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How Are Arizona DUI Laws The Strictest In The U.S.?

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How Are Arizona DUI Laws The Strictest In The U.S.?

Arizona is widely known as a state where you do not want to fall upon the misfortune of being pulled over by police for a DUI. This reputation is due to tough Arizona DUI laws, some of the most extreme in the United States. Your sentence depends upon your driving history and blood alcohol content (BAC).

Some of the possible results of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) include:

  • Mandatory prison time
  • Probation or parole
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device each time you want to drive your car
  • Loss of automotive insurance coverage or a requirement for SR22 auto insurance
  • Court required driving school attendance
  • Community service time
  • Impounding of your vehicle for a minimum period of time
  • Thousands of dollars in fines and fees

Being pulled over by the police while driving after a few drinks can be one of the scariest times in your life. In Arizona, driving under the influence is a serious matter than can affect your ability to drive, work and even your freedom. There are many expenses that result from such a charge, as well as the potential for losing your license and serving time in prison. You need an experienced attorney to help you defend yourself. Never underestimate the seriousness of being charged with DUI in Arizona.

What are the penalties for a DUI in Arizona?

For the first offense of DUI in Arizona, you can spend anywhere from a minimum of 24 hours, up to ten days in jail with fines of at least $250. A first offense can also result in license suspension of between 90 and 360 days, almost a full year. A second offense carries a minimum of 30 days in jail, up to 90 days with fines of at least $500. For that second DUI, your license can be suspended for a year. A third offense of DUI leads to a minimum of four months in state prison and fines of at least $750, with license suspension of a year. Each of the three offenses result in a mandatory interlock ignition device being installed and used in your vehicle.

What are the BAC percentage requirements for receiving a DUI in Arizona?

In Arizona, you can receive a DUI despite having had only one sip of alcohol if you are under the age of 21 years. Your BAC does not have to reflect any alcohol at all, if you are not of legal drinking age. This is under Arizona’s “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking and driving.

If you are of legal drinking age, your BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is an automatic DUI charge if you are pulled over by police. Commercial drivers are charged with DUI for a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher.

What if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or chemical test in Arizona?

Under Arizona Implied Consent Law (ARS 28-1321), you are subject to a fine and license suspension if you refuse to take a chemical test for determination of your actual BAC. For a first incidence of refusal, you can lose your license for one year. Subsequent offenses lead to license suspension for two years per offense.

Extreme DUI in Arizona

In Arizona, a driver is designated as Extreme DUI if their BAC is 0.15 or higher within the two hours of driving or controlling a vehicle, including autos, watercraft, airplanes or other motor vehicles. This is a criminal misdemeanor charge for which penalties are stiff:

First Offense of Extreme DUI

Penalties for the first offense of Extreme DUI can lead to a $900 fine and another $250 DUI Assessment charge, as well as a $1250 Extreme DUI assessment. Your driver’s license will be revoked for one year and you will have to pay to have an interlock ignition device installed in your personal vehicles, rendering the vehicles useless until you or whomever is driving use the device to prove non-consumption of alcohol.

Second Offense of Extreme DUI

A second offense of Extreme DUI within a seven year period leads to a $450 fine, a $250 DUI Assessment fee, $1000 Extreme DUI assessment and suspension of your license for up to one year. For this charge, you also must have an interlock ignition device installed in your personal vehicles.

Aggravated DUI in Arizona

Being charges with an aggravated DUI in Arizona is a felony charge. This results in a four month state prison sentence plus required drug and alcohol screening, mandatory counseling, revocation of your license for three years and installation of an interlock ignition device on your vehicles.

You Need Experienced Legal Help When Charged with DUI

Regardless of whether you are facing DUI Arizona charges for a first offense, your second or even a third, you need experienced and aggressive legal help. An experienced lawyer can ensure your best defense against these charges. Call the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor immediately at 602.307.0808 for the legal defense you need against DUI charges.


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