What are the DUI, DWI or OUI laws in Arizona? What are the penalties, how much can I have to drink and what is the legal BAC or Blood Alcohol Content?

In this article we will discuss the DUI, DWI and OUI laws, what the standard penalties are whenever you are pulled over for a DUI, how much you have to drink to be impaired and a few other necessary items every Arizona resident should know before getting behind the wheel after a drink or two.  Get some DUI facts and get informed today!

Dont Drink and Drive. Dont get a DUI.Before we go further in this article, we want to point out that our firm does not condone drinking and driving. Drinking and driving is a serious offense and in some cases can cause not only massive amounts of money, but more importantly someone’s life. Whether you are going out on the town, heading over a friends house or grabbing something quick to eat after drinking at home, you should call a cab, a friend or use Uber. The cost is so minimal to choose a more responsible way of travel than costs of a DUI both financially and otherwise, that it just makes sense. Our firm believes in the protection of rights for all of our clients, but we also want all of you to enjoy life for many years to come.

There are a few things you should know before you get behind the wheel after a drink though, and that is what this article is for.

This article is to assist you in understanding that Arizona is one of the toughest states in the United States for DUI, DWI or OUI criminal laws.

As mentioned above, in Arizona, the DUI penalties are quite strict and depending on which offense you’ve received will determine the harshness of the penalty.

1st Offense: If you’ve been pulled over and depending on whether it is your 1st offense of being impaired you may face a maximum of 10 days or a minimum of 24 hours in jail. Your license may be suspended for up to 360 days, you may have $250.00 in base fines alone and you will be required to have an IID device installed in your car. Want more details, click here or scroll down to view the complete breakdown of the 1st Offense.

2nd Offense: If this is your second offense things really start to get serious. Instead of the maximum 10 days in jail, you could be looking at 90 days in jail and a minimum of 30 days. Your license may be suspended for 1 year, you may have $500.00 in base fines and you will be required to have an IID device installed in your car. Want more details, click here or scroll down to view the complete breakdown of the 2nd Offense.

3rd Offense: If you are looking at a 3rd offense within 84 months of your 2nd offense of a DUI, OUI or DWI than the penalties are even more serious with a minimum of 4 to 8 months behind bars. ARS 28-1383 You’ll be looking at a $750 base fine, a 1 year license suspension and an IID device installed in your vehicle. You could also be looking at possible felony charges, additional classes/screening, additional probation, more money in fines and your drivers license being revoked.  As you may be asking yourself, is a DUI a felony, it possibly could be. Want more details, click here or scroll down to view the complete breakdown of the 3rd Offense.

Although these penalties are the basis of all impaired drivers, there are stipulations to any rule, however depending on your circumstance, classification of DUI, how you responded to the police officers requests and so on. For instance, if you refuse to take the chemical test in Arizona you could automatically lose your license based on “Implied Consent”.

DUI Field Sobriety TestWhat is “Implied Consent”? In Arizona, it is the law that when police officers ask you to take a chemical test (blood, breath or urine) that you consent. Failure to consent may make things worse for you, but as an American you do have a choice. If you do refuse the test you will surrender your license to the arresting officer and your license will be suspended for at least one year or two years for multiple offenses.

There are instances where you may want to refuse to take the test, but there are also instances in which taking the test may be a better option for you. Either way, consent is your choice. If you do chose to refuse the chemical test and Arizona suspends your license, you must be notified about the suspension and be provided forms so that you can challenge it. To do this, you will need to request a hearing in writing or online within 15 days of when the notice was sent to you.

Refusing doesn’t always mean that you won’t have your license for one year. If you do chose to refuse the test and you’ve completed ninety consecutive days of your suspension you could be eligible for an IID license that you would keep throughout the remainder of your suspension.

In many situations, whether or not you refuse to take the mandatory chemical test you cannot be forced to do so, however if you are unconscious or have passed away the state can administer the test.

