Arizona Baby DUI

Drinking and driving is a criminal offense that is taken seriously in the state of Arizona. While other states might take it easy on first-time offenders, an Arizona DUI conviction can mean significant jail time, loss of a driver’s license, and more. These consequences can be highly inconvenient for criminal defendants and make it more difficult for them to pursue opportunities in the future. These effects can be even more powerful when experienced earlier in life. While the legal drinking age is 21 years old, it isn’t unheard of for an underage driver to be arrested for driving under the influence. Here, the driver may be charged with what is informally referred to as a “baby DUI” in Arizona. The rules and penalties for a baby DUI are slightly different than Arizona’s standard penalties for a DUI conviction. Read on to learn more about Baby DUIs- if you’ve been arrested for DUI in Arizona, don’t hesitate to call our firm for your free consultation at 602-661-0988.

Aa wooden gavel on a desk with a glass of whiskey in the background, symbolizing legal issues related to DUI in Arizona

What Is a Baby DUI?

You’re probably familiar with the interchangeable terms DUI and DWI, or Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated. Baby DUI is a far less common term that you might not have heard before. The legal drinking age in the state of Arizona is 21 years old. Additionally, the legal BAC, or blood alcohol content, for a driver under 21 years of age is 0.0, or zero tolerance. This limit is set by A.R.S. § 4-244.34. Typically, a BAC of 0.08 creates a presumption of intoxication, but a BAC of 0.04 can be sufficient intoxication for a DUI if the police officer determines that the driver is impaired. A baby DUI is a DUI received by a driver under 21 years of age and in between the 0.0 legal limit for underage drivers and the 0.08 limit for all other drivers. 

Baby DUI Penalties vs. Standard DUI Penalties

The sentencing guidelines for a Baby DUI differ from the guidelines for a standard DUI in Arizona. Arizona requires mandatory jail time for a standard DUI conviction, even if it is the defendant’s first criminal offense. A baby DUI differs because the defendant might be convicted without being sent to jail. Additionally, a defendant convicted of a baby DUI can face a longer driver’s license suspension than a driver convicted of a standard DUI. DUI penalties are harsher if the defendant’s charges are enhanced by a high BAC. If a driver is arrested with a BAC above 0.15 but below 0.20, the driver will be charged with Extreme DUI. If the driver’s BAC is 0.20 or higher, the applicable offense is Super Extreme DUI. Defendants convicted of DUI in Arizona will face penalties besides jail time and fines. There will be some penalties on the defendant’s driver’s license and they will need to install an IID to reduce them. The defendant will also need to complete community service and may have probation requirements as well. These penalties come with misdemeanor convictions- a driver convicted of felony DUI will have even more severe penalties. 

Baby DUI Penalties

It’s important to note that baby DUI penalties only apply if the defendant is under 21 years of age and was arrested with a BAC of less than 0.08. A baby DUI defendant can still face up to 6 months in jail. The maximum fine is $750, but neither of these is mandatory like with a standard DUI conviction. The maximum driver’s license suspension for a baby DUI is 2 years, which can end up being a stricter punishment than jail time and fines, depending on the defendant’s goals and circumstances. 

Standard DUI Penalties

For a first-time standard DUI conviction, the minimum jail sentence in Arizona is 10 days- however, up to 9 of these days can be suspended. The minimum fine is $1,480, and the minimum driver’s license suspension is 90 days. At least one year of IID, or ignition interlock device, use will be mandatory for all Arizona DUI convictions, but a first-time offender may be eligible for a 6-month reduction. 

The defendant won’t be afforded as much leniency if they are convicted of DUI a second, third, etc. time. The minimum jail sentence here is 90 days with 30 served consecutively, but up to 60 days can be suspended if the defendant completes drug and alcohol screening and treatment. The minimum fine is $3,000, and the defendant’s driver’s license will be revoked (not suspended) for at least 1 year. The defendant can apply for a restricted driver’s license after 45 days if they install an IID. 

Extreme DUI Penalties

The minimum jail sentence for an Extreme DUI is 30 days, but up to 21 of those days can be suspended once the driver installs an IID. The minimum fine is $3,000, the minimum driver’s license suspension is 90 days, and the driver must keep their IID installed for at least 1 year. 

The minimum jail sentence for a second Extreme DUI is 120 days with 60 days served consecutively. The minimum fine is $3,250 and their driver’s license will be revoked for at least 1 year. 

Super Extreme DUI Penalties

For a first Super Extreme DUI offense, the minimum jail sentence is 45 days, but up to 31 of those can be suspended. The minimum fine is $3,250 and the minimum driver’s license suspension is 90 days. 

A subsequent Super Extreme DUI conviction carries 180 days in jail with 90 of those days served consecutively. The driver will face a minimum fine of $4,250 and a 1-year driver’s license revocation. 

Baby DUI Defenses

With a potential 2-year driver’s license suspension on the line, a defendant charged with baby DUI in Mesa should review their situation to find any potential defenses that could reduce or eliminate the charges against them. Some of the legal strategies you may want to explore after an Arizona DUI arrest include:

  • Charge reduction through plea negotiation
  • Unlawful stop or lack of reasonable suspicion
  • Issues with field sobriety testing
  • Unlawful arrest or lack of probable cause
  • Denial of right to counsel
  • No actual physical control of the motor vehicle
  • Issues with blood or urine testing
  • Failure to read Miranda rights

Skilled Legal Counsel For Arizona DUI Charges

Just because you might be able to avoid jail time with a baby DUI doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight back against these charges. Having your driver’s license suspended for 2 years could make it harder to get to school, work, and anywhere else you want to go. You could also have significant probation, community service, and other penalties that make it harder to move forward after a criminal conviction. Fight back against DUI charges with your choice of legal representation. You always have the right to hire your attorney, which can be beneficial when the court-appointed attorney isn’t the right fit for your case. Check out one of Maricopa County’s top options for DUI defense for free with your initial consultation by phone. Arizona Zero Down DUI offers years of experience helping clients in Arizona just like you fight DUI charges and related criminal offenses. To schedule your free consultation, contact us or call 602-661-0988

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Arizona Offices:

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202

Office: (480) 448-9800
Email: [email protected]

Phoenix Location:
343 West Roosevelt, Suite #100
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Office: (602) 609-7000
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Glendale Location:
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Glendale, AZ 85308

Office: (602) 509-0955
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Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701

Office: (520) 441-1450
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Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392

Office: (623) 399-4222
Email: info@arizonazerodowndui