Arizona’s Underage Drinking and Driving Laws

Read about the consequences for underage drinking and driving in Arizona.

Arizona has a strict "not-a-drop" law that makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. An underage violation differs from a standard DUI because it doesn't require proof that the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08% or more or that the driver was impaired.

Underage DUI Penalties

An underage DUI in Arizona is commonly referred to as a "baby DUI." It's considered a class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable with up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $750. Unlike an adult DUI, underage DUI does not carry mandatory minimum jail or fines. However, underage drivers convicted of having alcohol in their system do face a mandatory two-year license suspension. For many drivers, two years without a license is worse than the mandatory jail and fines for a standard DUI.

Additionally, an underage driver can still be convicted of a standard DUI if there's evidence that the driver had a BAC of at least .08% or more or was impaired by drugs or alcohol. If convicted, the underage driver will have to serve at least 24 hours in jail and be subject to all the other penalties of a standard DUI.

Restricted Licenses

Judges have the option of allowing an underage motorist to have limited driving privileges during a DUI suspension—typically, just for going to and from home, school, and employment. If the judge allows limited driving privileges, the driver must install an ignition interlock device.

Other Alcohol-Related Charges

Underage drinking and driving commonly involves other criminal charges related to underage drinking. Common charges include:

  • minor in possession of alcohol
  • soliciting alcohol
  • possessing and/or using a fake ID
  • various traffic violations
  • identity theft, and
  • refusing to provide a truthful name when detained

Some of these charges can carry serious consequences if the driver is convicted.

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