A DUI charge in Arizona can result in serious consequences, including financial penalties, a loss of your freedom, and loss of your driving privileges, even if it is your first offense. Read on for more information about first offense DUI in Arizona.
Here is What You Can Expect from a First Offense DUI in Arizona
Arizona’s DUI laws are not only strict but they are confusing for a first-time offender. If you’ve been charged with a DUI for the first time, an experienced DUI attorney can provide guidance as to your legal options.
Arizona First Offense DUI Laws
In Arizona, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In spite of a national legal impairment limit of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, A.R.S. §28-1381 — the state statute pertaining to impairment offenses — a driver in Arizona is prohibited and can be cited for DUI if he or she is impaired in the slightest degree. Other first offense DUI charges include Aggravated DUI, which can be charged if you had a child under 15 years old in the car with you when you were cited; as well as extreme or super-extreme DUI, which provide increased penalties for higher levels of impairment.
Arizona First Offense DUI Penalties
A first offense DUI in Arizona results in penalties such as:
- At least 10 consecutive days in jail. Nine of these days may be suspended. Your jail term can be up to 6 months following an Arizona first-time DUI.
- Fines of at least $1,250, and up to $2,500.
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 90 days.
- If you are convicted of a DUI alcohol offense, an ignition interlock device installed on all of your vehicles for at least 6 months following the completion of your license suspension.
- Probation of up to five years.
- Community service hours and alcohol or drug education classes.
In certain circumstances, the penalties for a first offense DUI can be a lot more severe than what is detailed above, including cases involving serious bodily injury or death caused to another person, as well as DUIs involving a high level of impairment.
Often, if a DUI attorney is unable to get his or her client’s charge dropped due to the circumstances of the investigation, testing, or arrest, he or she will attempt to seek a plea deal in which the client pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for lighter consequences. In many cases, they will seek a reduction to the slightly impaired DUI charge.
Lookback Period for Arizona DUIs
In states such as Arizona, the penalties for DUIs worsen with each subsequent offense during a certain amount of time. The amount of time that officials can go back and consider a prior DUI conviction is known as the lookback period. In Arizona, this period is seven years prior to the current offense.
Reinstatement of Driving Privileges After a First-Time DUI
Those who have had their driver’s license suspended as a result of a DUI in Arizona can sometimes obtain a restricted license that will allow them to drive to work or school, as well as to drug or alcohol classes or treatment. You will likely qualify for a restricted license, provided:
- Your alcohol- or drug-impaired driving did not result in the serious bodily injury or death of another person.
- You have not received another DUI or refused a chemical blood or breath alcohol concentration test in the past 7 years.
- You have provided satisfactory proof of the completion of drug and alcohol screening.
- Pay a small MVD fee.
In order to reinstate your driving privileges after they have been suspended due to a DUI, you must do the following:
- Contact the court listed on the suspension notice and pay all penalties that are delinquent.
- Obtain a court clearance receipt or court abstract form that lists a final disposition code and date, violation code and date, and complaint number.
- Proof of future financial responsibility, known as SR22, from an insurance company licensed to conduct business in Arizona, a certificate from the Arizona Office of the Treasurer showing a deposit in cash or certificate of deposit of $40,000.
- Pay the $10 reinstatement fee in addition to the application fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the penalty for first time DUI in Arizona?
The penalty for a first DUI in Arizona will depend on the specifics of your individual arrest. For first time offenders, penalties will likely include jail time, fines, license suspension, ignition interlock device requirements, probation, and community service.
What makes a DUI a felony in Arizona?
In Arizona, an Aggravated DUI will likely result in felony DUI charges. An Aggravated DUI is if there was a minor present in the vehicle, if the driver had a suspended license, or if they have had 2 or more previous DUI convictions.
Does DUI ruin your life?
No, a DUI does not have to ruin your life. An experienced DUI lawyer can help fight your case and work towards getting your charges lowered or dropped altogether. With the right legal defense, you can move forward quickly after your DUI arrest.
PHOENIX CRIMINAL & DUI ATTORNEY NEAR YOU
Future First Criminal Law is a top-rated Phoenix, Arizona law firm with a practice dedicated to Criminal and DUI Defense. We represent clients all throughout the Phoenix area.
If you need help with a first-offense DUI in Arizona or defending 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.