Being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving can be an unnerving experience for people in Phoenix, and elsewhere. The severity of the situation is often only enhanced when those facing DUI charges become aware of the penalties they could face if convicted. In Arizona, and throughout the U.S., drinking and driving is generally considered a serious offense. As such, DUI convictions generally carry a range of serious consequences.
Under Arizona state law, it may be considered driving under the influence if a person has a blood alcohol level of .08, or higher, within two hours of driving. Furthermore, drivers may be charged with DUI if they are believed to have certain drugs or vapor releasing substances in their systems. For commercial drivers, the legal blood alcohol limit is .04.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, those convicted of DUI are generally fined a minimum of $1,250 for their first offense. With few exceptions, drivers may be sentenced to serve a minimum of 10 consecutive days in jail. Additionally, people may be ordered to complete alcohol screening, education or treatment for first time DUI convictions. They must also typically install a certified ignition interlock device in their vehicles. In some cases, those convicted of DUI in Arizona may also be required to perform community service.
In general, the penalties for DUI convictions are increased for subsequent convictions. A second or third DUI offense may result in a fine of $3,000, or more. Furthermore, people who are convicted on subsequent DUI charges are generally subject to a minimum jail sentence of 90 days. They will also typically have their driving privileges revoked for a period of 12 months. People in these cases may also be required to undergo alcohol screening, or to complete an alcohol education or treatment program.
Here in Arizona, the penalties for DUI convictions are among the toughest in the nation, and may have a significant impact on a person’s future. Therefore, it may benefit those facing such charges to seek legal counsel and representation. An attorney may advise them of their rights and options, as well as help defend them against the charges they are facing.