Arizona deems driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol as a serious threat to public safety. To deter drivers who live in or visit the state from driving while drunk or high, the state utilizes a number of DUI laws designed for motorists of all ages.
Avoiding a DUI in Arizona can be simple when drivers know what these laws are. They can also benefit by knowing what the legal blood alcohol content limits are and what penalties come with driving under the influence in this state.
Standard DUI in Arizona
Arizona defines a standard DUI as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while having a blood alcohol content or BAC of higher than 0.08 percent. This definition applies to drivers of passenger vehicles who are 21 years of age or older.
Drivers of commercial vehicles are permitted to have BACs of 0.04 percent or lower to avoid being charged with DUI. The percentage of alcohol is lower for commercial drivers because of the risk to public safety that their vehicles pose.
Drivers who are under the age of 21 in Arizona must comply with the state’s no-tolerance law. This law prevents minors who are younger than 21 from having any percentage of alcohol in their blood or breath samples. Their allowable BAC as defined by Arizona law is 0.00 percent.
Arizona also has legal definitions for extreme and extreme super DUIs. The defined BACs for these types of DUIs are higher than 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent, respectively. It is also possible to be charged with a DUI in Arizona if a motorist refuses to comply with a breathalyzer or field sobriety testing.
Arizona Standard DUI Penalties
First-time offenders charged with a standard DUI in Arizona can expect to receive any number of legal punishments. They generally are subject to 10 days in jail and a fine of $1500. They also must pay for their own jail costs as well as an $80 monitoring fee.
First-time standard DUI offenders likewise face having their drivers licenses suspended for up to 90 days or revoked for up to one year. They also must use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for 12 months after their convictions.
Second-time standard DUI convictions result in jail sentences of 90 days with home detention being possible after serving six days. Offenders likewise must pay a fine of $3500 as well as their own jail or home detention costs and an $80 monitoring fee.
They are subject to drug or alcohol screening and counseling as well as a suspension of their licenses for one year. Second-time offenders also must complete 30 hours of community service and use an ignition interlock device on their cars for 12 months.
Arizona Extreme and Super Extreme DUI in Arizona
An extreme DUI in Arizona is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 to 0.20 percent. A first-time extreme DUI conviction leads to 30 days in jail with home detention being possible after serving two days. Offenders must also pay for home and jail detention costs and an $80 monitoring fee.
They likewise must submit to alcohol or drug screening and counseling. Their licenses will be suspended for 90 days, and they must use an ignition interlock device on their cars for 12 months.
A second conviction of extreme DUI results in a jail sentence of 120 days. Offenders can be eligible for home detention after serving 24 days.
Second-time super DUI offenders likewise must pay for their jail and home detention expenses and pay $80 for monitoring. They must comply with drug or alcohol screening and counseling.
Their licenses also will be suspended for 12 months. They also must complete 30 hours of community service and have an ignition interlock device on their cars for 12 months.
A super extreme DUI in Arizona results from driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher. People convicted for the first time of a super extreme DUI results in 45 days in jail with home detention available after serving three days. Offenders of first-time super extreme DUIs also must pay $80 for monitoring services as well as jail and home detention costs.
They also pay a fine of $3240 and undergo alcohol or drug screening and counseling. Their drivers licenses will be suspended for 90 days, and they must use an ignition interlock device for 18 months.
A second super extreme DUI conviction leads to a jail sentence of 180 days. Offenders are eligible for home detention after serving 36 days behind bars.
They pay a fine of $4650 as well as monitoring fees and jail and home detention costs. Their licenses are suspended for one year, and they must use an ignition interlock device for two years. They also must complete 30 days of community service.
DUI without Driving in Arizona
In Arizona, it is possible to get a DUI without driving a car. It is against the law to be in actual physical control of a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
Physical control is determined by factors like if the key was in the ignition or if the vehicle was running. If the driver was awake while sitting in the driver’s seat, he or she can also be charged with a DUI.
To determine if a person was in actual control of a vehicle that was not running, a judge or jury must decide if posed a serious risk to public safety. The driver cannot use the defense of sleeping off alcohol or drugs while in the vehicle. He or she could still be deemed a public safety threat if the car was able to be driven when it and the driver was found by law enforcement.
Arizona uses stringent criteria to define different levels of DUI. Standard, extreme and super extreme DUIs result in serious charges like jail time and fines. Motorists can also be charged with a DUI even if their cars are not moving.