Physical control of a vehicle: Another interesting note is that if the officer can prove that you were in control of the vehicle that they can ask you to take a chemical test. What does this mean? You may have heard the story of a guy who decided to pull off the road because he knew he was intoxicated. He was found asleep with his head near the passenger door, parked in an emergency lane, with the engine running. If you have, you may have also heard that he was taken into custody (State of Arizona v. Love). But why? He was taken into custody because he was still “in control” of the vehicle even though he was not driving it. The keys were in the ignition, the car was on and in theory he could have put the car in drive and took off on his marry way.

There are actually quite a few cases such as this one here in Arizona, take a look at a few of the stories and how the stories pertain to the laws from our friends over at FindLaw: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-supreme-court/1347821.html

Before we go any further, we are not saying by any means that we are telling to or not to consent. Our goal is to address Arizona law & not provide any advice on this article. If you feel that you were wrongly arrested, treated unfairly or need an experienced attorney to help you with your DUI, DWI or OUI case give us a call today at (602) 262-4357.

What is the BAC or Blood Alcohol Content laws for minors, adults and commercial driving adults?

If you are a minor or anyone under the age of 21, there is a ZERO tolerance policy law. If you are caught drinking and driving or simply under the influence or not driving and you are under the age of 21 there could be serious consequences. If you are an adult or someone over the age of 21 the BAC is .08% and if you are an adult Commercial driver your BAC must be under .04%.

Ok, now we’ve gone over the basic principles of a DUI, but something we haven’t covered yet and that are the classifications of DUI charges in Arizona. Arizona law classifies impaired driving in the below ways;

  • DUI
  • Extreme DUI
  • Super Extreme
  • Aggravated DUI

Extreme DUI:

We’ve already gone through what a DUI is, so let’s take a look at what the consequences are for an Extreme DUI. An Extreme DUI is classified as a person who is under the influence and has a BAC of 0.15 or higher within two hours of driving or being in actual control of the vehicle.

This is when the costs and stress may begin to go up too, so with a 1st offense Extreme DUI there is a $900 fine, plus $250 for a DUI Assessment as well as $1,250 extreme DUI assessment. At your own expense you will also need to install a IID device in all of your vehicles.

With a 2nd offense of an Extreme DUI within 5 years of your last DUI there is a $450 fine, another $250 for a DUI Assessment and a $1,000 fee for the extreme DUI assessment. Your drivers license will be suspended for a period of 90 days to a year and you must install (at your own expense) an IID device in all of your vehicles.

How much can I drink before I can get a DUI?

There is no set amount, each person’s body breaks down the alcohol in different ways. The simple answer is if you have one drink you should seriously consider calling a friend, a cab or Uber to get you home safely. As we mentioned before, the cost of a cab is much cheaper and less detrimental to other people’s safety than it is to drive yourself.

What is an IID device? An IID or Ignition Interlock device is a device that is installed in your car, a little larger than a cell phone and used to monitor your breath when exhaled into it. Each time you start your vehicle you must first blow into the IID device. If you have alcohol on your breath the vehicle will not start. While you are driving the Ignition Interlock device may randomly require you to blow into it to ensure that you still are not impaired. If at any time you blow into the IID device and you are impaired the IID will log the event, warn you and then set an alarm (for instance your lights will begin to flash). The alarm will turn off once the ignition is turned off or whenever a clean breath has been provided into the Interlock device. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) noted that they’ve seen a 40-95 percent reduction in the rate of repeat impaired driving offences when the IID device remains in the vehicle.

If you have other questions and we didn’t cover them here, give us a call. We would love to speak to you about your specific situation and discuss your options of how to protect yourself. You can call us at (602) 262-4357 or by filing out our online form today!

For more information about DUI’s visit the ADOT website on Driver Services for Driver Improvement specific to Driving Under the Influence: http://azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/driver-improvement/dui

1st Offense:
Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-1381

  • Slightest Degree/Vapors-
  • Alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving
    • = Class 1 Misdemeanor.
    • Maximum 10 days in jail consecutive
      • Judge may suspend all but one day of the sentence if the person completes a court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program. There are fees associated with the program. If person fails to do the course, judge may order all of the jail time be served.
      • There may be jail fees
    • $250 fine
    • Community Restitution
    • $500 Prison Construction and Operations fund fee
    • $500 Public Safety Equipment Fund
    • Shall be required by the department, on report of the conviction, to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-3319. This also may have additional fees.

