DUI: Don’t Understand It? Don’t Underestimate It
The Consequences Of Being Arrested For DUI & Aggravating Factors In Arizona
DUI charges are much more serious in Arizona than most other states. In fact, our DUI laws are considered by many to be the harshest in the nation. A DUI arrest is so much more than a speeding ticket or other traffic violation. Even a first time offender is guaranteed jail time if convicted in Arizona. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, this is not the time to be sitting back and waiting for things to sort themselves out. The best way to reduce the negative impact this will have on your life is by taking a proactive stance with your defense. Read on to learn more about Driving Under the Influence charges in Arizona, and call 480-833-8000 when you’re ready for a free consultation with a member of our experienced defense team.
Arizona DUI Basics
In Arizona (and just about everywhere), it is illegal to operate (actual physical control) a motor vehicle while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. The statute behind this is Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1383. This includes alcohol, of course, and drugs like marijuana, cocaine, meth, etc. It also includes certain prescription medications. If you are arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol, your level of intoxication will be measured using your BAC, or blood alcohol content. The standard legal limit in Arizona is .08, but you can be issued a DUI if your BAC is between .04 and .079 and the officer believes you are under the influence. Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 can be arrested for DUI for any amount of alcohol in their systems. If your BAC exceeds .149, you will be issued an Extreme DUI. If your BAC is .20 or higher, you will receive a Super Extreme DUI. Certain factors, called aggravating factors, will elevate your charges to an Aggravated DUI, or felony DUI.
As mentioned previously, Arizona has strict DUI penalties that can make a conviction devastating for you and your family members. The types of penalties you face will depend on the level of DUI for which you are convicted.
- Baby DUI (under 21, BAC below .08): A jail sentence of up to 6 months. Fines totaling at most $750, and driver’s license suspension for 2 years mandatory.
- Per Se DUI (BAC .08-.149): A minimum jail sentence of 10 days, 9 of which can be commuted. Fines totaling at least $1,480, and driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days. IID will be mandatory for one year, but there is a possibility of 6-month reduction.
- Extreme DUI (BAC .15-.19): A minimum jail sentence of 30 days, 21 of which can be commuted. Fines totaling at least $3,000, and driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days. IID will be mandatory for one year.
- Super Extreme DUI (BAC .20+): A minimum jail sentence of 45 days, 31 of which can be commuted. Fines totaling at least $3,250, and driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days. IID will be mandatory for one year.
- Aggravated DUI: A minimum prison sentence of 4 months. Fines totaling at least $4,000, and driver’s license revocation of at least 1 year. IID will be mandatory for 2 years.
- Multiple Per Se DUI: A minimum jail sentence of 90 days, 30 of which can be commuted, and 30 must be served consecutively. Fines totaling at least $3,000, and driver’s license revocation of at least 1 year with possibility of restricted license after 45 days. IID will be mandatory for 1 year.
- Multiple Extreme DUI: A minimum jail sentence of 120 days, 60 must be served consecutively. Fines totaling at least $3,250, and driver’s license revocation of at least 1 year with possibility of restricted license after 45 days. IID will be mandatory for 1 year.
- Multiple Super Extreme DUI: A minimum jail sentence of 180 days, 90 of which must be served consecutively. Fines totaling at least $4,250, and driver’s license revocation of at least 1 year with possibility of restricted license after 45 days. IID will be mandatory for 1 year.
- Multiple Aggravated DUI: A prison sentence between 2 ¼ to 7 ½ years. Further penalties at the judge’s discretion.
What Is an IID?
One of the penalties of concern after a DUI conviction is an IID, or ignition interlock device. The statute regarding its use is A.R.S. § 28-1462. An IID is used to measure your level of intoxication before you can start your vehicle. Installing an IID may come with an installation fee, and you will need to pay a monthly fee to keep it maintained in your vehicle. Fees vary by provider, but you can expect to pay around $80-150 per month. You can find a list of MVD-approved IID providers here. You will also need to have your device checked every 77-90 days to make sure no one has tampered with the device. Newer vehicle IIDs are required to have a camera and GPS reporting.
SR-22 Auto Insurance
One of the less-talked-about consequences of a DUI conviction is having to obtain and maintain SR-22 auto insurance. A DUI conviction makes insurance companies look at you as a “high risk” customer. Accordingly, you can expect to pay way more for insurance than someone who hasn’t been convicted of DUI. You will typically need to maintain SR-22 auto insurance for at least 3 years after your conviction. This type of insurance is typically about 40% more expensive than typical auto insurance. You can find more information about SR-22 auto insurance coverage here.
There are five factors that turn a misdemeanor DUI in Arizona into a felony DUI. The first is having a passenger under 15 years old with you when arrested. Second, it becomes a felony DUI when you have received 3 DUIs in a 7-year period. Third is if you are arrested with a suspended, revoked, restricted, etc., driver’s license. Fourth is if you are arrested with an IID installed in your vehicle. Lastly, you can receive a felony DUI if you are arrested for driving under the influence down the wrong way on a highway. Felony DUI charges are highly serious and should be addressed immediately. Call 480-833-8000 for your free consultation with an experienced Arizona defense attorney.
With jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspensions and revocations on the line, you probably already know that you’re facing strict consequences after a DUI in Arizona. The IID and SR-22 insurance will greatly increase how much it costs you to drive. You will also need to complete alcohol screening and counseling, as well as defensive driving school, to get back on the road. Everyone convicted of DUI in Arizona is also ordered to complete community service. If you have a commercial driver’s license or any other form of professional licensure, this could be at risk as well.
Low Budget Lawyers With Great Results For Our Clients
While the court can appoint an attorney for you, you also have the right in a DUI case to choose your own attorney. This could be the difference between zealous, detailed representation and someone who is overworked and burnt out. Who do you think is going to get better results for your case? At My AZ Lawyers, we make the choice more affordable by offering great rates with payment plan options. Learn more about our great pricing and get your defense started today by filling out our online form or calling 480-833-8000.
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