How Harsh are DUI Laws in Arizona?
Arizona has extraordinarily harsh penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). Sadly, many Arizonans convicted of DUI had no idea they were over the legal blood-alcohol limit at the time of the traffic stop. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content at or above .08.
Arizona DUI Laws: The Devil is in the Details
Arizona’s DUI laws create presumptions that hinge on the driver’s blood-alcohol content. As an example, a driver who has a blood-alcohol content below 0.5 is not presumed to be intoxicated. Alternatively, intoxication is presumed if the driver has a blood-alcohol content over .08. If the motorist’s blood-alcohol content is between these two figures, it is presumed he or she is not intoxicated.
Based on the nuances of the law as detailed above, a driver with a blood-alcohol content of .06 can be found guilty of DUI with the presentation of additional competent evidence. The question is what sort of evidence the prosecution can present to make such an argument. Arizona law is especially harsh on those who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. If there is a single metabolite of any illegal drug in the driver’s system, he or she can be found guilty of DUI. Though a single metabolite of a drug might not spur the effects of intoxication, it is all that is necessary to change your life for the worse.
Arizona’s Comparably Stiff DUI Penalties
A first-time DUI offender in the state of Arizona will be sentenced to a minimum of 10 straight days in jail. The guilty party is not eligible for a suspension of execution of the sentence or probation until the sentence is served in its entirety. Fines for first-time DUI offenders in Arizona are a minimum of $1,250. Furthermore, first-time offenders must have the forementioned ignition-interlock device installed in their vehicle. The court might also mandate restitution be paid to victims. In some situations, the court will require the convicted party to complete community service.
Those found guilty of a second DUI are subjected to even harsher penalties. These two-time offenders face at least 90 days in jail along with a minimum fine/assessment of $3,000. Making matters worse is the fact that second-time DUI offenders in Arizona will face a driver’s license suspension of an entire year. The court is empowered to exercise discretion to suspend incarceration but for one day for first-time DUI offenders. However, the court’s discretion can only go so far for two-time DUI offenders in Arizona. Those found guilty of a second DUI and finish a drug and alcohol treatment program still face a minimum of 30 days in jail even if the court is sympathetic to their plight.
Can you imagine trying to live life without an automobile? Arizona is a spread out state with minimal public transportation. You need an automobile to get to and from work, have a social life and transport your little ones around town. This is precisely why you should ask for legal assistance as soon as you are charged with DUI.
Have You Been Charged With DUI in Arizona? We are at Your Service
It is clear Arizona takes DUI quite seriously. If you are charged with DUI, do not engage in a heated discussion with the police officer. Say as little as possible, meet with our Arizona DUI legal team and we will push for justice on your behalf. Let us focus on proving your innocence and minimizing your penalty while you zero in on work and family responsibilities during this tumultuous time. Reach out to us today to schedule your initial consultation where we will review the facts of your idiosyncratic case.
Click here to find out can a drunk passenger can get a DUI in Arizona.