Needless to say, this is a spot that no one wants to find themselves in on any day. Arizona is known to have one of the harshest policies of any state when it comes to cracking down on people who drink and drive. Every year, the Arizona state legislature tries to make the penalties for DUIs stricter, thinking this will prevent people from drinking and driving. One thing they can be sure of is that no one will want to drink and drive…again.
DUI is normally charged as a class one misdemeanor criminal offense which can carry maximum penalties of up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, not including other related assessments and fees. At this time, even for a first time offense for DUI, Arizona requires mandatory jail time ranging from 24 hours all the way up to 45 days depending on the level of intoxication and circumstances involved. If the DUI you have been charged with involves: (1) a passenger of under 15 years of age in the vehicle; (2) driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license; or (3) a 3rd or more DUI in the last seven years, you could be facing a felony and a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 months in prison.
There are other serious ramifications resulting from a DUI beyond just incarceration. Of course, the financial strain from a DUI can be severe with fines, fees and assessments ranging from $1,800 to over $10,000 upon conviction. Additionally, you may face a suspension of your driver’s license as well as being required to install and maintain an interlock ignition device in your car. An interlock ignition device requires you to blow through a tube to ensure that no alcohol is present before your car will start. Arizona has recently required that even first-time DUI offenders must have an interlock ignition device installed and operating on their vehicle for up to 12 months. Finally, your insurance rates may skyrocket or you may be dropped from your current policy.
Many people are unaware that a good DUI attorney is your best bet when facing the courts. Oversights or inconsistencies in police procedure or in the breath or blood testing can help bring down charges and fines considerably. A really good DUI attorney could mean the difference between a DUI, a reduced charge, or even dismissal of all charges in some cases.