In Arizona, a second DUI within seven years of an earlier DUI conviction carries much harsher consequences than a first-time offense. Under Arizona law, it's illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Generally, you can be convicted of DUI if you drive:
- while "impaired to the slightest degree" (impairment DUI) by drugs or alcohol
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (“per se” alcohol DUI) within two hours of driving
- with any amount of a drug or its metabolite in your body (per se drug DUI), or
- a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or more.
Generally, a driver who’s convicted of any of the above offenses—even if it’s a second conviction—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:
- having been convicted of two prior DUIs within the past 84 months (even if the priors weren’t committed in Arizona)
- while the driver's license is suspended for a previous DUI arrest, conviction, or chemical-test refusal
- while someone younger than 15 years old is in the car, or
- after having been ordered by a court to drive only with an ignition interlock device (IID).
A driver convicted of an aggravated DUI for having a passenger younger than 15 years old is guilty of class 6 felony. The other three types of aggravated DUI are class 4 felonies.
Classifications Based on Elevated BAC
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 second DUI, the administrative penalties include:
- Per se alcohol and per se drug DUI. Motorists caught driving with a BAC of .08% or greater within two hours of driving (.04% or greater for commercial drivers while driving a commercial vehicle) or any concentration of drugs in the body while driving within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of their car faces a license suspension for no less than 90 days.
- Chemical-test refusals. Motorists who refuse for a second time a chemical test (a breath or blood test) in violation of Arizona’s implied consent law face a two-year administrative suspension of their driving privileges.
Once you complete an administrative suspension, you'll have to complete drug and alcohol screening to get your license back.
To challenge an administrative license suspension, you must request a hearing within 15 days of the arrest.
Special Interlock Restricted Driver License
If your license is suspended for a second DUI conviction, you may be eligible for a special ignition interlock restricted driver license that allows you to drive to and from work, school, and drug and alcohol screening and treatment centers. The requirements vary depending on the type of DUI conviction. Generally, they include:
- completing 45 days of the license revocation period
- completing a drug and alcohol screening (and providing proof)
- providing proof of installation of an IID, and
- providing proof of financial responsibility to the DMV (SR-22).
Even if you meet each requirement, the DMV can still refuse to give you a special interlock restricted driver license. 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 second DUI, the criminal penalties include:
- Standard second DUI. A standard second DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor. Generally, drivers convicted of a second DUI must serve at least 90 days in jail (30 of which must be served consecutively) and pay fines and assessments of at least $2,000. However, the judge can reduce the minimum jail to 30 days if the defendant completes alcohol and drug screening and treatment. The DMV will revoke the driver's privileges for one year. If the violation involved alcohol (as opposed to drugs), the driver must install an IID, which remains in the car for at least 12 months following the completion of the license suspension or revocation. Additionally, the driver must complete at least 30 hours of community service.
- Second extreme DUI. An extreme DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor. Convicted drivers must serve at least 120 days in jail (60 of which must be served consecutively) and pay fines and assessments of at least $3,250. As with a standard second DUI, there’s a 12-month IID requirement, 12-month revocation of driving privileges, and at least 30 hours of community services for a second extreme DUI conviction.
- Second super extreme DUI. A super extreme DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor. Drivers convicted of a super extreme DUI face at least 180 days in jail (90 of which must be served consecutively) days in jail, fines and assessments of at least $3,750, an 18-month IID requirement, and at least 30 hours of community service. Also, the DMV will revoke driving privileges for 12 months.
- Second aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI in Arizona can be a class 4 or 6 felony. Drivers convicted of a second or subsequent aggravated DUI must serve no less than eight months in prison. Convicted drivers also face at least $4,000 in fines and assessments, a mandatory 12-month license revocation, and if the DUI involved alcohol, there’s a 24-month IID requirement. A motorist who owned the car used during the offense may face vehicle forfeiture.
Talk to an Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, get in contact with an experienced DUI attorney. A qualified DUI attorney can help you navigate the complexities of DUI law and tell you how the law applies to the facts of your case.