Getting a DUI in Arizona is not for the faint of heart. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. A DUI conviction will change your life. You can be facing fines and court fees ranging from $1,800 to $17,295; up to 180 days in jail or prison time; community service hours; up to 10 years probation; and loss of your driving privilege. A DUI conviction affects your criminal record, can affect your credit rating, can preclude you from many job opportunities, and can hinder your leasing an apartment or residence. Think about these facts the next time you have had too much to drink and before you get into a car to drive. A taxi ride is definitely cheaper and safer.
Types of DUIs
In Arizona, there are numerous types of DUIs. The two main categories are felony DUIs and misdemeanor DUIs. Each of these have variants. There are two types of felony DUIs which are called Aggravated DUIs. The first type is a class 4 felony Aggravated DUI and carries with it mandatory prison time. A class 4 felony Aggravated DUI is when one gets charged with a DUI when he has had two DUI convictions within the previous 7 years or he gets a DUI when their driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled. A class 6 Felony Aggravated DUI is when one is charged with a DUI and at the time of the driving had a person under the age of fifteen in their car.
The second category of DUIs are Misdemeanor DUIs. The penalties for Misdemeanor DUIs vary with respect to the amount of jail time and financial fees dependent upon one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether the DUI is a person’s first offense or second offense. Typically, as a person’s BAC goes up, so do the penalties. Also, the penalties are normally higher for a second offense than for a first offense. A “regular DUI” is when a person’s BAC is below 0.150. An “Extreme DUI” is when a person’s BAC is at a 0.150, but less than a 0.200. An Extreme DUI is when the person’s BAC is at or above a 0.200 is what is called a “Super Extreme DUI.” Again, as one’s BAC increases so do the penalties.
Any conviction for a DUI carries with it mandatory jail time or prison. Anyone convicted of any DUI will have his driver’s license suspended or revoked. With any arrest for an Extreme DUI or an Aggravated DUI, the police can, and probably will, impound your car for at least 30 days. Anyone convicted of a DUI will also have to have the Ignition Interlock Device placed in any car he/she drives for at least a year.
An Interlock Device is similar to the breath testing instruments the police use to determine a person’s BAC. You will be forced to blow into the Interlock Device, without alcohol in your system, in order to start your car. The results of each blow are recorded and that information is sent to the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) and can be sent to one’s probation officer.
If you have been arrested for, or charged with, a DUI, it is important to get legal representation immediately. There are certain matters concerning the DUI and your driving privileges that must be dealt with within 15 days of your arrest. The attorneys at Petersen Johnson are experienced in DUI cases, are here to help you, and are available 24/7.