Felony vs. Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona

Driving under the influence is a serious, life-threatening issue in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nearly 10,000 people were killed in crashes where alcohol was involved, making up almost a third of all driving-related deaths in 2014[1]. Police arrested another 1.1 million drivers for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2014, but that only makes up a fraction of the reported 121 people every year who reported that they drove while under the influence in a 2012 study[2].

In Arizona, anyone with a driver’s license has consented to blood alcohol concentration or drug content (BADC) testing if you are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence under the Implied Consent Law[3]. Depending on the test results you could be charged for a DUI, Extreme DUI, or Aggravated DUI. If you’re under 21 years old, your license can be suspended if any level of alcohol is detected.

DUI: Your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08 percent, or above 0.04 percent if you are in a commercial vehicle. This is considered a misdemeanor in Arizona.

  • First Offense: First time offenders face between 1 to 10 days in jail, a fine not less than $250.00 plus surcharges, two $500.00 assessments, and your license may be suspended for 90 days. Your vehicle will also be equipped with a certified ignition interlock device, you will be required to attend alcohol treatment, screening, and / or education, and you may be ordered to perform community service hours.
  • Subsequent Offenses: Second time offenders face between 30 to 90 days in jail, a fine not less than $500 plus surcharges, two $1,250.00 assessments, and your license will be revoked for one year. A third DUI violation within seven years can be charged as a felony and carries a mandatory minimum four-month prison sentence, revocation of your driver’s license, and higher fines. Your vehicle will also be equipped with a certified ignition interlock device, you will be required to attend alcohol treatment, screening, and / or education, and you may be ordered to perform a set number of hours of community service.

Extreme DUI: Your blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or above or .020 or above. This is considered a misdemeanor in Arizona.

  • First Offense: First time offenders face 30 to 45 days in jail, fines and assessments not less than $2,500, and your license may be suspended for up to a year. Your vehicle will also be equipped with a certified ignition interlock device, you will be required to attend alcohol treatment, screening, and / or education, and you may be ordered to perform a set number of hours of community service.
  • Subsequent Offenses: Second time offenders face at least 120 to 180 days in jail, fines and assessments not less than $3,250, and your license will be revoked for up to a year. Your vehicle will also be equipped with a certified ignition interlock device, you will be required to attend alcohol treatment, screening, and / or education, and you may be ordered to perform a set number of hours of community service.

Aggravated DUI: If you commit a DUI while your license is canceled, revoked, or suspended, you commit three DUIs within 84 months, you commit a DUI while someone under the age of 15 is in your vehicle, you commit a DUI or refuse to submit to a BADC test while an ignition interlock device is installed, you may be charged with Aggravated DUI, a class 4 felony in Arizona.

  • Any Offense: If convicted of an aggravated DUI, you face mandatory prison time in most cases, your license will be revoked, and your vehicle will also be equipped with a certified ignition interlock device, you will be required to attend alcohol treatment, screening, and / or education, and you may be ordred to community service.

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact MayesTelles PLLC today. Many of our Phoenix DUI attorneys are former prosecutors, and understand how the other side will act during your case, giving us the ability to create a strategy that can react to and anticipate their actions. Contact us today to give details about your case, or call us at (602) 428-7104. The sooner you retain a Phoenix DUI lawyer, the more we can do to assist you.

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[2] Jewett A, Shults RA, Banerjee T, Bergen G Alcohol-impaired driving among adults— United States, 2012. MMWR Morbi Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(30):814-17.

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