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Person Drinking & Driving

Consequences for Arizona DUI Conviction

Person Drinking & Driving

In Arizona, you may be charged with varying degrees of DUI offenses depending on the level of your blood alcohol content. These charges are categorized as follows:

Driving While Impaired to the Slightest Degree

This is a class 1 misdemeanor and codified in A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1). This offense takes place if a driver is at all impaired. Though many believe that 0.08 is the legal blood alcohol concentration limit, they might be surprised to learn that an individual with a BAC lower than 0.08 can be charged with a DUI. Furthermore, an individual need not have consumed any alcohol, but might also be charged with a DUI impaired to the slightest degree if under the influence of some other substance. Persons guilty of this offense are subject to the following penalties: a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail, a minimum fine of $250, possible restitution, two additional fees of $500 each, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on the defendant’s vehicle. As far as DUI related offenses go, this charge is the most common and if you or someone you know is charged with a greater DUI offense, they will most likely be charged with this offense as well.

DUI Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Above 0.08 Percent

Also a class 1 misdemeanor, A.R.S. 28-1381(A) states that an individual may be convicted of a DUI “If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle.” However, this offense is not limited to these circumstances, as this statute provides that an individual may be convicted of DUI if the defendant is driving while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or vapor releasing substance; or if the vehicle driven at the time of the offense requires a commercial driver’s license and that driver’s BAC is above 0.04. Persons guilty of this offense are subject to a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail, a fine of $250, community restitution, two additional fees of $500 each, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Arizona Extreme DUI

Also a class 1 misdemeanor, this offense is codified in A.R.S. 28-1382 which states, “It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state if the person has an alcohol concentration as follows within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle: (1) 0.15 or more but less than 0.20 (2) 0.20 or more.” Persons guilty of this offense are subject to the following penalties: a minimum jail sentence of 30 days, a fine of $250, an additional fee of $250, payment of restitution, installation of an ignition interlock device, and an additional fee of $1,000.

Arizona Aggravated / Felony DUI

Codified in A.R.S. 28-1383, this offense is classified as either a class 4 or class 6 felony, depending on the elements of the offense. This statute states “A. A person is guilty of aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs if the person does any of the following: 1. Commits a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382, or this section while the person’s driver license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused or while a restriction is placed on the person’s driver license or privilege to drive as a result of violating section 28-1381 or 28-1382 or under section 28-1385. 2. Within a period of 84 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. 3. While a person under 15 years of age is in the vehicle, commits a violation of either: (a) Section 28-1381. (b) Section 28-1382. 4. While the person is ordered by the court or required pursuant to section 28-3319 by the department to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device, commits a violation of section 28-1381, section 28-1382, or this section.” Persons convicted of this offense are subject to the following penalties: a minimum sentence of 4 months in the Arizona Department of Correction, a maximum jail time of 2.5 years, mandatory drug/alcohol screening and any applicable counseling, a minimum fine of $750, an additional fee of $250, an additional fee of $1500, a three-year license revocation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Further Information About Arizona DUIs

If an additional offense is committed within a specific time period of the original offense, any sentences, fees, or other penalties will become significantly greater. For instance, if someone who has been convicted of either DUI above 0.08 or DUI to the slightest degree is convicted of a second offense within a period of 84 months of the original offense, the defendant is subject to a minimum sentence of 120 days in jail, a fine of $250, 30 hours of community restitution, a revocation of driving privileges for at least one year, and two additional fees of $1,250 each.

Arizona DUI Representation

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Flagstaff, Arizona, take a moment to speak with experienced trial lawyers Gonzales & Poirier about your case. Our no-obligation consultation will help you to determine your legal situation and the possible consequences if convicted to the full extent of the law. Our lawyers aggressively negotiate with prosecutors; fighting to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Please call (855) 774-5400 or click here to schedule a meeting today.

Man Being Pulled Over for DUI

What Are the Costs for an Arizona DUI?

Man Being Pulled Over for DUI Getting a DUI in the state of Arizona is a big deal. You are heavily fined, spend time in jail, could potentially lose your job, and also have your insurance suspended. Add in the potential for injuring someone while you drink and drive, coupled with the social stigma, and you have one bad decision with serious consequences.

As you may know, you can be arrested for DUI if you are found to be in control of a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above. This falls to 0.04 percent when driving a commercial vehicle. Given the relatively low price of alcohol from stores, finding yourself over the limit is a rather cheap endeavor. Unfortunately, the costs associated with a DUI in Arizona are substantial — some would say surprising — and we outline them below.

