Understanding the costs of DUI charges in Arizona

Each year, thousands of people are arrested for drunk driving across the state of Arizona. In fact, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported that there were more than 23,000 driving under the influence arrests in 2014 alone. Often, those who are charged with DUI in the state think only of the potential jail time and driver’s license suspension that may result from a conviction of this offense. However, there are numerous costs associated with drunk driving convictions in the state, which drivers need to be aware of.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, those who are convicted of drunk driving in Arizona will be fined a minimum of $1,250 for a first offense. Additionally, they may be required to pay state fees, court fees and monitoring fees. Altogether, these fees could cost drivers hundreds of dollars.

In addition to fines, fees and potential jail time, people who are convicted of DUI in the state of Arizona are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles for at least six months. While many are aware of this, few understand the costs that accompany these devices. Many companies charge installation and removal fees. These costs vary by company, but are typically between $50 and $75 for each service. Furthermore, ignition interlock companies charge monthly monitoring fees. These fees are typically between $80 and $90 per month.

There are also numerous incidental costs, which may accompany DUI charges in the state of Arizona. Often, when people are arrested for suspected drunk driving, their vehicles are towed. The cost of this is typically their responsibility, along with any impound or storage fees. Moreover, people’s vehicle insurance rates may be increased as a result of a DUI conviction. In such situations, people may have to pay premiums up to three times the normal rate for at least three years.

Drunk driving is considered a serious offense in the state of Arizona, and the costs associated with arrests and convictions can add up quickly. Thus, those facing DUI charges may benefit from obtaining legal representation. An attorney may help them to understand their options, and to establish a strong criminal defense.