Getting a DUI is a huge problem no matter where you live. For those living in or passing through Arizona, it can be an even bigger problem. Arizona has some of the highest punishments for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol the very reason why you should avoid DUI. Depending on the situation, an Arizona DUI can be classified as a felony.
Typically, a DUI in Arizona is either classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is considered a “minor wrongdoing” while a felony is seen as a more serious problem. In many kinds of legal cases, the amount of negative effect brought onto the public is considered when declaring an offense to be a misdemeanor or a felony. Also brought into consideration is the number of similar offenses on the person’s record. If someone is a “repeat offender” of the same law, they are more likely to be charged with a felony.
Fines, jail time, loss of license and community services are all common punishments for getting a DUI in Arizona. It can be easy for someone to think they can get away with driving drunk, but it is not worth the financial and criminal record risks involved. Playing it safe is always the best option.
The state takes this issue very seriously, but it can be confusing to know what exactly the penalties are if you are charged. Here is a breakdown of the different kinds of DUI charges in Arizona:
A standard DUI is based on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver being at 0.08 or higher. In the first offense, the driver is arrested and held in jail for 10 days. They are also charged $1500 along with other jail and service fees. Counseling is also required on a first offense. The driver’s license may be suspended for 90 days or revoked for a full year depending on the situation. Finally, when the driver resumes driving, their car will be equipped with an “Interlock” system that requires them to pass a breathalyzer test before driving. This system is installed for a year.
In the second offense, the punishments are higher. For the same BAC level, the driver is given 90 days in jail with a possibility of home release after 6 days, charged $3500 along with jail and service fees, and required to attend counseling. With a second offence, the license is suspended for a full year and the vehicle equipped with an interlock breathalyzer for a full year after that. In addition to all of this, the driver must perform 30 hours of community service.
An extreme DUI charge is higher, along with the punishments involved. These charges are based on a BAC of 0.15 or higher and can be classified as a felony in certain cases. On the first offense, a driver will be jailed for 30 days with a possibility of home release after 2 days, charged $2780 plus fees and sent to counseling. Their license is suspended for 90 days and a 1-year interlock is installed into their vehicle afterwards.
On the second offense for an Extreme DUI, a driver will be jailed for 120 days and possibly allowed home release after day 24. The fines balloon up to $3740 plus fees and counseling is required. Their license is revoked for a full year and the interlock system is installed for a full year. In addition, 30 hours of community service is required.
Super Extreme DUI
A Super Extreme DUI is the highest type of DUI charge and most likely to lead to a felony on the driver’s record. These charges are based on a BAC level of 0.20 or higher. The first offense alone required 45 days in jail with possibility of home release after 3 days. The fines start at $3240 plus fees and counseling is required. The driver’s license is suspended for 90 days and their car is equipped with interlock for 18 months.
For a second offense, the driver can be in jail for up to 180 days, possible on home release after 36. The fines start at $4650 plus fees and counseling is required. Their license is revoked for a year and interlock is installed for 2 years. Finally, 30 hours of community service are required.
DUIs are a serious crime no matter where they occur. Drivers put themselves and others at risk of injury or death when they drive drunk, even if they feel like they can drive just fine. It is not worth the risk of life that is involved.