Driving under the influence may lead to harsh consequences. Drivers may not only lose driving privileges but face jail time, depending on the charges. 

Knowing Arizona’s laws and penalties for committing a DUI is important to understand the risks taken and how to avoid charges. 

The penalties 

Any drivers over 21 years of age face DUI charges if their blood alcohol content is over 0.08%. After an arrest, drivers must have an ignition interlock device installed in the car for one year, although first-time offenders may be able to have it reduced to six months. This device requires that the driver breathes into it to verify a BAC below the limit. 

The specific penalties for a case depend on how many offenses the person previously committed and how high the BAC level was. For example, when first-time offenders have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, it is an Extreme DUI, and they face a harsher sentence of 30 days in jail with a fine of at least $2,500. 

  • First offense: A suspended driver’s license for 90 days to 360 days, up to 10 days in jail and a $250 fine 
  • Second offense: A suspended driver’s license for 360 days, 30 to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine 
  • Third offense: A suspended driver’s license for 360 days, at least four months in jail and a $750 fine 

Zero tolerance 

Studies show that approximately 35% of drivers aged 15 to 20 die in alcohol-related car accidents every year. Arizona is one of the 15 states that have a zero-tolerance policy for DUIs. This law means that any person under 21 years of age needs to have a 0.00% BAC while driving. 

Physical control  

Under Arizona law, a person may not be behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, even when he or she is not driving. The law states that a person must be close enough to operate the vehicle, but the court evaluates each situation on a case-by-case basis.