What does the law dictate on drunk driving in Arizona?

Drinking and driving is illegal in every state in the United States but Arizona is an especially harsh state on the matter. In most states, if you do not have above .08 blood alcohol content you will not be charged with a DUI but that is not the case in Arizona. You can be charged for what is called a DUI in the “slightest degree” which can be just as harmful as any more serious DUI charges. Here is what the law in Arizona is for driving under the influence.

28-1381. Driving or actual physical control
while under the influence; trial by jury; presumptions; admissible
evidence; sentencing; classification

A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a
vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

1. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing
substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor
releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.

2. If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of
driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration
results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical
control of the vehicle.

3. While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the
person’s body.

4. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a
commercial driver license as defined in section 28-3001 and the person has an alcohol
concentration of 0.04 or more.

B. It is not a defense to a charge of a violation of subsection A, paragraph 1 of
this section that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of
this state.

C. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a class 1
misdemeanor.

D. A person using a drug as prescribed by a medical practitioner licensed pursuant
to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13 or 17 is not guilty of violating subsection A, paragraph 3
of this section.

E. In any prosecution for a violation of this section, the state shall allege, for
the purpose of classification and sentencing pursuant to this section, all prior
convictions of violating this section, section 28-1382 or section 28-1383 occurring
within the past thirty-six months, unless there is an insufficient legal or factual basis
to do so.

F. At the arraignment, the court shall inform the defendant that the defendant may
request a trial by jury and that the request, if made, shall be granted.

G. In a trial, action or proceeding for a violation of this section or section
28-1383 other than a trial, action or proceeding involving driving or being in actual
physical control of a commercial vehicle, the defendant’s alcohol concentration within
two hours of the time of driving or being in actual physical control as shown by analysis
of the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance gives rise to the following
presumptions:

1. If there was at that time 0.05 or less alcohol concentration in the defendant’s
blood, breath or other bodily substance, it may be presumed that the defendant was not
under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

2. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08 alcohol
concentration in the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance, that fact shall
not give rise to a presumption that the defendant was or was not under the influence of
intoxicating liquor, but that fact may be considered with other competent evidence in
determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

3. If there was at that time 0.08 or more alcohol concentration in the defendant’s
blood, breath or other bodily substance, it may be presumed that the defendant was under
the influence of intoxicating liquor.

H. Subsection G of this section does not limit the introduction of any other
competent evidence bearing on the question of whether or not the defendant was under the
influence of intoxicating liquor.

I. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section:

1. Shall be sentenced to serve not less than ten consecutive days in jail and is
not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire
sentence is served.

2. Shall pay a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars.

3. May be ordered by a court to perform community restitution.

4. Shall pay an additional assessment of five hundred dollars to be deposited by
the state treasurer in the prison construction and operations fund established by section
41-1651. This assessment is not subject to any surcharge. If the conviction occurred in
the superior court or a justice court, the court shall transmit the assessed monies to
the county treasurer. If the conviction occurred in a municipal court, the court shall
transmit the assessed monies to the city treasurer. The city or county treasurer shall
transmit the monies received to the state treasurer.

5. Shall pay an additional assessment of five hundred dollars to be deposited by
the state treasurer in the public safety equipment fund established by section
41-1723. This assessment is not subject to any surcharge. If the conviction occurred in
the superior court or a justice court, the court shall transmit the assessed monies to
the county treasurer. If the conviction occurred in a municipal court, the court shall
transmit the assessed monies to the city treasurer. The city or county treasurer shall
transmit the monies received to the state treasurer.

6. Shall be required by the department, on report of the conviction, to equip any
motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to
section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle
the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve
months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person’s driving privilege following
a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department’s receipt of the report of
conviction, whichever occurs later. The person who operates a motor vehicle with a
certified ignition interlock device under this paragraph shall comply with article 5 of
this chapter.

J. Notwithstanding subsection I, paragraph 1 of this section, at the time of
sentencing the judge may suspend all but one day of the sentence if the person completes
a court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program. If the
person fails to complete the court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or
treatment program and has not been placed on probation, the court shall issue an order to
show cause to the defendant as to why the remaining jail sentence should not be served.

K. If within a period of eighty-four months a person is convicted of a second
violation of this section or is convicted of a violation of this section and has
previously been convicted of a violation of section 28-1382 or 28-1383 or an act in
another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of this section
or section 28-1382 or 28-1383, the person:

1. Shall be sentenced to serve not less than ninety days in jail, thirty days of
which shall be served consecutively, and is not eligible for probation or suspension of
execution of sentence unless the entire sentence has been served.

2. Shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars.

3. Shall be ordered by a court to perform at least thirty hours of community
restitution.

4. Shall have the person’s driving privilege revoked for one year. The court shall
report the conviction to the department. On receipt of the report, the department shall
revoke the person’s driving privilege and shall require the person to equip any motor
vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to
section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle
the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve
months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person’s driving privilege following
a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department’s receipt of the report of
conviction, whichever occurs later. The person who operates a motor vehicle with a
certified ignition interlock device under this paragraph shall comply with article 5 of
this chapter.

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