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What to Know About DUIs in the State of Arizona

Driving under the influence is never a good idea, especially with the vast amount of other transportation options out there today. If you live in the state of Arizona and you are caught driving under the influence, you can rest assured you’ll face some severe penalties, which include loss of driving privileges, fines, or even jail time. Before you get behind the wheel of your vehicle after a few drinks, here are a few things you need to know about DUIs in Arizona.

First DUI offense penalties

Arizona Department of Transportation and Motor Vehicle Division have strict laws against drunk driving due to the amount of accidents and fatalities it causes every year. In 2015, 272 Arizona residents died as the result of drunk driving. However, the state does consider your driving record as well as the circumstances and due to the harsh penalties, it is recommended that you hire a DUI defense attorney as even a first time conviction carries a possibility jail time.

DUI classes explained

In Arizona, there are three types of DUI offenses: standard, extreme, and aggravated.

A standard DUI is classified as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of

  • 08% or more
  • 04% or more if driving a commercial vehicle
  • Any percentage if you are under the age of 21.

An extreme DUI is classified as having a BAC a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of

  • 0.15% but less than .20%

An aggravated DUI is classified as any DUI that is the third offense in seven years or you had a child under 15 in the car while driving under the influence. An aggravated DUI is classified as:

  • Done while driving a passenger under 15 years old
  • Received with a driver’s license that is suspended, cancelled, or revoked

Arizona DUI Penalties

As mentioned above, the penalties for Arizona DUIs depend on a variety of factors, but you can count on them to mirror the following.

If this is your first offense:

  • $1,250 fine
  • Required completion of a drug/alcohol program
  • 10 days in jail
  • Community service
  • An ignition breathalyzer

If this is your second offense:

  • $3,000 fine
  • Required completion of a drug/alcohol program
  • 90 days in jail
  • Community service
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 year
  • An ignition breathalyzer

If you are charged with an extreme DUI as your first offense:

  • $2,500 fine
  • Required completion of drug/alcohol treatment program
  • 30 days in jail
  • Community service
  • An ignition breathalyzer

Should you be charged with a second extreme DUI offense:

  • $3,250 fine
  • Required completion of drug/alcohol treatment program
  • 120 days in jail
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 year
  • Community service
  • Ignition breathalyzer

Aggravated DUIs are more severe, and they come with more severe consequences:

  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 year
  • Required completion of drug/alcohol treatment program
  • 2 years in prison
  • Community service
  • Ignition breathalyzer
  • An aggravated DUI is considered a felony

What to do if pulled over for DUI in Arizona

Driving under the influence in Arizona comes with a variety of harsh penalties. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, the police officer will usually ask you to take a breathalyzer (PBT or preliminary breath test). Please note that you have the right to refuse the PBT. Politely refuse the test and ask to speak to an attorney.

You should do seek DUI defense through an attorney as these professionals have experience with the DUI laws in Arizona and they can provide you with the best information on how to handle your case going forward. In addition, having a defense attorney may help reduce any sentence or penalty that you may be facing.

Take your penalty seriously

No matter what type of penalty you may receive from drunk driving, it’s very important you take it seriously. Pay your fines on time, take the treatment program seriously, and do whatever you need to do to move on with your life. Everyone makes mistakes however, driving under the influence could cause severe injury or even death to you, your passengers, or those who are simply on the road at the same time that you are.

Instead of putting yourself at risk of driving drunk, be sure to take advantage of other options out there. For instance, designate a driver, take a cab, or call an Uber to come get you. Making these choices will help you avoid Arizona DUI penalties altogether.

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