DUI Arrest in Phoenix, Arizona

A DUI arrest in Phoenix, Arizona can change your life. If convicted, you face possible license suspension, jail time, and other penalties that can impact your life for years to come.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI in Arizona, it’s important to understand what you’re up against.



The State of Arizona takes drunk driving very seriously. As a no-tolerance state, drivers can be arrested for having a BAC that is lower than the legal limit.


Here are the Arizona DUI Arrest Laws You Need to Understand

Under Arizona law, drivers 21 years of age or older can be charged with a DUI for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08%. If you are under 21, you can be charged for having a BAC of 0.01%. Commercial drivers will face DUI charges for having a BAC of .04% or higher.

Drivers face stiff penalties and fines for DUIs, even if it is your first offense.

There are three types of DUIs. The one you are charged with will depend on your BAC and other factors, including previous convictions and whether there were any minors in the vehicle. The more serious the DUI, the greater the penalties.

Standard DUI (.08%)

Penalties for the 1st Offense

  • Jail Time: 24 hours to 10 days
  • License Suspension: 90 days to 1 year
  • Penalties and Fines: $250+
  • Interlock ignition device required

Penalties for a 2nd Offense

  • Jail Time: 30 to 90 days
  • License Suspension: 90 days to 1 year
  • Penalties and Fines: $500+
  • Interlock ignition device required

Penalties for a 3rd Offense

  • Jail: Minimum 4 months
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Penalties and Fines: $750+
  • Interlock ignition device required

Extreme DUI (.15%)

Penalties for the 1st Offense

  • Jail: 30 days
  • License Suspension: 90 days
  • Penalties and Fines: Approx. $2,780
  • Interlock ignition device required

Penalties for a 2nd Offense

  • Jail: 120 days
  • License Suspension: 90 1 year
  • Penalties and Fines: Approx. $3,740
  • Interlock ignition device required

Super Extreme DUI (.20%+)

Penalties for the 1st Offense

  • Jail Time: 45 days
  • License Suspension: 90 days
  • Penalties and Fines: Approx. $3,240
  • Interlock ignition device required

Penalties for a 2nd Offense

  • Jail Time: 180 days
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Penalties and Fines: Approx. $4,650
  • Interlock ignition device mandatory

In Arizona, you can get a DUI without even driving a vehicle. By law, you are prohibited from being in “physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a BAC of .08% or higher. The aim of this law is to prevent drunk driving before it happens.

Several factors will come into play when determining whether you were in physical control of a vehicle, such as:

  • Were the keys in the ignition?
  • Was the vehicle running?
  • Was the driver sleeping?
  • Were the headlights on?
  • Was the vehicle stopped illegally?


Arizona DUI Arrest Process

When an Arizona driver is pulled over for a suspected DUI, one of the first things the police officer will do is look for signs of intoxication, such as:

  • Slurred speech
  • Watery, bloodshot eyes
  • Slow verbal responses to questions
  • Odor of alcohol

If you are facing DUI charges in Phoenix, it is always in your best interest to at least speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in regards to your options before speaking with prosecutors or making a plea deal. Contacting a Phoenix DUI Attorney right away will help give you the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.

If you think there was a possibility that your rights were violated in the process of your DUI arrest, or even if you just need someone to give you an honest assessment of your case and what you can expect from your charges, give us a call — we’re here to help.

If the officer sees any of these signs, he or she may ask if you’ve been drinking and request that you step out of the vehicle.

The officer may ask you to complete a field sobriety test or a preliminary breathalyzer test, also known as PBT to determine your BAC. The results of the PBT test can’t be used in court, but the officer can use it as grounds for arrest. You only need to perform one sobriety test to avoid license suspension in Arizona.

It’s recommended that you refuse the field sobriety test because even sober drivers have trouble completing this test. If you refuse both a field sobriety test and a PBT, the officer will arrest you and take you into custody.

It’s important to note that the arrest is not a conviction.

Once you arrive at the precinct or mobile BAC station, the officer will start asking questions. You may choose to remain silent or ask for your attorney. It’s recommended that you avoid giving any information that you are not required to give. The only thing you are obligated to provide is your driver’s license, insurance and registration.

The next step will likely be a blood or breathalyzer test. Unlike the PBT, the results can be used as evidence in court. Refusing both of these tests will result in an automatic one-year license suspension, even if you are not convicted.

Once the test is complete, you will likely be released, and you may call a cab or a sober friend to pick you up. You may be booked into jail if certain circumstances apply, such as having an outstanding warrant or aggravated conduct against an officer. However, most drivers who are arrested for a simple DUI will not spend any time in jail.

If you are taken to jail, you will be:

  • Searched
  • Fingerprinted
  • Photographed
  • Asked questions
  • Put into a cell

Friends and family may contact the jail for information on your arrest, including bail information and where you are being held.


Should I Hire a Lawyer for a DUI Arrest?

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible. A conviction can have serious consequences that can affect your ability to drive, your job, your family, and your freedom.

A lawyer will help you understand your rights and help achieve the best possible outcome for your case.


Frequently Asked Questions


What does DUI arrest mean?

A DUI arrest is when someone has been charged with driving under the influence. In Arizona, this generally means that they were found to be operating a vehicle with a BAC above .08%.

Are DUI arrest records public?

DUI arrest records, as well as many other criminal arrest records, will show up on your criminal record and as such are accessible by the public. This will most often come into play when someone needs to run a criminal background check, such as for a job or to rent an apartment.

What is the penalty for a DUI in Arizona?

The penalty for DUI in Arizona will depend on the BAC of the driver, as well as if they have had any previous DUI convictions. Penalties for DUI could include jail time, fines, mandatory ignition interlock device, and license suspension.



Future First Criminal Law is a top-rated Phoenix law firm with a practice dedicated to DUI and Criminal Defense. We represent clients all throughout the Phoenix area.

If you are facing a DUI arrest or any other criminal charges, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights.

It’s understandable that you want to get this behind you, but don’t make the mistake of defending yourself or even pleading guilty to the charges. A DUI conviction will have long-lasting consequences, and you need to be aware of what they will be before making any decisions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to discuss your case.