1st Offense: EXTREME INFLUENCE

Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-1382

  • 15 or more but less than 0.20.
    • Minimum-No less than 30 days in jail consecutive– may be jail fees (9 days suspended if interlock)
    • No less than $250 assessment
    • Additional $250 assessment
    • $1,000 Public Safety Equipment Fund Fee
    • $1,000 Prison Construction and Operations Fund fee
    • Community Restitution
    • to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section A.R.S. §28-3319. This may also have additional fees.
  • 20 or more. SUPER EXTREME
    • Minimum- no less than 45 days in jail consecutive –may be jail fees
    • No less than $500 assessment
    • Additional $250 assessment
    • $1,000 Public Safety Equipment Fund Fee
    • $1,000 Prison Construction and Operations Fund fee
    • Community Restitution
    • To equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section A.R.S. §28-3319. This may also have additional fees.

OTHER SITUATIONS

Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-1381

  • Any drug- not a defense that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of this state.
  • Vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle. A class in itself with specific penalties.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter – A.R.S. §13-1103 – the death of another due to a reckless act.

2nd Offense:

Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-1381

Within a period of eighty-four months a person is convicted of a second violation of this section.

  • 15 or more but less than 0.20.
    • Minimum-No less than 90 days in jail, 30 days consecutive – may be jail fees
      • Judge may suspend all but thirty days of the sentence if the person completes a court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program.
    • No less than $500 assessment
    • $1,250 Public Safety Equipment Fund Fee
    • $1,250 Prison Construction and Operations Fund fee
    • 30 hours Community Restitution
    • Person’s driving privilege revoked for at least one year and equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section A.R.S. §28-3319 [http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/28/03319.htm&Title=28&DocType=ARS]. This may also have additional fees. After forty-five days of the revocation period, may be eligible for special license.

2nd Offense: EXTREME INFLUENCE – Within a period of eighty-four months a person is convicted of a second violation of this section.

Pursuant to A.R.S. §28-1382

  • 15 or more but less than 0.20.
    • Minimum-No less than 120 days in jail, 60 days consecutive – may be jail fees
    • No less than $500 assessment
    • Additional $250 assessment
    • $1,000 Prison construction and operations fund fee
    • $1,250 Public Safety Equipment Fund Fee
    • $1,250 Prison Construction and Operations Fund fee
    • 30 hours Community Restitution
    • Person’s driving privilege revoked for at least one year and equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section A.R.S. §28-3319. This may also have additional fees. After forty-five days of the revocation period, may be eligible for special license.
  • SUPER EXTREME 20 or more.
    • Minimum- no less than 180 days in jail, 90 days consecutive –may be jail fees
    • No less than $1,000 assessment
    • Additional $250 assessment
    • $1,000 Prison construction and operations fund fee
    • $1,250 Public Safety Equipment Fund Fee
    • $1,250 Prison Construction and Operations Fund fee
    • 30 hours Community Restitution
    • Person’s driving privilege revoked for at least one year and equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section A.R.S. §28-3319. This may also have additional fees. After forty-five days of the revocation period, may be eligible for special license.

3rd Offense

Within a period of eighty-four months commits a third or subsequent violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section or is convicted of a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section and has previously been convicted of any combination of convictions of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section or acts in another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382 or this section.

Our law firm offers free consultations for DUI, DWI and OUI matters, call today at (602) 262-4357.

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The Wesbrooks Law Firm, PLLC has a broad service area with locations in both Arizona & Texas. Our Attorneys serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Peoria, Tempe, Chandler, Avondale, Glendale, Prescott, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Flagstaff, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County and Pima County. Please visit our website concerning our services we offer in Austin, Texas. Disclaimer: The information provided on www.wesbrookslaw.com is not legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by the use of this website. IRS Circular 230 Notice: To the extent that this website concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.