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The Risks of DUI Without Driving


In many states, those accused of driving under the influence can face severe legal penalties. For most individuals, being accused of driving under the influence usually conjures up the notion that driving a vehicle must be involved. However, like many states, Arizona has altered its DUI laws. Now, to be guilty of a DUI, you only need to be “controlling” a vehicle. To protect your interests, it is important to understand what constitutes a DUI and the risks involved in being accused of a DUI. So our staff of DUI lawyers in Flagstaff, Arizona, help explain.

The Non-Driving DUI

Under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381, to be accused of a DUI, you need to only be in “actual physical control of a vehicle” while intoxicated. The source of intoxication can be liquor, drugs, a vapor-releasing object containing a toxic substance, or any combination of these substances. The main issue with the element of “control” is that the state of Arizona has had some difficulty in defining exactly what “controlling” a vehicle means.

In a recent Arizona Supreme Court decision in State v. Zaragoza, the court attempted to clarify the statute. In the decision, the court identified that a person’s intent in regard to driving the vehicle is irrelevant. The relevant element is whether there is actual and imminent danger to the driver or to others while the person is in control of the vehicle. Other important considerations are whether the car was running, the radio was on, the keys were in the ignition, the heater or air conditioner was running, and if the driver’s seat was reclined. Overall, the court will typically examine all of the facts to determine whether you were in control of the vehicle.

The Legal Risks of a DUI

Those accused of a standard DUI often face severe legal consequences if found guilty. You face penalties from both the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles and Arizona’s criminal court. The most likely immediate consequences are license suspension and hefty fines. In terms of legal consequences in criminal court, standard DUIs can lead to 10 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, required alcohol screening, community service, and an ignition interlock device.

The legal risks of a DUI increase if you are found guilty of an extreme DUI. According to Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381, an extreme DUI is when you have a blood alcohol level above .15. The penalties for this type of DUI include at least 90 days in jail, a fine of $3,000, driver’s license revocation for 12 months, completion of a drug and alcohol screening program, community service, and an ignition interlock. Another significant factor in terms of legal risk is whether the DUI is your first or second offense. If the DUI is a second offense, the legal risks increase.


If you have been accused of a DUI, getting the right legal support is crucial to your case. A Flagstaff DUI attorney will be able to analyze your case and help you avoid the severe legal consequences involved in being found guilty of a DUI. If you are looking for a DUI lawyer in the Flagstaff or Northern Arizona area, then the law firm of Gonzales & Poirier can provide you with the legal support you need. With our

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.


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.


Car keys gavel alcohol

The Consequences if Convicted of a DUI in Arizona

Car Keys, Gavel & Alcoholic Drink One of the worst things you can do when arrested for DUI in Arizona is nothing. Most people are familiar with the typical fines and penalties associated with a DUI conviction, but few stop to consider the long-term negative consequences. Not only will you suffer financially, you could find your employment status, credit record, and even your very reputation irreparably damaged.

Immediate Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Arizona

In Arizona, a standard DUI is classified as being caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. This level is lowered to 0.04 percent if you drive a commercial vehicle. An extreme DUI is the charge if your BAC is over 0.15 percent, and there is now a super extreme DUI if your BAC is above 0.2 percent. The immediate penalties are as follows:

  • Fines: These can range from a base fine of $250 for a first offense to over $2,400 if convicted of extreme or super extreme DUI. This does not include any payments for damages you may have caused.
  • Jail Time: In the state of Arizona, you can expect to spend a minimum of 10 days in jail if convicted for DUI for the very first time. A third DUI conviction will see you hit with a minimum of four months in jail.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: This is similar to a breathalyzer but is connected to your vehicle dashboard, and drivers previously convicted of DUI will be legally required to blow into the device before driving. If the IID finds your BAC to be above the legal limit, your vehicle will not start. You have to pay for installation, which is around $100, and another $50 to $100 per month as a “lease” payment.
  • License Suspension: Your license will be suspended for 90 days as a minimum on a first offense, and this rises to 12 months if you are a repeat offender. In some instances, your license may be revoked entirely.
  • Preventative Programs: The court’s sentence could also include programs for alcohol teaching and prevention. You may even be sentenced to community service.

