Information on DUI Laws in Arizona
Each state has its own laws and penalties when it comes to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Depending on which state the arrest took place in and where the charges are being filed, there can be a wide variety of laws and penalties that an offender could possibly face. Arizona has instated some laws that not all states carry – here is what you need to know.
Implied Consent for Chemical Testing
Arizona practices an “implied consent” law when it comes to chemical testing for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). This means that if individuals refuse to submit to a chemical test they will be subject to paying a fine as well as an automatic license suspension:
- First Offense: 1 Year License Suspension
- Second Offense: 2 Year License Suspension
- Third Offense: 2 Year License Suspension
Fines and Penalties
Arizona is one of a number of states that implements a minimum jail sentence for all DUI offenders, among other penalties and fines. It is also important to keep in mind that offenders cannot plea bargain for a lesser charge such as “wet reckless” in Arizona. Some of the fines and penalties an offender faces include:
- First Offense:
- Minimum 24 Hours in Jail
- $250 Base Fine
- 90 to 360 Day License Suspension
- Second Offense:
- Minimum 30 Days in Jail
- $500 Base Fine
- 1 Year License Suspension
- Third Offense
- Minimum 4 Months in jail
- $750 Base Fine
- 1 Year License Suspension
Zero Tolerance Policy for Minors
Currently, there is not a national standard for the acceptable BAC of an underage driver. Some states, like Arizona, have a “Zero Tolerance Policy” when it comes to underage drunk drivers. Additionally, drivers 21 and older cannot have a BAC of 0.08 or above and those driving commercial vehicles cannot have a BAC of 0.04 and above – both of these requirements are the same nationwide.
“Extreme DUI” in Arizona
Arizona has specific laws and penalties for those individuals falling into the category of “Extreme DUI.” These individuals are those who have a BAC reading of 0.15 or higher within two hours of being in control of a vehicle. An “Extreme DUI” conviction is considered a criminal misdemeanor. This type of conviction carries very harsh penalties including:
- $900 Base Fine
- $250 Payment for a “DUI Assessment”
- $1250 Payment for an “Extreme DUI Assessment”
- License Revocation for 1 Year
- Payment of Installation and Maintenance of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on All Vehicles
DUI Attorney in Arizona
Facing a DUI charge in Arizona can be scary and the situation becomes more unsettling when handling it alone. Arizona DUI conviction penalties include hundreds of dollars in fines, temporary suspension of the driver license, installation of an ignition interlock device, and some time behind bars. Penalties increase for second and subsequent DUI convictions and if the driver is underage or convicted of felony DUI, the punishments worsen.
Hiring a DUI Attorney in Arizona
Retaining a good lawyer is the best way to fight a DUI and reduce or wipe out penalties. Anyone facing a DUI charge may request a public defender, which is an attorney appointed by the court. Public defenders are licensed lawyers but they do not have legal specialties and their trial experience tends to be limited.
A DUI attorney is also a licensed lawyer but this professional specializes in DUI cases and has courtroom experience. Though it costs money to retain this type of lawyer, it may not cost much more than a public defender does. It is commonly assumed that public defenders are free, but many defendants do not qualify for legal services at no charge.
Retaining a DUI attorney provides a defendant with several benefits. Lawyers who specialize in DUI cases can easily identify the most important evidence and common DUI car stop mistakes. They use this information to make convincing arguments to judges. DUI attorneys also have a roster of expert witnesses to provide court testimony that strengthens the defendant’s case. By presenting a strong defense to DUI charges, these lawyers introduce reasonable doubt that results in dismissal of the case. If their clients are clearly guilty, DUI attorneys are frequently able to reduce conviction penalties.
Locating a DUI Attorney in Arizona
Skills and expertise of defense attorneys often affect outcomes of DUI trials. Therefore, DUI offenders should take their time when selecting legal counsel. A simple way to approach the situation is to use DUIRights.com to submit an online request for a free arrest evaluation. Legal advocates will quickly identify a DUI attorney practicing in Arizona who will evaluate the case at no charge and make recommendations.
If pleading guilty is inevitable, retaining a DUI attorney is still advisable. This lawyer possesses the specialized knowledge required to speed the case through the legal system and may be able to get penalties reduced in the process. It all begins with the free DUI arrest evaluation and the sooner this step is completed, the sooner the nightmare will end.