Phoenix, Arizona, is often called the Soul of the Southwest. This city of 1.6 million people is a study in contrast that attracts more than 16 million visitors a year. Red rocks stand out against a sapphire blue sky, in the brilliant sunshine that infuses 85% of all daylight hours. People travel to Phoenix for world class restaurants, hiking, golfing, and paddling adventures, and sporting events, all set admit the culture and sophistication of the country’s sixth largest city.
A trip to Phoenix equals an amazing vacation (you can read more about what to do in Phoenix here), but you do need to keep something in mind as you enjoy our amazing scenery and activities. DUI Laws in Arizona are among the strictest in the country, and it is vital you not be caught unprepared.
DUI laws in Arizona
There are several different types of DUI offenses in Arizona, and each comes with a different fine and penalty structure.
The first (and most minor) offense is law ARS 28-1381A1. Under this law, you can be considered “impaired to the slightest degree” and penalized for any amount of alcohol in your system, even just a sip or two.
Law ARS 28-1381A2, driving with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, is the more traditionally thought of DUI offense. It means that your BAC is over the limit allowed by law.
More serious offenses include law ARS 28-1382A1 and law ARS 28-1382A2. These, known respectively as extreme and super extreme DUIs, are when your BAC is over 0.20% and 0.45%. When convicted of these offenses, you are looking at fines ranging upwards of $2400, installation of an interlock ignition device on your car, and mandatory jail time.
Other DUI laws that you need to know about are Aggravated DUIs (laws ARS 28-1383A1, ARS 28-1383A2, and ARS 28-1383A3 ). Now, your charge is a felony and you are facing a minimum of 4 months in prison.
Finally, DUI drug laws are also among the toughest in the nation. You can be charged with driving under the influence, even if you have a prescription or your driving is not impaired in any way.
What to do if you’re accused of DUI
The most important thing you can do to help yourself in such a situation is to be prepared. No one wants to think about being pulled over on vacation or any other time, but knowing what to do can save you thousands in fines and months in jail sentences.
First, you must remain silent if you are accused of driving under the influence. Anything you say will be used against you, so be polite but do not discuss your situation with the police. Ask to speak to your attorney, as that will immediately end any interrogation.
Next, refuse any and all roadside tests. In the state of Arizona, a recent court ruling makes it illegal to force anyone to take such tests without a warrant signed by a judge. Exit your vehicle when asked, but do not blow into any machines or do a balance test.
Finally, get a great lawyer on your side. The best thing you can do in your own defense is to get a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney who is willing to go on the offense for you.