DUI Laws in Arizona

Driving drunk is very dangerous, so all states and municipalities have severe penalties in an attempt to prevent it. However, because circumstances are not exactly the same for every driver, there are a few different categories of drunk driving, or more correctly, “driving under the influence of intoxication” (DUI) or “driving while intoxicated”.
Arizona law prohibits the consumption of alcohol for any person under 21 years of age. The penalty for underage drinking in Arizona varies a little, and is based on extenuating circumstances and the judge’s discretion. Penalties typically include a year of probation, a requirement to perform community service, and possible alcohol addiction or alcoholism prevention programs. Other possible options include a deferred prosecution. This is similar to probation, except that the judgment is suspended indefinitely, meaning that the minor does not incur a criminal record.
However, the addition of a vehicle to the equation makes matters much more serious. Arizona has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. This means that any blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0% in a minor operating a motor vehicle is considered driving while intoxicated, even if the individual “feels fine” or behaves otherwise normally. Penalties for underage DWI in Arizona include a mandatory automatic revocation of the driver’s license for two years, and possible additional penalties, which might include whatever a DWI for a person of legal drinking age might incur.
For those of legal drinking age, Arizona DUI penalties are still relatively severe. The state of Arizona prohibits those accused of reckless driving under the influence from pleading guilty to a lesser offence. A first offence for DUI in Arizona incurs several penalties, including fines, surcharges, jail time, and license revocation. Jail time for a first offence is no less than 24 hours, and up to ten days. The offender’s driver’s license can be suspended from between 90 to 360 days. Fines, fees and surcharges generally total around $1500. In addition, the court may order that the offender have an ignition interlock device installed in the primary vehicle, at the expense of the individual.
For second offenses, fines, fees and surcharges more than double in cost to the offender. Jail time must be served for a minimum of 30 days, and may be up to 90 days. The offender’s driver’s license can be suspended for one year, in ignition interlock device must be installed for one year, and alcohol abuse education programs must be completed, at the offender’s expense.
Because of the complicated and severe penalties for drunk driving in Arizona, your best option is to take advantage of the expertise of an experienced DUI lawyer.