Arizona officially uses the term “driving under the influence” (DUI) instead of “driving while intoxicated” (DWI). However, some people still use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to drunk or drugged driving.
Arizona law prohibits driving “[w]hile under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree." A first time offender is subject to a minimum 24 hour sentence in jail.
In Arizona, a third DUI within seven years of an earlier DUI conviction carries much harsher consequences than a first or second 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.
Although a DUI in Arizona is normally a misdemeanor, certain circumstances can elevate a DUI to a felony offense, including having prior convictions, a child passenger, and causing an accident where someone is killed.
An officer’s investigation into your DUI doesn’t end with your arrest. If you are arrested for DUI, the officer will typically ask that you submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you refuse the test, your license will be suspended for at least 12 months (unless you successfully challenge the arrest later.)
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.