DUI Penalties in Phoenix, AZ | DUI Penalty Defense
Can you still be arrested for DUI if your blood alcohol is less than 0. The answer is Yes! If the BAC blood alcohol content is 0. However, if your BAC is 0. Remember, it is up to the officer to determine if you are impaired to even the slightest degree. If the substance in your blood is a prescription drug for which you have a valid prescription, the issue will be whether you are using the medication as directed. Some prescription drugs contain warnings that the patient should not drive while using the drug.
Driving despite the warning can get you in trouble. What happens if you refuse to consent to the blood test? That is an automatic suspension with no right to litigation or appeal. A second refusal to submit to a blood test within the next 84 months will be an automatic 2 year suspension. If you cannot afford an attorney, a public defender will be appointed to represent you. There are financial hurdles that must be met to qualify.
If you are not entitled to a public defender, you will need to hire an attorney, and that can cost thousands of dollars.
The first step in the process is an arraignment hearing. At that hearing, you will be formally charged with DUI and informed of your right to request a jury trial.
At trial, the prosecutor will present evidence of your blood alcohol level or drug levels, whatever the case may be. If your levels exceed legal limits, you are likely to be convicted. A standard DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor requiring fines and jail time of up to one year. If you are uncooperative, the judge can increase the penalty. The ignition interlock device requires a breathalyzer test before you can start the car. The penalties are set by statute. As you can readily see, there is no slap on the wrist for a first-time offense. Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation, and the sentencing guidelines do not provide much wiggle room for your lawyer to bargain on your behalf.
If you are convicted of a second offense, the penalties are stiffer. An interlock device must be installed on every vehicle you drive.
Arizona DUI Laws
The penalties described are all for a standard DUI. Depending on the circumstances, a driver can also be convicted of an aggravated DUI or an extreme DUI, both of which are felonies. A first time offender in Arizona is subject to the following penalties:. These penalties are classified as either Administrative Penalties or Criminal Penalties.
For assistance, contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at or for a Free Initial Consultation. Tell us what happened. The impending suspension has to be disputed as an integral part of any DUI defense. Thanks to a federal mandate denying highway funding to any states that failed to lower permissible BAC levels, the legal BAC limit for operating a motor vehicle is generally 0.
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However, in most jurisdictions, an individual can end up with a DUI charge even if his or her BAC is under the legal limit. Extrinsic evidence that shows impairment can be used to secure a DUI conviction although such evidence is often far weaker in court compared to a high BAC test result.
In Arizona, stepped-up penalties begin at BACs of 0. Every state has some form of zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21; many issue citations to young drivers with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems, while others require non-negligible BACs over 0. Other than a high BAC, additional state-specific sentence enhancement factors for a first time drunk-driving conviction may include driving over a certain speed, having child passengers in the vehicle, refusing a BAC test or being involved in a traffic accident.
Some states also require the installation of an ignition interlock a device that requires drivers to submit to a BAC test before their vehicle will start for first time DUI offenders, and vehicle confiscation is also a possibility in certain jurisdictions. In Arizona, as in other states, the per se BAC limit is. Every Arizona DUI offender will face a minimum of 24 hours in jail, and enhanced penalties kick in at a 0. Those arrested with a BAC between 0. First-time DUI offenders in Arizona will additionally be forced to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, attend alcohol education classes and pay mandatory fines.
By contrast, states like Washington, Oregon, California, Nebraska, Wisconsin and New Mexico, require no mandatory jail term for first-time drunk drivers. In Illinois, enhanced penalties do not kick in until BAC levels reach 0. Several states, including Massachusetts, Alabama and Connecticut do not require ignition interlocks for any offenders, and many others apply ignition interlock requirements only to certain at-risk offenders. Unlike Arizona, some states do not require alcohol education classes for offenders.