Driving Under the Influence, or a DUI, is one of the most common vehicular crimes charged in Arizona.
Although common, it can be devastating for anyone convicted of this crime, altering their life for many years to come. Penalties for conviction of DUI in Arizona can range from fines and alcohol classes to a felony charge and prison time, depending on the situation. Here is what you need to know about penalties associated with DUIs in Arizona and what you can do to protect yourself if you face these charges.
Different Types of Arizona DUI Charges
The level of penalty you can face for a DUI depends on several factors. First, the type of DUI you are charged with can affect what penalties you may face. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) and the situation are factors in determining the type of DUI or DWI you will be charged with. Secondly, your prior record and any previous DUI charges can have an impact on your sentencing. In Arizona, there are four main types of DUI charges a person can face, including:
- Count 1 or 2 DUI. The basic charge for a DUI in Arizona is either a Count 1, slightly impaired with a BAC of under .08%, or Count 2, impaired with a BAC of .08% or more, but less than .15%. However, a BAC test is not necessary to be convicted of a DUI if there is other evidence of impaired driving.
- Extreme DUI. An Extreme DUI is anyone with a BAC of .15% or more when driving or within two hours of driving.
- Super Extreme DUI. Those found driving with a BAC .2% within two hours of driving can face a Super Extreme DUI charge in Arizona.
- Aggravated DUI. The highest level of DUI is an Aggravated DUI, which is a Class (4) felony. This can be charged for anyone driving with a suspended license and found to be driving under the influence (no BAC testing is necessary) or driving while intoxicated (.08% BAC or higher). It also is charged for a third DUI/DWI conviction in the last seven years. It is also possible to be charged with an Aggravated DUI if there is a child in the car.
Penalties for DUIs in Arizona
Penalties for DUIs in Arizona can include jail time, suspension of your driving license, requirement of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), alcohol classes, alcohol monitoring, fines and community service. It is important to note that DUI is not only for alcohol offenses; it can also be a charge for driving under the influence of drugs. Here are some of the penalties that can be expected for each type of DUI for first-time offenders.
- Regular DUI. A minimum of 10 days in jail, fine of approximately $1500, driving license suspension and use of an IID.
- Extreme DUI. A minimum of 30 days in jail, $2,500 fine, alcohol classes, license suspension, one-year with an IID and possible alcohol monitoring.
- Super Extreme DUI. A minimum of 45 days in jail, $2,750 fine, alcohol classes, 18 months with an IID after license suspension is completed and possible alcohol monitoring.
- Aggravated DUI. Minimum of 4 months in prison, a felony charge (this is “forever allegeable”, meaning it stays on your record forever), minimum driving license revocation for 3 years, alcohol classes/screening, IID after license suspension is completed and supervised probation.
Keep in mind that these are the penalties for first time conviction of these DUI offenses. The penalties increase with each additional conviction. The maximum prison sentence for DUI is 15 years, a hard burden to bear. In addition to the penalties faced through the court system, a DUI conviction can also affect your job and require SR22 High Risk Insurance, causing additional financial consequences.
Fighting a DUI Charge in Arizona
Arizona has some of the toughest DUI/DWI laws in the country. However, there are ways to fight charges of a DUI, resulting in lower penalties and possible dismissal of the charges. Some of the defenses used to fight these charges include proving no probable cause for arrest, denial of right to counsel, inaccuracy of the BAC testing device, no reasonable suspicion to stop and no physical control of the vehicle. An experienced DUI attorney can evaluate your case and determine if there are any possible options to have the charges dismissed. If dismissal is not possible, they can mitigate your penalties to ensure you receive the lowest possible sentence, fines and other penalties.
Don’t let a DUI arrest ruin your life. At Matthew Lopez Law, we have many years of experience fighting DUI charges in Arizona for our clients. In many cases, we have been able to have charges dismissed or reduced for our clients, minimizing the penalties they face. If you have been charged with any type of DUI or DWI in Arizona, call our firm for a free consultation.
The materials provided herein have been prepared by Matthew Lopez Law for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. No client or other reader should rely on or act or refrain from acting on the basis of any matter or information contained in on the website of Matthew Lopez Law without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.