Arizona defines impaired driving as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of at least .08% (.04% for commercial drivers and anything over .0% for drivers younger than 21). If an officer stops you for suspicion of driving under the influence, you must submit to a breath or blood test or face an automatic one-year license suspension (two years if you have a prior conviction).
Drivers should be aware of the potential penalties for DUI in Ariz.
DUI carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence even for the first conviction. The state imposes these penalties as follows:
- First offense: 24 hours to 10 days in jail
- Second offense: 30 to 90 days in jail
- Third and subsequent offenses: At least four months in jail
Those convicted of DUI must pay a minimum base fine:
- $250 for the first offense
- $500 for the second offense
- $1,000 for third and subsequent offenses
The offender is also responsible for associated court costs and fees.
Loss of driving privileges
Drivers convicted of DUI receive a mandatory license suspension of 90 to 360 days for the first offense and at least one year for subsequent offenses. When the court restores the person’s driving privileges, he or she must install an ignition interlock device for a specified time period at his or her own expense. This device detects the presence of alcohol and prevents the vehicle from starting.
Extreme and super extreme DUI
Ariz. imposes elevated penalties for so-called extreme DUI (BAC above .15%) and super extreme DUI (BAC above .20%). These convictions carry mandatory jail time starting at 30 days along with required community service for subsequent offenses.
If you have been drinking, stay off the road to avoid these severe penalties. In general, a person who weighs 160 becomes impaired after three to four drinks (either a 12-ounce beer, 3-ounce glass of wine or one ounce of spirits). DUI can result in serious injury and loss of life.