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Arizona’s strict DUI laws

Drunk driving was becoming a serious problem in Arizona, with it having the sixth highest number of DUI fatalities in the country in 2006. In order to curb it, the state created some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. Where most states have two categories of DUI offenses, Arizona has three.

Driver with BAC more than .08

A driver with a blood alcohol content more than .08 percent can be found guilty of a DUI. A first offender will have to pay fines, have his or her license revoked and might be in jail for any time between 10 and 180 days. A second offense gets a minimum jail time of 90 days, a larger fine and a longer driver’s license revocation. Both times, jail time can be reduced if the drunk driver submits to alcohol treatment.

Driver with BAC more between .150 and .199

If a driver has a blood alcohol content between .150 and .199, he or she might be found guilty of an Extreme DUI. Where a first time lesser offender would have had a minimum 10 day jail sentence, an Extreme DUI first offender would have a 30 day jail time sentence. Counseling and treatment can only suspend 20 of those days.

Driver with BAC more than .20

Steep penalties face those who are found driving with a blood alcohol limit more than .20. He or she will face at least 45 days in jail and it is not possible to waive that time for completing any treatment. Fines and court costs will also be higher in this super extreme DUI charge. A second time offender faces 180 days in prison and might face $4000 fines. The driver’s license is revoked for a year and there is no automatic reinstatement. They must also have an ignition interlock device for 18-24 months after the DUI conviction. Not only is this a major inconvenience, it is also costly to maintain.

Given Arizona’s drunk driving laws, it is important to present an aggressive defense against them from the onset. There are many ways to defend oneself against DUIs and a defense attorney can discuss one’s options with them.