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DUI Charges In Arizona

A DUI in Arizona is not something you want to automatically plead guilty. The state enforces drunk driving laws stringently and a conviction can have life-long consequences. Here are some of the most common DUI charges you could be charged within our state. If you are charged with a DUI, call the legal team at Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC, led by Matthew Lopez, an experienced attorney who has handled many driving under the influence cases successfully.

First Or Repeat DUI Offenses

Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation. There are four types of DUI charges:

  1. Count 1: impaired to the slightest degree
  2. Count 2: BAC above .08
  3. Count 3: BAC above .15
  4. Count 4: BAC above .20

While all are considered misdemeanors, a DUI charge on a defendant’s record can affect them for years to come. It can also result in jail, fees and fines, jail time, SR22 high-risk insurance, license suspension, and alcohol counseling, an ignition interlock device, and additional consequences.

Extreme DUI Charges

In addition to a Count 1 and Count 2 DUI, an extreme DUI is charged as a third offense. It alleges that a defendant had a BAC above .15 tested within two hours of driving. The penalties for an extreme DUI are much harsher than a regular DUI. It carries more jail time, twice the number of fees and fines, and other mandatory requirements.

Super Extreme DUI

If a person has a blood alcohol concentration greater than .20, they will be charged with a super extreme DUI. This is the most severe first-time DUI charge. A first-time conviction could carry up to 45 days in jail. A second-time conviction could result in as many as 180 days in jail.

Under 21 DUI

If a person under the age of 21 operates a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system, regardless of if they are above or below the legal limit (BAC .08), they can be charged with a DUI.

Marijuana, Drugs And Prescription Drug DUI

No matter how legal it may be to use marijuana or prescription drugs, Arizona police may the right to make a traffic stop if they suspect the driver lacks the ability to maintain proper control of the vehicle. However, driving while under the influence of a legally purchased or prescribed narcotic is NOT the same as illegal DUI.

Aggravated And Felony DUI Charges

When a defendant has been charged with an aggravated DUI, they have been charged with a felony DUI. It is “forever allegeable,” which means that a conviction can be used against a person for the rest of their life and it will be considered in any future charges the defendant may face in the future. Most importantly, a conviction for an aggravated DUI requires a minimum sentence of four months in prison.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Arizona DUI


What happens on your first DUI in Arizona?

When you’re charged with a DUI, your first hearing is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the judge will read your charges and enter a not guilty plea. From here, our attorneys are able to gather your police report, blood or breath results, video of the event and interview the arresting police officers. The are several possible outcomes for a first-time DUI charge. Worst case scenario, you may be facing 45 days in jail. The chances of getting a reduction or dismissal significantly improve with our experienced lawyers.

How do you beat a DUI in Arizona?

The way our attorneys approach DUI cases varies depending on the case. There are some cases where we focus on the reason our clients were stopped, the manner in which field sobriety tests were conducted, whether Constitutional Rights were violated, or whether the blood or breath sample comported with specific scientific standards.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona?

In Arizona, a DUI conviction will forever appear on your criminal record. If your conviction was for a misdemeanor DUI, the conviction will be used against you for the next 7 years if you were to receive a second or third DUI. For purposes of the Motor Vehicle Division, a DUI arrest will appear on your driver’s record for 39 months. Because of the length of time, a DUI conviction will last, it is important to do everything you can to fight your case.

How many points is a DUI in Arizona?

If convicted of a DUI, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division will assess 8 points again your driver’s record. You will also be required to attend Traffic Survival School. If you were to receive a second moving violation within 12 months, even a speeding ticket, your license will be suspended.

Table of points:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) 8
Extreme DUI 8
Reckless and aggressive driving 8
Hit-and-run, leaving the scene of an accident 6
Failure to properly yield or stop at a traffic signal or sign, causing death 6
Failure to yield or stop causing serious injury 4
Speeding 3

How much do you charge and do you offer payment plans?

Our award-winning DUI services are offered at a very reasonable fee. There is no reason to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to fight your DUI. We handle more DUIs than most all other law firms in the state of Arizona. Our level of experience is unparalleled. Because we handle so many DUI cases, we are extremely familiar with the various defenses that can be used to fight for a reduction or dismissal. Don’t waste your money by hiring an overpriced lawyer. We offer affordable payment plans because we truly believe that everyone should have access to quality legal representation.

Can a DUI be expunged in Arizona?

Arizona is one of the few states that does not expunge or seal criminal convictions. Although a DUI is a misdemeanor, if convicted, you will forever have the DUI conviction on your record. Don’t let your reputation be tarnished. Let’s work together to fight your case.

Can you refuse a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests in Arizona?

If you are under investigation for a DUI, you have every right to refuse all field sobriety tests, including the portable breath test. In addition to refusing all roadside tests and portable breathalyzer, do not admit to drinking. We do not condone lying to the police, so if you think you are being investigated for a DUI, your best approach is to respectfully decline all questioning, tests and request to speak to an attorney as quickly as possible.

If the investigating police officer believes he has probable cause to arrest for a DUI, once you are taken back to the station or DUI processing center, failure to submit a breath test or blood draw will result in a one-year license suspension. There is no upside in refusing a breath or blood sample AFTER you are arrested, so we advise our clients to consent. If your blood was drawn, our attorneys can have your blood independently analyzed by our expert scientists.

Learn more at our Criminal Defense FAQ page.


Do Not Give Up – We Can Help Get DUI Charges Dismissed Or Reduced

Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC, is your ally when you are facing a DUI charge. We examine the evidence, listen to your side of the situation, and look for the best strategies that will lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges. Call us at 602-960-1731 or use our online contact form to set up a free case consultation.