In Arizona, it's illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Generally, you run the risk of being convicted of DUI if you drive:
A driver who's convicted of any of the above offenses is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
Arizona's "aggravated" DUI law imposes stiffer penalties for certain DUI offenses. A DUI is an aggravated offense when the offender drives under the influence:
A driver convicted of an aggravated DUI for having a passenger younger than 15 years old is guilty of a class 6 felony. The other three types of aggravated DUI are class 4 felonies.
Arizona also imposes more several penalties for DUIs involving high BACs. DUIs involving BACs of .15% or more are called "extreme" DUIs. And an offender with a BAC of .20% or greater can be convicted of a "super extreme" DUI.
"Administrative penalties" are those imposed by the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). These penalties are triggered by the arrest and apply even if the defendant's criminal DUI case is later dismissed. For a first DUI, the administrative penalties include:
If you don't request a hearing within 15 days of the arrest, you forfeit your right to challenge the above administrative suspensions.
If your license is suspended for a DUI arrest, you may be eligible for a restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work, school, and drug and alcohol screening and treatment centers. To be eligible you must:
- not have caused death or serious physical injury to another person
- not been convicted of DUI or had a chemical-test refusal suspension in the last 84 months, and
- provide satisfactory evidence that you completed an alcohol or drug screening.
If you're unsure whether you qualify for a restricted license, it's best to contact a DUI attorney in your area.
"Criminal penalties" are those which a court imposes once a motorist is convicted of DUI. For a first DUI, the criminal penalties include:
For some DUI first offenders, Arizona law permits judges to reduce the minimum jail sentence. A judge can reduce the minimum jail time to one day (instead of ten days) for standard first offenders who complete court-ordered alcohol and drug screening and treatment. And a judge can reduce the minimum jail time for drivers convicted of extreme DUI to nine days (instead of 30 days) and super extreme DUI to 14 days (instead of 45 days) if the driver maintains an IID for a period of 12 months following a conviction.