheel. This so-called “baby DUI” rule is enshrined in Arizona Revised Statutes section 4-244(34).
This is just one of the various ways in which DUI offenses are treated in Arizona, having an impact on the legal outcome, i.e. the sentence you may receive. Before we start discussing each type of sentence, we want to reinforce the idea of the importance of legal representation. If you are pulled over and fail a breathalyzer test, you should contact an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney to analyze your case and prepare your defense.

Standard DUI, First Offense

According to DUI Arizona law, if your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08, you are guilty of driving under influence. In order to avoid such a situation, you should take a look at the chart prepared by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which explains the correlation between body weight and the number of drinks that lead to exceeding the legal BAC.

If you are on the first DUI offense with a BAC slightly above 0.08, you may face the following consequences:

  • Between 1 and 10 days in jail
  • $1,500 fine plus jail cost and $80 monitoring fee
  • Between 90 and 360 days suspension of your driver’s license
  • 12 months mandatory interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • Mandatory screening and counseling.

The interlock device is attached to the ignition system. Before turning on the car engine, you have to breathe into the device. It the alcohol level exceeds a certain limit the device will not allow the car to start.

Standard DUI, Second and Repeated Offenses

If you are breaking DUI Arizona law for the second time or more, the sentence you may receive becomes tougher. The court may sentence you to:

  • Minimum 90 days in jail
  • No less than $,3000 in fine
  • 1 year driver’s license revocation
  • 1 year mandatory interlock device
  • Mandatory screening and counseling.

Extreme DUI Offense

An extreme case of DUI under Arizona law is when your BAC level is over 0.15. In this case, you are facing severe consequences, even on the first offense:

  • 30 days in jail (you are eligible to home detention after the first 2 days)
  • $2,780 fine and $80 monitoring fee
  • 90-days driver’s license revocation
  • 1 year mandatory interlock device.

For repeated extreme DUI offenses, you may face up to 120 days in jail, $3,740 fine and 30 days of community service.

Super Extreme DUI Offense

A super extreme DUI offense means that your BAC level exceeds 0.20. This is the situation when you face the harshest sentences according to DUI Arizona law:

  • 45 to 180 days in jail
  • $3,240 to $4,650 fine
  • 18 to 24 months mandatory interlock device
  • 18 to 30 months community service
  • 90-days to 1 year driver’s license revocation.

Talk to an Experienced DUI Arizona Law Attorney!

No matter what happened, you have the right to build the best possible defense against DUI charges. Do not appear before a judge and never talk to the police without a criminal defense attorney by your side. Call us now!