Employment Status

However, the negative consequences of a DUI conviction in Arizona extend far beyond the immediate punishment. Here are five ways it hurts your employment status as well:

  1. License Suspension: Assuming you don’t get an exemption for work, a license suspension forces you to rely on public transportation or expensive taxis to get to work. It wreaks havoc with your schedule, and if your job requires you to drive, say hello to the unemployment line. Additionally, a DUI stays on your commercial driving record for decades, so getting another job in this field is nigh on impossible.
  2. Loss of Employment: An increasing number of organizations have mandatory firing policies, which allow them to terminate an employee’s contract for extreme misconduct and/or criminal convictions. If your company has such a policy, you are required to notify them immediately, and then you can expect to be fired.
  3. Job Applications: While not all employers ask about convictions and arrests, the vast majority will, and the DUI stays on your record for up to five years. Though they won’t tell you, the employer is likely to reject your application because of this, and you’ll never know whether or not you would have got the job otherwise.
  4. Missed Work: Even if you’re not fired, a DUI conviction will cause problems at work. There is the small matter of taking days off to go to court, and you may also be required to attend a program for alcohol treatment. Finally, you will miss work in Arizona since even a first DUI conviction will see you in jail for 10 days!

Escalating Insurance Costs

As your driving record will show insurers your DUI conviction, expect your rate to increase by an average of 25 to 35 percent, according to Bill Martin, a senior vice president at Farmers Insurance. However, it is not unusual for drivers to see their insurance quote double when it’s time for renewal, assuming the insurer even wants your business. The level of increase depends on a number of factors, including age, driving history, circumstances of arrest, and number of previous DUIs.

Additionally, if you have been convicted of DUI in Arizona and are looking to renew your license, you need to get a form called (Certificate of Insurance) SR-22 from your insurance company to have your license suspension removed. The DMV needs this form as proof you have liability insurance. If your current insurer does not offer SR-22 policies, you will be forced to change insurers.


Although Arizona has among the harshest set of DUI laws in the United States, accidents caused by drunk drivers are still a major problem. On the plus side, the absolute number of deaths due to drunk driving is down by 46 percent in the 2007 to 2012 timeframe, but the number of drunk driving deaths as a percentage of all road deaths in the state of Arizona has actually increased by over 7 percent from 2011 to 2012.

In 2012, there were 227 road deaths due to drunk driving, over 5,400 alcohol-related crashes where the driver had a BAC of 0.1 percent or more, and over 30,000 arrests. Can you imagine how those who caused the deaths of others feel? It is common for people in such situations to suffer serious psychological trauma as they are unable to come to terms with what they did. Don’t allow yourself to endure this misery; next time you’ve had a few drinks and are tempted to drive, take a taxi or allow a sober and fully licensed friend to drive instead.

There is simply too much to lose; the simple solution is to plan ahead and not drive if you intend on drinking alcohol or abstain and become a designated driver. With punishments including heavy fines, prison, potential loss of employment, and license suspension, a DUI in Arizona is a life-changing occurrence and one you want to avoid at all costs. If you believe you have been wrongfully arrested on a DUI charge, get in contact with knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Arizona to ensure you are not convicted.


Two College Girls Drinking

Common Crimes Among College Students

College is often a time for experimentation and learning your limits. Many students begin drinking and/or trying drugs for the first time in college. The crimes that are associated with the college party lifestyle come in a vast array of seriousness. Here are five crimes that are prevalent in the collegiate demographic.

