According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Arizona apprehends about 27,000 drunk drivers each year and charges them with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence).
It doesn’t take a lot of drinking to reach a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in the state. For each 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce measure of hard liquor, your BAC generally rises about 0.02 percent. Depending on your body weight and other factors, that means as few as three or, at most, five drinks will put you near or over the limit.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI in Phoenix or nearby areas of Glendale or Scottsdale, immediately contact our team at Faussette & Faussette. We will listen to your story, explain all of your options to you, and help you formulate the best legal strategy moving forward.
The Basics of DUI Charges in Arizona
Arizona is among the strictest of all states when it comes to penalties for DUIs. We’ve already mentioned how easy it is to reach the BAC limit that can trigger DUI charges and penalties. On average, it takes about one hour for your body (depending on your weight and other health factors) to process one triggering consumption of alcohol. In other words, more than one drink per hour can lead to a serious increase in BAC, potentially resulting in either impaired or presumed drunk driving.
The penalties for DUIs rise for each offense:
The penalties resulting from a DUI conviction in Arizona vary depending on different factors, including whether or not it is your first offense. The escalating levels of penalties include:
- First Offense: Jail time of 10 to 45 days, a minimum of $500, and 90 days to one year of driver’s license suspension. Additional requirements may include a MADD Victim Impact Panel.
- Second Offense: Jail time of 90 to 180 days, a minimum fine of $500, and a license suspension of one year.
- Third Offense: Prison time of four months minimum, a minimum fine of $750, and a license suspension of one year.
All offenses require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all of your vehicles, meaning you cannot start your vehicle without passing a BAC breath test.
In addition, penalties can stiffen based on your class of DUI:
- A basic DUI is one with a BAC above 0.08 percent and below 0.15 percent
- An extreme DUI is one with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher
- An aggravated DUI is possible when your driver’s license has already been suspended, revoked, or canceled; it’s your third DUI within seven years; a passenger in the car was under the age of 15, or you refused to submit a breath sample while under an IID mandate.
A “Baby DUI” applies to drivers under 21. In these cases, any level of BAC is considered a DUI. Also, even if you’re 21 or older, you can still be charged with a DUI when though your BAC is below 0.08 percent.