Arizona statutes prohibit driving while under the influence (DUI) of any intoxicating substance, which would include alcohol, drugs, legally obtained prescription medications, or other substances that would impair judgment. If you impaired at all while operating a motor vehicle, you will likely be subject to severe punishment in the state of Arizona. Arizona has some of the strictest consequences for DUIs. If you have been arrested or charged with your first DUI offense in Arizona, it is important to know your rights as well as the likely consequences you may be facing.
Penalties for a First Offense
According to the state of Arizona, if you are found operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.08%, then you may be found guilty of a DUI. While there is no exact test for drugs, a police officer can make the determination regarding impaired judgment through a series of tests that will assess mental ability, coordination and cognitive ability. If you show any kind of impairment due to an intoxicating substance, you will be given a DUI, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The following penalties are applied to a first time DUI offender in the state of Arizona:
- Minimum of 24-hour jail sentence up to a six-month jail sentence
- Minimum $250 fine up to $2500
- Driver’s license suspension from 90-360 days
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your car at your own expense. (This device prevents you from driving your vehicle without blowing into the device first to prove sobriety.)
- Potential three-year probation
- Potential community service
- Potential alcohol/drug assessment and educational classes
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record
A DUI will stay on your record permanently. However, there is a seven-year lookback period in the state of Arizona. This means that if you have any future DUIs, the first conviction for a DUI will be used to influence any subsequent DUI criminal cases within that seven-year period. If seven years pass without any DUI on your record, the next DUI you receive could be considered as a first offense again.
Aggravated DUI in Arizona
As a first offense DUI, you can still be convicted of an aggravated offense if you had a minor child under the age of 15 in your car. If you drive with a child under the age of 15 in your car as an intoxicated driver, it is considered a Class 6 felony according to Arizona Statute 28-1383.
Additionally, if you had a BAD of 0.15% or higher it is considered an Extreme DUI. A BAC of 0.20 or higher is considered a Super Extreme DUI. These criminal charges bring with them even harsher penalties and consequences, even as a DUI first offender.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
While some of the penalties for a first DUI offense are required, an experienced attorney will be able to offer certain plea bargains to the court. Arja Shah is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can review your first offense DUI case, and explain your options to you. Contact Arja Shah today by calling (602) 560-7408 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.