Public Intoxication

Two College Girls Drinking

Public intoxication in Arizona, also known as “drunk and disorderly,” is when a person is under the influence of alcohol or even drugs in a public place. The telltale signs of this offense often include lewd or disorderly behavior, a loud or obnoxious voice, or aggressive behavior. College students generally don’t have an extensive amount of experience drinking and may be more likely to underestimate their behavior because they don’t know the effects that alcohol may have on them.

Minor in Possession

Most students enter college at 18 years old. This means that for the first two or three years of their college experience, they are not old enough to drink in the United States. For this time period, college students are generally living on their own in dorms or apartments, and they feel like they are fully mature adults. This leads many students to drink prematurely. Purchasing a for a minor, or being under the age of 21 and in possession of alcohol, is illegal and may result in a Minor in Possession charge.

Possession or Use of a Controlled Substance

The term “controlled substance” means many things. We typically think of this term as referring to illegal drugs; however, this term can also be applied to the misuse of prescription medication. College students may feel the need to use drugs or medication to enhance their performance or to relieve stress. In recent years, drugs such as Ritalin have been used to help students focus for exams. Obtaining this medication or any drug illegally puts students at risk for serious criminal charges.

Driving Under the Influence

Handcuffs, Car Keys & Alcohol

Among college-age people, there is a lot of buzz about DUIs. As many as one in four college students has admitted to driving after drinking. Drinking and driving can result in fatal collisions and is always a serious offense. Many college students do not have a good sense of how alcohol affects them, and because of this, they may think it is okay to drive when it is not. Most people don’t have a clear understanding of how their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) fluctuates based on just a small amount of alcohol.

Rape & Sexual Assault

Rape is a crime that occurs in colleges more often than anyone would like to admit. As many as one in four college females will fall victim to rape, usually involving drugs or alcohol. This very serious crime occurs most often at parties when women are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Men can also be victims of rape. Anyone who is intoxicated is not of a sound mental state to provide consent. Most rape cases go unreported due to the personal nature of the crime. Rape is usually committed by a person that is relatively close to the victim.


Bureau of Justice Statistics: Terms and Definitions

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Harmful Alcohol Use

Car Driving at Night Time

Real Case Results – Arizona DUI Charges

Car Driving at Night Time

Our client was stopped and charged with an Extreme DUI for a blood alcohol content over .015. Matt was able to negotiate a plea agreement in both cases for a DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree.

The State of Arizona is widely known for having a tough stance on DUI offenders, with penalties ranging from fees, jail time and license suspensions, to prison sentences in some cases.

At the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier, we represent hundreds of clients each year in DUI related offenses; the results we have obtained for our clients speak for themselves and vouch for our commitment to aggressive, affordable, and effective representation in courts across the State of Arizona. Our attorneys have amassed a record of consistently achieving impressive results for our clients with DUI charges, including reduced charges (such as numerous reductions to reckless driving, a traffic offense), prevention of license suspensions and multiple outright dismissals in which cases against our clients are thrown out of court.

Real Criminal Case Results: DUI

Through the aggressive representation of Matt Poirier we obtained a DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree plea agreement for our client in Verde Valley Justice Court. Our client was charged with Extreme DUI for a blood alcohol content over .015. The potential penalties for an Extreme DUI: 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.

Just last week we fought for and obtained a DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree Plea Agreement for our client in Camp Verde Municipal Court. Our client was stopped and charged with an Extreme DUI for a blood alcohol content over .015.

Matt was able to negotiate a plea agreement in both cases for a DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree, which meant our clients paid a smaller fine and did not have to serve any additional jail time.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier, PLLC carry vast amounts of experience and provide aggressive and affordable representation aimed at attaining the best possible results for our clients. Approaching each case with an individualized strategy tailored to the circumstances surrounding that case allows our lawyers to achieve optimal results while building meaningful relationships with our clients during what is often a very difficult period of time. Call us today for a free initial consultation at (928) 774-5400; or email us at We help clients in DUI’s across the State, including Flagstaff, Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Prescott, Holbrook, & Winslow


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