It is against the law for people to drive in Arizona if their blood alcohol content level is .08 percent or above. As for minors, they cannot have any alcohol in their system; the state has a zero tolerance policy. The penalties for driving under the influence are severe. Some of the most common penalties that drivers face include hefty fines, a license suspension and jail time. Arizona DUI penalties vary based on whether it’s the offender’s first, second or third DUI offense.
Penalties for a First DUI Offense
In Arizona, law enforcement officials have two hours to test a person’s BAC level after the arrest. Those who refuse to take a Breathalyzer or blood test will automatically lose their license for one year. For first-time convictions, most offenders must serve at least 10 days in jail and pay a $250 fine. In addition, first-time offenders usually have to attend an education course and participate in community service. Drivers may lose their license for up to 90 days.
Due to the state’s zero tolerance policy, minors can lose their license for up two years if they have a detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Drivers should also know that Arizona DUI penalties become stricter when a person’s BAC level is .15 percent or greater. This is even true for first-time offenders. For example, the state may require drivers to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. An ignition interlock device renders a vehicle immobile when the driver fails a breath test.
Penalties for a Second DUI Offense
Anyone who receives a second DUI conviction faces a minimum of 30 days in jail. Besides that, offenders will lose their license for two years and have to take a mandatory alcohol education course. Although it depends on the case, some offenders are required to enroll in a treatment program instead of spending time behind bars. According to the law in Arizona, second time DUI offenders must pay at least $500 in fines.
Penalties for a 3rd DUI Offense
Those who have three or more DUI charges face a variety of strict penalties. In Arizona, there is no statutory minimum jail sentence for a third DUI offense. Drivers can have their license suspended for up two years and face more than $500 in fines. The state usually requires third time offenders to install a vehicle ignition interlock device in their car. Drivers must cover all costs associated with the ignition interlock device.
Drivers in Arizona are unable to have a DUI charge pleaded down to a wet reckless charge. In Arizona, all DUI convictions stay on a person’s record for seven years. The state can use any prior DUI charges from the last seven years against an offender while assessing what penalties he or she will face. For a third-time offense, drivers usually face hefty fines, jail time, a license suspension, hours of community service and mandatory treatment.