Consequences Of Facing Driving Under The Influence Charges

A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction in Arizona has significant consequences, which include jail time, fines, and a loss of your driver’s license, along with other penalties. Drivers who are stopped by a police officer, tested for drugs and alcohol, and arrested for suspicion of DUI may find themselves charged with a DUI offense if they were impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. Additionally, it’s important to realize that the presence of an illegal drug, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin, in your body can lead to a DUI charge even if you were not impaired and were driving safely. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need an experienced Arizona DUI attorney to protect your rights.

Driving under the influence of alcohol in Arizona

Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol

Arizona state law defines driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as either:

  • Driving a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, or
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, even slightly and even if the person has a low BAC.

This means that drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher can face DUI charges even if they did not seem to be impaired and even if they were driving safely.

Additionally, Arizona law divides DUI charges into three categories:

  • DUI: BAC of 0.08%-0.149%
  • Extreme DUI: BAC of 0.15%-0.199%
  • Super Extreme DUI: BAC of 0.02% or higher

Penalties for Alcohol DUI

A first offense DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Arizona. If you are convicted, the judge can assign a number of penalties, which can include the following:

  • 10 days in jail
  • 90 day license suspension
  • $1250 or more in fines
  • Alcohol and drug screening or treatment
  • Mandatory traffic school attendance
  • Requirement to use an ignition interlock device for up to one year
  • Community service

Penalties are more severe if the defendant is convicted of extreme or super extreme DUI charges. Extreme DUI first offense may be penalized with 30 days in jail and $2500 in fines, while a super extreme DUI first offense may result in 45 days in jail and $2750 in fines. Second and third offense DUIs in a seven year period will incur increasingly harsher penalties.

License Suspension

A first offense DUI in Arizona will result in a 90 day license suspension. The only way to avoid this suspension is by winning both the criminal case and the hearing with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). MVD hearings are similar to trials in that they hear evidence and examine witnesses, but because it is administrative and not criminal, very little evidence is needed in order to suspend the defendant’s license. Criminal courts need significant evidence of guilt in order to suspend an individual’s license. You will want to get legal advice from your Mesa DUI lawyer on how to deal with this situation.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Anyone who is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an illegal drug can receive a drug DUI charge in the state of Arizona. Some drugs that commonly result in drug DUI charges include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Peyote
  • Ecstasy

Drug DUI Penalties

Drug DUI convictions are classified as misdemeanors and incur serious consequences, even for a first time offense. If convicted of a drug DUI, you can receive a sentence of up to six months in jail and up to $2500 in fines. However, in most cases, the penalties are similar to an alcohol DUI:

  • 10 days in jail, or less if you complete a substance abuse program
  • Fines
  • Suspension of driver’s license for one year
  • Requirement to use an ignition interlock on your vehicle for 12 months after license reinstatement, with some exceptions
  • Probation of up to 5 years
  • 8 points against your driving records
  • Required attendance at traffic school

If the defendant has had a prior DUI conviction within the previous seven years, the minimum jail time increases to 90 days.

Both drug and alcohol DUIs face additional penalties if there are extenuating factors, such as driving with a minor in the vehicle, whether damage was caused to property, and whether a person was injured or killed as a result of the impaired driving. If you are facing a DUI or drug DUI, penalties after conviction can be severe and will continue to have consequences in your life for years to come. In Arizona, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for life. It’s important to secure the representation of an Arizona DUI attorney for the best possible outcome.

This article is courtesy of Arizona Zero Down DUI, a leading criminal defense firm that provides experienced and successful DUI representation throughout the state of Arizona.


VS Criminal Defense Attorneys

Phone: 480-923-9001 

Mesa Location
1845 S Dobson Rd Suite 202
Mesa, AZ 85202

Gilbert Location
1425 S Higley Rd #101 Unit 2
Gilbert, AZ 85296