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If you live in Arizona, you’re in a state with one of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the country. Why? Because Arizona has zero tolerance for driving while under the influence.
Having no tolerance for drinking and driving means even if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is under the federal legal limit of .08, you could still be arrested. However, if your BAC is .05 percent or lower, A.R.S. 28-1381 states “it may be presumed that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor.”
The DUI Levels
There are four levels of a DUI in Arizona:
- Standard DUI: if you have a BAC of .08 and are the legal drinking age (21 years old). It lowers to .04 for commercial vehicles and .00 for anyone underage.
- Extreme DUI: the next level is if your BAC is .15 or more. Expect harsher penalties.
- Super Extreme DUI: if your BAC is .20 or more (.05 percent higher than the extreme level), the penalties and consequences are more even harsher.
- Aggravated DUI: to get an aggravated DUI, you could have been caught at least three times in seven years. You may have had a minor under 15-years-old while driving drunk. Alternatively, you drove drunk with an interlock device in your vehicle.
For a first-time offence of a standard DUI, it comes with 10 days in jail, fines of roughly $1,500, screening and counseling, a 90-day suspension or up to a one-year revocation, as well as 12 months with an interlock device in your vehicle. If it is your second standard DUI, the jail time increases to 90 days (with home detention eligibility after six days), over $3,500 in fines, your license is revoked for one year, and you will have to complete 30 hours of community service.
If you are hit with an extreme DUI for the first time, you’ll be jailed for 30 days (with home detention eligibility after two days), close to $3,000 in fines, required screening and counseling, 90-day drivers license suspension, and 12 months with an interlock device. For a second extreme DUI, the jail time mores to 120 days (home detention eligibility after 24 days), over $3,700 in fines, drivers license revoked for one year, and 30 hours of community service.
For the first offence of a super extreme DUI, there is 45 days in jail (home detention eligibility after three days), around $3,200 in fines, required screening and counseling, a 90-day drivers license suspension, and an interlock device for 18 months. Your second offence can come with 180 days in jail (home eligibility after 36 days), over $4,500 in fines, revoked drivers license for one year, 24 months with an interlock device, and 30 months of community service.
Driving drunk should never be an option. If you find yourself unable to drive at the end of the night, Mesa DUI lawyers always recommend having a safe ride home. Call a cab or an Uber, walk home if that is an option, or call a friend to pick you up. If you know you will be drinking, always plan for a safe ride home from these options or with a designated driver.