DUI Convictions in Arizona

Being aware of the drunk driving information in Arizona is essential should you find yourself charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. DUI information is also pertinent if you convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated by drugs. A DUI is a very serious offense that can have far-ranging effects upon your life if convicted. DUI consequences can include drunk driving fines, court costs, towing and impound fees, incarceration time, a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges as well as a host of other expenses and consequences. If you are charged with DUI, then it may affect your ability to keep your job, especially if your livelihood depends on your driving privileges, such as if you need an Arizona commercial driver’s license to work. Continue reading below to find out more drunk driving information as it pertains to licensed drivers in the state of Arizona.

DUI Laws in Arizona

Drunk driving charges stem from operating a motor vehicle while in an impaired state due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. DUI charges may result from driving while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. Many drivers wonder, “Is DUI a criminal offense? Or is DUI a felony?” when researching Arizona driving laws. How impaired or how drunk the driver is affects the seriousness of the possible penalties of a DUI charge in Arizona. Standard DUI statutes define driving under the influence as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 percent or higher. However, if you are operating a motor vehicle for commercial purposes, then the legal definition of impaired drops to a .04 BAC. For any drivers younger than 21 years of age, no amount of alcohol in the blood is permissible. Should you be charged with DUI with a BAC higher than .15 percent, your DUI violation will be classified as extreme DUI.

There is another classification of DUI offenses termed aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI charges are defined by being charged with DUI while driving with a license that is suspended, revoked or canceled. Another criterion for aggravated DUI is receiving a third DUI within an 84-month period. You may also receive an aggravated DUI charge if you are arrested for driving under the influence with a passenger younger than 15 years of age.

Arizona DUI Offenses

Consequences for DUI in Arizona take the form of both criminal penalties assessed by a court of law and administrative penalties, which are handed down by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). The DUI penalties you face depend largely on the category of DUI charges of which you are convicted. If you are pulled over by an Arizona law enforcement officer under suspicion of driving under the influence, then you are required to submit to a test, typically a breathalyzer test, to determine the amount of alcohol present in your blood. DUI consequences for failing or refusing to submit to a test to determine BAC can result in an automatic suspension of up to 12 months or up to 24 months for a second failure or refusal within an 84-month period. Find out more about the consequences of a DUI charge and subsequent convictions by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Standard DUI Penalties in Arizona

Penalties for your first DUI violation may include incarceration, a monetary fine and points on your driving record. Penalties for DUI convictions may include a device called an ignition interlock, which requires that you blow into it to determine that you do not have any alcohol in your system before your vehicle can start. Your sentencing may also require that you complete a program for drug education and an alcohol and/or drug screening and treatment as well. Consequences for DUI may also require you to perform a number of hours of community service to be determined by the court.

DUI consequences for a second offense increase to a longer jail sentence and a more costly fine than the first conviction. As with a first DUI violation, you will be required to complete drug and alcohol awareness classes and community service in addition to having an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicles you drive. You will also have your license suspended for 12 months.

Extreme DUI Consequences in Arizona

DUI penalties for a first extreme DUI offense include 30 days of incarceration and an expensive fine no less than a couple thousand dollars. Your DUI penalties will include alcohol education classes, the ignition interlock and community service. A second extreme DUI violation brings with it a much longer jail sentence and a minimum fine of $3,250. You will receive a driver’s license suspension, which will result in reinstatement fees when you are able to obtain driving privileges again. The ignition interlock device, community service and a required alcohol education program will also be required as part the process to reinstate driving credentials in Arizona.

Aggravated DUI Penalties in Arizona

Aggravated DUI consequences include a multiple year prison sentence, a suspension of your driver’s license and you will have the interlock ignition device installed on all your vehicles. As with other DUI offenses, alcohol and/or drug counseling and education classes are required of you as is community service. Download our guide for details about DUI penalties as well as information on how to regain your Arizona driving privileges.