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Arizona DUI Nutshell
ARIZONA'S DUI LAW
There are five (5) different classifications of
drinking and driving offenses:
it is unlawful to drive or be in control of a motor vehicle while under
the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug, vapor or any combination thereof.
it is unlawful to drive or be in control of a motor vehicle with an alcohol
concentration of .08 or more within two hours of driving.
it is unlawful to drive with certain drugs [i.e. cocaine, marijuana etc.]or
their metabolites in the body.
it is unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more
within two hours of driving. This offense is classified as "Extreme DUI"
and carries additional penalties.
if you have a commercial driver license "CDL" and your blood alcohol concentration
is a .04.
These are separate
charges. A driver can be charged with one or any combination of these charges
depending on the circumstances. Usually, if a driver submits to a chemical
test which results in an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, he/she will
be charged with both offenses.
If a driver
refuses to submit to a chemical test and none is performed non-consensually,
he/she will only be charged with driving under the influence assuming the
officer has enough evidence to establish probable cause for the arrest If
a driver refuses to participate in a chemical test of his breath, blood
and/or urine, the police are authorized by law to obtain a search warrant.
If a search warrant is obtained, and the driver still refuses to participate,
law enforcement can literally strap you down and take the bodily fluid,
can be charged as felonies - prison mandatory - if you have prior DUI's,
or your driver license was suspended at the time of the offense, or you
have a person under 15 years of age in the vehicle.
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A person charged
and convicted of one or both of the aforementioned is guilty of a class
one misdemeanor. A first time offender shall complete an alcohol abuse screening.
The court may order the offender to obtain counseling, education, or treatment
if the court or the screening facility determines that the offender has
a substance abuse problem.
If the offender
has the financial resources to pay all or part of the screening, counseling,
education, or treatment, then the court shall order him/her to do so. All
programs must be approved by the Department of Health Services. The statute
requires the court to sentence a first time offender to serve not less than
ten consecutive days in jail.
court may suspend all but twenty-four consecutive hours of the sentence
if the offender completes an alcohol abuse screening. Since the statute
stipulates consecutive hours the court cannot give credit for any time served
on the day of the arrest.
also require a fine of not less than four hundred twenty-five dollars plus
administrative fees and court costs. The court may also order the offender
to perform up to forty hours of community service and attend a class sponsored
by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, known as the Victim Impact Panel. Usually
the offender will also be placed on twelve months of probation as well.
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A person convicted
of a second offense within sixty months of the first, or a first offense
and has previously been convicted in another state for a first offense that
complies with an Arizona law, is guilty of a class one misdemeanor. The
dates of commission of the offenses are the dispositive dates in determining
the sixty month period. A second-time offender is subject to the same sanctions
as a first-time offender regarding an alcohol screening, counseling, education,
treatment and payment.
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requires the court to sentence a second-time offender to serve not less
than ninety days in jail. The court may suspend all but thirty days of the
sentence if the person completes a court-ordered alcohol screening, counseling,
education and treatment program. If the person fails to follow through with
counseling, education or treatment, the court will issue an order compelling
the person to show cause why the remaining sixty days should not be served.
Thirty days must be served consecutively unless the sentence includes a
provision for work release, which is discussed below; then the requirement
is reduced to forty-eight consecutive hours. The statute requires a fine
of not less than eight hundred dollars plus administrative fees and court
costs. The court may also order community service, the Victim Impact Panel,
and supervised probation.
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First and second-time
offenders are eligible for work release. Whether or not a personís sentence
will include work release is left tot he discretion of the court. If a person
is employed or is a student the court may permit the person to be released
from jail only long enough to complete the actual hours of employment or
studies, up to twelve hours per day, and not more than five days per week.
However, a first time offender cannot commence a work release program until
he/she has served at least twenty-four consecutive hours in jail. Likewise,
a second time offender must serve at lease forty-eight hours in jail before
a work release program may begin.
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offenders may also be eligible for home arrest. There are several requirements
that must be satisfied before a person may be accepted into this program.
Contact our office or the probation department for the list of requirements.
Begin working on satisfying those requirements well before the time of sentencing.
The probation departmentís approval is necessary before the court will place
someone in the home arrest program. The home arrest sentence will include
forty-eight consecutive hours in jail, thirteen days on work release, and
forty-five days of home detention. The person will be allowed to leave the
home to work, attend school, or attend treatment.
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A person convicted
of an aggravated drinking and driving offense is guilty of a class four
felony. Either driving under the influence or driving with a blood alcohol
content of .08 or more will be considered an aggravated offense if it is
committed while the personís license is suspended, canceled, revoked, refused,
or restricted, and the state can prove that the person knew the status of
his driving privileges. Likewise, if a person is convicted and has been
previously convicted of two prior drinking and driving offenses in Arizona,
or in any other state where the law complies with Arizona law, with all
these offenses occurring within sixty months, the last conviction will result
in an aggravated sentence. The dates of commission of the offenses are the
dispositive dates in determining the sixty month period. An aggravated sentence
includes a minimum of four months in prison. Probation, suspension of sentence
or release on any other basis is not available until the person serves at
least four months. The sentence will also include up to ten years supervised
probation and alcohol screening, counseling, education and treatment. If
the person fails to complete the screening, counseling, education or treatment
the court may re-sentence the person to an additional term ranging from
four months to one year. Should the personís probation be revoked he/she
will not receive any credit for the time served when re-sentencing occurs.
The court may also impose a fine up to one hundred fifty thousand dollars.
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