The True Financial Cost of a DUI Conviction

You would be forgiven for thinking the cost of a DUI is relatively low. Yet this completely overlooks all the associated costs, which are considerable, as you can see:

  • Basic Fines: An average of $1,600 for a first offense. This increases to an average of $4,000 on a second offense and can be as high as $10,000 for a third offense.
  • Towing: After an arrest, your vehicle will get towed. This can cost a basic fee of $100 plus a cost-per-mile charge. At least it is not Chicago, where towing costs $1,200! You can also expect to pay for the cost of storing your vehicle.
  • Court Costs: Up to $1,500.
  • DUI Classes: Up to $185.
  • DUI Attorney Fees: Up to $2,000 but can be as low as $500. You can, of course, try to defend yourself, but if you want to have the best chance of winning the case, you need an knowledgeable DUI defense attorney.
  • Bail: Anywhere from $200 to $5,000.
  • License Reinstatement: You may need to pay up to $500 to have your license reinstated after a DUI conviction.

Ignition Interlock Device

Expect to pay for installation and a monthly service fee.

Woman Using Ignition Interlock Device

Arizona commonly requires individuals convicted of a DUI offense to install an ignition interlock device (IID), which can cost approximately $1,200 annually.

The state of Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. Even if it’s your first offense, you will be required to place an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. It is a machine that records your BAC when you blow into it, and if you are over the limit and attempt to drive, the vehicle will not start. An IID normally costs up to $200 to install, and the monthly rental fees can be as high as $100. Over the course of one year, that’s $1,200! Then you have to pay more money for calibration and regular maintenance.

Loss of Income

If you are employed, a DUI conviction could prove disastrous since jail time is mandatory even for a first-time offender. Depending on the severity of the conviction, you could spend anywhere from 10 days to 4 months in prison. Then you need to appear in court, which also eats into work time. Assuming you earn the average Arizona annual wage of $47,000, a one-month stint in prison could cost you almost $4,000.

Cost of Second and Third DUI Offenses

There are a number of factors taken into consideration during DUI cases in Arizona, including a judge’s interpretation of the facts. Jail terms and financial penalties depend on whether property damage, bodily harm, or dangerous driving were results of the driver’s actions. As we already outlined, first offenses carry relatively stiff penalties along with license suspension, so things only get much worse for repeat offenders.

If you commit a second DUI offense within the state of Arizona inside a 10-year period, the initial fines and overall costs get higher, along with more severe jail terms. By your third conviction, there is a chance your driver’s license will be permanently revoked. Fines can be as high as $10,000 for a third offense, and if you get four months in jail, your loss of earnings will be close to $16,000, assuming you are on the average annual salary mentioned above. Frankly, loss of employment is likely in this scenario.

Rising Cost of Insurance

This really hits hard, as it is not unusual for insurers to double the cost of your insurance after a DUI charge. If you want to get your license reinstated, it is necessary to file an SR-22 Proof of Responsibility form. This makes it impossible for drivers to conceal their DUI conviction from insurance companies.

In the world of automobile insurance, there are three kinds: standard, secondary market, and assigned risk pool. Standard policies are the cheapest and don’t include drunk drivers and other motorists who have filed SR-22s. Secondary market insurance is much more expensive and is for people who have been convicted of a motoring offense in general. Assigned risk pool insurance is exorbitant and is only for those who can’t get insurance anywhere else.

Additional DUI Costs

A number of other costs can bring the total financial damage of a first-time DUI conviction in Arizona towards the $15,000 barrier. While some individuals may be fortunate enough to get a temporary hardship license that allows them to drive to and from work or school while their license is suspended, others are not so fortunate. A DUI conviction in Arizona is also likely to hinder future employment opportunities, as the conviction will be a matter of public record and will show up on a company’s background check.

Conclusion

Overall, the cost of a first-time DUI varies depending on the state, and in Arizona it can be anywhere from $8,000 to $24,000. If you are convicted again, this cost absolutely skyrockets to the point where it could put you in financial peril.

It’s clear that getting convicted for DUI in Arizona is one of the most expensive mistakes of any person’s life. If you believe you have been wrongfully arrested, take action now and contact an respected DUI attorney in Arizona to help fight your corner.

References

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