Arizona DUI Laws and Penalties
Whether you recently had your first DUI charge or a repeat DUI charge, it is still a scary experience. Most DUI-related arrests are for first-time convictions in the state of Arizona. It can be stressful to know where to turn in this situation, especially if you are in the middle of your first DUI.
To start, you should know that there are typically three types of DUI charges. The convictions are standard, extreme, and super extreme DUIs. Each does carry specific penalties, including repeat offenses. Penalties are much harsher for extreme and super extreme DUIs and repeat offenders.
No matter your DUI charge, you can likely face jail time in the state of Arizona. An experienced attorney at Gurion Legal can help you understand your charges and possibly lower your sentencing, however. It is essential to seek out the best outcome possible, which is only possible with a DUI criminal defense attorney.
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Classification of a DUI Laws in the State of Arizona
In Arizona, under code ARS 28-1381, you may receive a conviction of a DUI if you drive under the influence of alcohol. The blood alcohol concentration in your body must be at a level of at least .08 under ARS 28-1381A2. Because Arizona is referred to as a “zero tolerance state,” this means that you can be charged with “impaired to the slightest degree,” regardless of the BAC under ARS 28-1381A1.
Under this law, even if your blood alcohol concentration is only .05, you may still face charges. It is better, when considering this, to try to avoid drinking and driving at all costs.
It is important to note that ARS 28-1382 does differentiate for a blood alcohol concentration over .15. This charge is an Extreme DUI. If the level goes above .20, you may find yourself with a conviction of a Super Extreme DUI with the harshest penalties.
Standard DUI – BAC of .08 to .0149
As mentioned, a standard DUI is under code ARS 28-1381A1 and A2. In Arizona law, you can face charges if you have the slightest bit of alcohol in your blood under the (A)(1) statute. If you have a blood alcohol concentration over .08, you will receive a citation under the (A)(2) statute.
If your blood alcohol concentration is above .08, you could receive a conviction for violating both statute (A)(1) and statute (A)(2). This charge is a misdemeanor offense that does carry penalties with it. Even if this is a first time DUI, you will still require a jail sentencing of at least ten days. There are mandatory fines and fees, typically around $1,500.
If you agree to take classes, you can minimize your sentencing to one day. You may still have five years of probation for a first time DUI, however. Finally, your license will face suspension for at least 90 days, and you will have to install an interlock device when you can drive again.
Second DUI or Third DUI Within 7 Years
In Arizona, you have seven years for repeat convictions after the time of your first DUI. Second and even third offenses do carry heavier weights. You can read more about the penalties for both a second DUI and a third-time offense in the information below.
For a second DUI, you do have to spend at least 30 days in jail. Other details and penalties include:
- 30 of the days in jail must be consecutive
- Alcohol assessments in classes instead of 60 of the days in jail
- Minimum fines of at least $3,500
- Revocation of driving privileges for at least a year
- Ignition interlock devices required a year after the reinstatement of driver’s license
- 30 hours of community service
- Traffic survival course required, and eight points taken from driving record
A third DUI offense is the most serious of all. It is a class four felony under Arizona state law. This offense then becomes a felony aggravated DUI conviction, and penalties include:
- Minimum of a four-month prison sentence, but up to two years
- A maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges
- Impoundment of your vehicle
- Driver’s license revocation for three years
- SR-22 insurance required with an ignition interlock device
- 30 days of community service
- Alcohol classes required
As you may see, a third DUI offense carries with it heavy penalties since it is a felony. It is difficult to obtain a plea bargain. However, a criminal defense attorney is willing to listen to your concerns to help you navigate the penalties you may face.
Extreme DUIs – BAC of .150 to .199
As mentioned, you will face an extreme DUI charge under code ARS 28-1382 when your blood alcohol content is anywhere from 0.15 to 0.199. You will face harsher penalties for a second extreme DUI.
First-time Extreme DUI offense penalties include:
- 30 days in jail
- Fines worth at least $2,500
- Suspension of your license for at least 90 days
- Ignition interlock devices installed for a year
- Potential probation for five years
- Traffic survival classes and eight points on your record
Second extreme DUI with 7 years include penalties like:
- Jail for 120 days
- Fines of at least $3,700
- Revocation of driver’s license for a year
- Ignition interlock devices installed for a time of 18 months
- 30 hours of community service
Super Extreme DUI – BAC of .20 and above
Super extreme DUI convictions are the worst you can receive. Your blood alcohol levels reach at least 0.20. Again, you do face more penalties when you have a second conviction.
Penalties for a first conviction, though, are:
- Mandatory sentencing of at least 45 days in jail
- Fines of at least $3,000
- Suspension of your license for at least 90 days
Second-time DUI offenses do still follow the rules of every seven years. Penalties are much more extensive for these second super extreme offenses. They include:
- Jail time of 180 days
- License revocation for at least a year
- At least $4,700 in fines
- Ignition interlock device installed for two years
- Probation time off at least five years
- Traffic safety school and eight points off of your record
Further Information Concerning the Ignition Interlock Devices
You may not fully understand what an ignition interlock device does for you. Any DUI offense related to alcohol does require the installation of these devices. To start, professionals install them right into the ignition controls of your vehicle.
The ignition interlock device has a tube on it that you must breathe into so that your vehicle starts. You do have to continue giving results to the device whenever it signals you to do so. Even if you are not at the legal limit, you will be unable to start your vehicle with the presence of alcohol.
Do not worry, as your vehicle will not stop in the middle of the road if alcohol is present at a random check. It will give you just enough time to pull over. If you ever fail one of these tests, you may keep the device for a longer period of time than otherwise required.
Top 5 DUI Defenses that are Proven Effective
Now that you fully understand the DUI convictions and the potential consequences, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side. An attorney at Gurion Legal will review all probable evidence so that you only receive the best results. Some defenses for your conviction include those below.
- Reasonable Suspicion
To pull you over for a DUI, a police officer has to have reasonable suspicion. If there was no reasonable suspicion and you face wrongdoings, you may have your charges dismissed. The only time this defense does not work is if you were at a checkpoint.
- Probable Cause
Even if an officer had a suspicion, they needed probable cause to make the arrest. A criminal defense attorney can persuade the police not to use any evidence that came after arrest. The suppression of evidence could lead to a dismissal of charges.
- Coerced Results
Breath and blood tests require your consent.. To complete these tests, you have to give permission, or the police have to have a warrant. If you were coerced into giving consent, you could have this evidence suppressed.
- Inaccurate Breathalyzers
Breathalyzers can provide inaccurate results if not in proper maintenance. They also give false readings if you have pre-existing medical conditions. A defense attorney can help navigate your medical conditions to determine if the results were accurate.
- Inaccurate Blood Tests
If you ever had blood work, you know that results are often inaccurate or require a re-test. Defense attorneys can review the entire blood test procedure to determine the accuracy of your tests.
Get the Help You Need from Arizona DUI Lawyers at Gurion Legal
If you face a DUI conviction, do not be afraid to contact Gurion Legal. The legal staff is compassionate and will listen to your concerns. They also know to provide you with all the details you need to know about your convictions.
Defense attorneys may even be able to help get DUI cases dismissed from the court. The attorneys are experts in reviewing the legal evidence available to bring you the best results. They will at least be with you for every hearing and every legal battle you have to go through.
A defense attorney is much more likely to bring you the outcome you hope for with your DUI charge. They will advocate for you and help the court discover the truth. Be ready with all the details you need to get the legal process started for your DUI charge.
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