State agencies enforce rigorous DUI laws in Arizona, as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered highly dangerous. Drivers will be subjected to severe penalties, including points on their driving record, jail sentences, license suspensions and steep fines provided they have failed or refused to take a chemical test.

Find out more about AZ DUI and DWI infractions and the resulting punishments in the following sections.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Arizona

If you have been issued a DUI citation by a law enforcement officer after failing a chemical test, your AZ driver’s license will immediately be suspended. You will need to complete alcohol or drug screenings as well as driving education courses in order to obtain a restricted credential or restore your license. However, if you are found guilty of multiple DUIs in court, your penalties may increase in severity.

Arizona DUI Violations and Penalties

Drivers who have been charged with a DUI in Arizona may face serious punishments both by the state Department of Transportation and the corresponding court. Consequences that follow an AZ DUI conviction usually depend on several factors, such as your level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), your age and the number of prior citation you have on your driving record.

First DUI Offense

If you are facing a DWI conviction in AZ for the first time, you will be pay lower fines and serve less time in prison than recurring offenders. A first offense will result in a license suspension for a minimum of 90 days, a jail sentence of at least 10 consecutive days and a minimum fine of $1,250.

Second DUI Offense

A second DUI in Arizona will include more severe punishments, such as a minimum fine of $3,000, at least 90 days in prison and will result in your license getting revoked for one year. After facing a conviction for the second time, your sentence may also include mandatory alcohol treatment, the use of a certified ignition interlock device (IID) and community service work.

Extreme DUI

Drivers can also face an extreme DUI charge if they are caught driving with a BAC of .15 or more. While a first time extreme offense will include a minimum $2,500 fine, second-time offenders will be fined no less than $3,250. Other requirements, including community service, a jail sentence and mandatory alcohol screenings to ensure sobriety.

Aggravated DUI

Motorists will be charged with an aggravated DUI if they are driving while their license is suspended or revoked, or if they are committing a third DUI violation within a period of seven years.

This form of violation is accompanied by all the previous penalties and even more fines and jail time. Drivers must consider hiring an experienced drunk driving attorney in order to help lower the severe penalties that apply in such instances.

Drinking and Driving in Arizona

Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs reduces motorists’ reflexes and their ability to see clearly and recognize dangerous situations. AZ driving laws strictly prohibit motorists from consuming alcohol or drugs while driving, as these substances greatly increase the chances of car accidents that result in serious injuries and even death.

Arizona DUI Attorneys

If you are at risk of incurring serious DUI charges in Arizona, consider hiring a DUI lawyer to resolve your case in a favorable way. An experienced defense attorney is highly recommended, especially in cases where you have been charged for an extreme or aggravated DUI, as an attorney may be able to negotiate for more lenient penalties on your behalf.

Hiring a DUI Attorney in Arizona

When securing the services of a knowledgeable drunk driving attorney in Arizona, motorists must ensure they hire the candidate who best fits their needs. A good lawyer must be able to help drivers complete any required documents, guide them through court proceedings, advise them on how to plead and try to reduce their sentence.

Prior to hiring an Arizona DUI lawyer, however, conduct in-depth research on the professional background of several candidates and inspect their credentials to ensure you have the best legal representation.

Arizona Open Container Laws

If you are caught operating a vehicle on public roads and highways with an open container of an alcoholic beverage in any compartments within your reach, you will receive a citation.

An AZ DUI offense due to an open container will be categorized as a class 2 misdemeanor, and may result in even more severe penalties. If you аre а passenger riding in a bus, taxi, limousine or the living area of a motor home, note that you are an exception to this rule.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Arizona

A driver’s license suspension is usually issued to drivers who refuse to take or successfully complete a chemical test for the first time. Habitual violators of state DUI laws are generally subject to harsher penalties, including license revocations.

To reinstate a revoked or suspended license, you must complete any requirements imposed both by AZ DOT and the presiding court. Reinstatement criteria usually includes:

  • Completing an application form.
  • Paying the applicable fees.
  • Installing an ignition interlock device (if required).
  • Providing proof of future financial responsibility.
  • Completing alcohol screening/treatment.

Arizona Alcohol Awareness Classes

State agencies generally require motorists convicted of a first DUI in Arizona or any subsequent DUI-related infractions to successfully complete alcohol education courses prior to reinstating their license. Drivers enrolling in DUI classes may be able to learn more about the negative effects of alcohol, as well as state drinking and driving laws.

Motorists also have the option to complete a traffic school course for the purposes creating safe driving habits.

Arizona SR-22 Insurance

Part of the license reinstatement process is providing proof of future financial responsibility. SR-22 insurance is required for any court-conviction, suspension, revocation or implied-consent suspension. You are required to maintain proof of insurance for a period of three years beginning the date you become eligible for reinstatement.

Failure to submit and maintain SR-22 insurance after being convicted of a DUI will result in an extended suspension period until valid proof is provided.

Arizona Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Under DUI laws, motorists will be subject to harsh penalties if caught driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles will be penalized for a BAC of .04 or more.

Motorists younger than 21 years of age, on the other hand, will be accused of committing an underage DUI offense for any level of alcohol concentration in their system. In addition to this, drivers may also incur tough penalties if they refuse to submit to a chemical test.

Hardship License in Arizona

Drivers with a suspended or revoked license may obtain a restricted credential provided they qualify. In order to obtain a provisionary or hardship license after a drivers license suspension, motorists must first complete the following steps:

  • Contact a local AZ MVD office to verify eligibility.
  • Install an IID on their vehicle.
  • Submit proof of SR-22 insurance.
  • Complete an alcohol treatment program (if required).
  • Provide payment for the applicable fees.
  • Prove they have no other withdrawal actions awaiting on their driving transcript.

Hardship licenses will allow drivers to driver to work and back even though their license has been suspended, but they will be unable to travel anywhere else unless it is approved by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.