Getting a DUI for the first time is a stressful experience. No doubt you will have a lot of questions about the criminal system and how this DUI will affect your ability to get to and from school or work. It’s important to understand what consequences you will face as a result of your charge, and what the law says.
Arizona DUI Laws
According to Arizona’s criminal code Section ARS 28-1381, which covers any sort of physical control over a vehicle, you can be charged for driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). The code specifies that a driver must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08% in order to be charged with a DUI. But what’s important to remember is that you can still be charged even if you are slightly intoxicated and do not have alcohol in your system. Prescription medicines, even if prescribed by a physician, can impair your driving and thus lead to a DUI charge.
Penalty For a First DUI Offense in Arizona
Like most states, the penalties for every DUI offense get increasingly harsher with each subsequent arrest. For your first offense, the consequences are as follows:
- You will spend between 24 hours to 10 days in jail.
- You will be required to pay a minimum $250 fine.
- Your license will be suspended between 90 and 360 days.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device will be mandatory in your vehicle.
- You may also be required to complete community service hours and a drug/alcohol education program.
With your second offense, as mentioned, the penalties will increase. The fine will double to $500, and the amount of time your license can be suspended for a minimum of 360 days, rather than as a maximum. Therefore, if you need to take the time in an education program, it would be good for you to do so to ensure that you’re driving safely and legally, and put no one in danger, including yourself.
Why You Need An Arizona DUI Attorney
There are a variety of defenses you can use in your DUI case. The first fear many people have is that their job prospects will be minimized and that they will have trouble with gaining employment. An attorney can help you wipe your record clean, but it’s important to consider what else your defense attorney can do.
A knowledgeable attorney who has been in the profession for many years has built up a network of experts that can be called in to provide their professional opinion and assessment on your behalf. This is called bringing in an expert witness. They can range in fields such as medicine to police training. If there is any concern about the validity of the results of your blood tests, or you feel that the behavior of the police officers was out of line with professional standards, then these witnesses can explain what should have happened, and how the mistake has made you seem more culpable than you are.