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If you live in or drive through Arizona regularly, it’s essential to understand Arizona’s DUI laws, especially considering this state has some of the harshest DUI regulations in the country. DUI (driving under the influence) laws can vary from state to state, and the best way to protect yourself and ensure you are upholding your obligations as a driver is to know the rules.
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An Overview Of Arizona DUI Laws
If a law enforcement officer suspects that a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer will request the driver submit to a blood and alcohol or drug content (BADC) test. This test measures the amount of alcohol or drugs in the driver’s bloodstream. All drivers in Arizona automatically consent to such a test via the Implied Consent Law.
Arizona DUI laws define driving under the influence as:
- Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher
- Driving while impaired, even if the BAC is lower than 0.08 percent
Three Types Of DUIs In Arizona
According to Arizona DUI laws, there are three DUI classifications: DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI. Each class depends on the driver’s BAC, the circumstances of the incident, and the driver’s record.
For DUIs, also called “ordinary” DUIs, the BAC level is 0.08 percent to 0.149 percent. Extreme DUIs are 0.15 percent to 0.199 percent.
Super Extreme DUIs are 0.20 percent and above. The higher a driver’s BAC, the harsher the consequences for the DUI, as explained below. Below is a list of Arizona DUI punishments by category:
If a driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more (or 0.04 percent in a commercial vehicle), they will lose their driving privileges on the spot. They must complete alcohol or drug screening before their driving privileges are reinstated.
A first-time DUI conviction in Arizona is a class 1 misdemeanor, which means a 90-day driver’s license revocation, an ignition interlock device for one year, traffic survival school, and the possibility of community service.
For first-time offenders, the jail penalty is 10 days, though nine days can be suspended with drug and alcohol screening. The monetary penalty is at least $1,250 in fines.
For the second and subsequent ordinary DUI offenses, offenders will be jailed for not less than 90 days and fined not less than $3,000, and licenses will be suspended for 12 months.
Individuals with BACs of 0.15 percent to 0.199 percent fall into the extreme DUI category.
For first-time offenders, the penalty for Extreme DUIs is 30 consecutive days in jail. The monetary penalty is approximately $2,500 in fines.
For second and subsequent offenses, offenders face not less than 120 days in jail, and fines of at least $3,250. Licenses will also be revoked for 12 months, and offenders may need interlock devices installed in their cars.
Super Extreme DUI
For Super Extreme DUI first-time offenders with BACs of 0.20 percent and higher, the jail time is 45 days. The monetary penalty is at least $2,750 in fines.
Super Extreme DUIs carry a minimum of six months in jail for the second and subsequent offenses, license revocation for one year, and fines of $4,000 or more.
Aggravated DUI Arizona
Arizona DUI laws take aggravated DUIs very seriously. An Aggravated DUI applies when one of the following occurs:
- A driver commits a DUI while operating under a revoked, canceled, or suspended license
- A driver commits a third DUI in 84 months
- A driver commits a DUI while there is a person under 15 in the vehicle
- A driver refuses to submit to a blood alcohol content test while under an ‘ignition interlock device’ requirement
The consequences for an aggravated DUI in Arizona are severe. An offender could be sent to prison for up to two years and their license is revoked for one year. Offenders may also be required to undergo alcohol screening and equip vehicles with interlock devices.
Arizona DUI laws are strict, and Arizona is considered a zero-tolerance state for impaired drivers under 21 years old. Any driver under the age of 21 may be found guilty of driving under the influence if their BAC is .01 or .02 percent, regardless of whether they appear intoxicated. This requirement is significantly less than the .08 percent BAC required for adults.
FAQ About DUI Laws In Arizona
Do you still have some questions about Arizona DUI laws? See our FAQ below.
Will I Automatically Go To Jail For A DUI Offense In Arizona?
Yes. Even for first-time ordinary DUI offenders, jail time is an automatic penalty for a DUI in Arizona. In that case, the 10-day jail penalty can be reduced to one day by a judge.
Can I Refuse A BAC Test?
As a result of the implied consent laws, drivers in Arizona have, in fact, agreed to take a breathalyzer or blood test if stopped by law enforcement under suspicion of impaired driving. Refusing to take a chemical test can cause your license to be suspended for at least a year.
What Should I Do After I Get A DUI?
Your first step after getting a DUI should be securing legal counsel. The Arizona DUI laws are strict, and an experienced professional can help you navigate this difficult terrain.
Is A DUI In Arizona Considered A Crime Or Just A Traffic Violation?
DUIs in Arizona are criminal violations. The majority are classified as misdemeanors, but depending on the circumstances, some qualify as felonies.
Consult With A DUI Attorney In Arizona
If you are dealing with the fallout from a DUI in Arizona, you probably already know the process is costly, stressful, and has high stakes for your future. If you have questions about the DUI process or want to evaluate your legal options, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for your free case review today.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your situation and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
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