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Arizona DUI Attorney

Arizona DUI Laws

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to beat a DUI charge, even if you failed the breathalyzer. If you were charged with driving under the influence, the team at Liberty Law has both the experience and knowledge necessary to fight your case.

At Liberty Law, we believe that all clients are innocent until proven guilty and we fight for your rights. When you call Liberty Law, you get a free DUI case evaluation, where we explain the court process, what you can expect to happen next, and answer any questions you have. We also review your case, including the events that led up to your initial contact with law enforcement and what happened next.

A DUI charge is serious. Even if it’s your first offense, you face a mandatory jail sentence from as little as 24 hours to as much as two years for an aggravated DUI conviction. You also face a variety of fines and penalties, including installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, a suspended license, and significant increases in insurance premiums. This is not a problem that will just go away; you have to attack it head-on.

The experienced DUI attorneys at Liberty Law know how to mount an effective DUI defense. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

What Constitutes DUI in Arizona?

Book on DUI laws in Phoenix ArizonaArizona breaks DUI, or driving under the influence, into four classifications. The following sections detail each of those classifications, as well as the penalties for each. In addition to the consequences listed for each charge, you also must install an ignition interlock device (IID) at your own expense and complete an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program. You may also be required to complete community service.

Arizona Standard DUI Laws

In all 50 states, the legal limit is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 for drivers over the age of 21 who are driving a standard vehicle. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, the limit falls to 0.04. If you are under the age of 21, there is zero tolerance; you will be charged with DUI for any BAC over zero.

Standard DUI consequences include:

  • First offense: Minimum 24 hours in jail and maximum of 10 days; minimum fines of $1,250 and up to $2,500
  • Second offense: Mandatory 90 days in jail; minimum fines of $3,000; driver’s license revocation of 12 months

Arizona Extreme DUI Laws

If you have a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the charge is Extreme DUI.

Extreme DUI consequences include:

  • First offense: Up to 30 days in jail; minimum fines of $2,500
  • Second offense: Minimum sentence of 120 days; minimum fines of $3,250; driver’s license revocation of 12 months

Arizona Super Extreme DUI Laws

Only a few states include this category and Arizona is one of them. It is reserved for BAC levels 0.20 or higher.

Super extreme DUI consequences include a minimum sentence of 45 days and a maximum of 6 months, with minimum fines of $3,250. Your driver’s license is revoked for at least 12 months.

Arizona Aggravated DUI Laws

If you have a passenger under the age of 15, if it is your third DUI offense in a 7-year period, or if you commit DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license, you face aggravated DUI charges.

This charge carries the most extreme penalties, including two years in prison and losing your driver’s license for three years.

Know Your Rights

If you’re stopped on suspicion of DUI, understand that the officer already believes you’re guilty. Everything that happens next is designed to help prove it. He or she is observing you closely, looking for signs that you are, indeed, under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From the way you stop your vehicle to how smoothly you hand over your driver’s license to whether your speech is slurred, the officer notices it all and enters it into the report (to be used as evidence if your case makes it to court). He or she also looks for more subtle signals, such as whether your eyes are watery or bloodshot, and, of course, the smell of alcohol.

What Happens after You’re Pulled Over

When you see those blue lights flashing, it’s normal to feel a shot of nerves and even fear. Take a deep breath and look for a safe place to pull over. Remember, the officer is watching, looking for signs of intoxication. This includes abrupt stops, parking too close or too far from the curb, or stopping in the middle of the street.

After requesting your license and proof of insurance and registration, the officer will likely ask whether you’ve been drinking. We advise all clients to refuse to answer any questions beyond stating their name unless their attorney is present. You should be polite and show the officer the requested documents, but legally you do not have to answer any other questions.

The Field Sobriety Test

You will likely be asked to take a field sobriety test (FST). We strongly recommend refusing this test. It is highly unreliable and, again, the officer already believes you’re guilty. He or she uses the FST to prove it, watching to see whether you stumble when exiting the vehicle and how steady you are on your feet. The breathalyzer results are often questionable, and the other tests are highly subjective. Even sober drivers often fail the field test. Since Arizona law does not require you to take the FST, we advise you not to take it.

This changes once you get to the police station and are asked to take the chemical test, which may be a breathalyzer, but could be a blood or urine test. There are three reasons we recommend taking the chemical test at the police station. First, these tests are more reliable (though still susceptible to error, which is why we say that a failed sobriety test does not necessarily equal a DUI conviction). Second, refusal to take the chemical test leads to immediate license suspension for a minimum of 12 months. Finally, even if you refuse, you’ll still have to take the chemical test, because the arresting officer will simply get a search warrant, which allows them to conduct their tests whether you agree or not.

Call Liberty Law

A DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences. In addition to all of the legal penalties, that conviction follows you for the rest of your life. It can make it difficult to get a job and may even cause you to lose your current job, particularly if you face significant jail time.

Liberty Law has the experience to mount an effective DUI defense. If you face charges for driving under the influence, call us today for your free consultation.