Your Shot at an Arizona DUI Deferment

Arizona DUI deferment diversionArizona DUI laws are some of the toughest in the nation, and the consequences are just as strict. As such, when facing a drunk driving conviction, we all look for the easiest way to get our lives back. Some states offer DUI deferment or diversion programs for many “simple” offenses. However, Arizona DUI law does not budge, and it does not offer plea bargains or DUI deferments. Instead, your key to reducing the impact of your drunk driving conviction is in your commitment to using your ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices are required for all Arizona DUI Offenses.

A DUI is charged when you are arrested for driving dangerously and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures at or above .08 percent. Sometimes, even if your BAC is lower, you could still be charged with a DUI if you are clearly a danger on the roads. If you are convicted, even if it is your first time, you will have an ignition interlock requirement.

However, if you and your Arizona ignition interlock device are getting along and you have not had any violations or further DUI problems (among other criteria), you could be eligible for a six-month reduction in the time you are required to use the device. You could essentially reduce a one-year interlock requirement in half, just by being a model interlock user. You cannot change the criminal consequences of your actions, but you can at least restore your freedom earlier than you originally thought.

Arizona DUI deferments and diversion programs are not an option, which means it is on you to make up for the impaired mistake that could have caused a lot more worry than When you are serious about getting your life back after an Arizona DUI, your best road there includes an ignition interlock device. You will not be able to drive without one until you are successfully driving WITH one.

Arizona Underage DUI Consequences Affect Teens and Parents

Arizona Underage DUIIt is important to have honest conversations with teens about consequences of their actions. They need to be aware that some things in life have to be taken seriously. One of the most important of these conversations should be about alcohol consumption and driving afterward.

The entire United States has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. Nowhere in this country you can get behind the wheel of a car after even one drink while underage and not be charged with an underage DUI if you get pulled over. In Arizona, if you are caught driving under the influence before the age of 21, the consequences are severe. Impaired driving is not required, merely a BAC of .01% or higher, to be charged with an Arizona underage DUI.

With an Arizona Underage DUI, just like a standard DUI, you don’t even have to be driving. If you are in actual physical control of the vehicle, you can be charged. In other words, if you are sitting in the driver’s seat on the side of the road, sleeping or awake, with the keys on your person, a DUI charge can be made.

The consequences for an Arizona underage DUI can include:

  • Up to 6 months in a juvenile detention center.
  • $2500 fine.
  • Suspension of your driver’s license and/or the installation of an ignition interlock device.
  • Drug or alcohol treatment programs.
  • Community service.

An ignition interlock device installation may even affect the parent’s vehicle and access to it, not only will the offending teen have to use it to operate the vehicle, so will the parent. As well as affecting the teen and the parents’ vehicle(s), it will affect the teen’s insurance rates which also impacts the parents’ pocketbook Some insurance companies will terminate the policy completely if there’s an underage DUI conviction and others will raise their rates by $100-200 per month. An underage DUI has consequences for both teens and parents, talk to your children about underage drinking.

Will We See Another Thanksgiving DUI Blitz in Arizona?

Thanksgiving DUIThe holiday season approaches with high expectations of Black Friday Deals and DUI prevention. There is never a more dangerous time to drink and drive than during a holiday season. Not only because the cops are plentiful on the roads and on high alert for any signs of drunk driving, but because the roads are more crowded with cars full of families traveling to see their loved ones.

Thanksgiving DUI rates rise due to family pressures, holiday shopping, and extended weekends.

Last year, Arizona police set up a Thanksgiving DUI blitz to help discourage drinking and driving during the holiday season. They made 333 DUI arrests, up only slightly from the 317 arrests that were made the year before. Arizona officials are hopeful that coordinated events such as the Thanksgiving DUI blitz will help to limit the number of drivers driving while intoxicated after holiday parties. They want to encourage drivers to remember to always have a designated driver or to use one of the easily available transportation options that do not require you to drive.

The Thanksgiving DUI blitz did not just catch those driving under the influence last year, it also resulted in police officers issuing 243 criminal-speeding tickets and 2,440 civil-speeding tickets. These numbers are both up from 2015 also. The bottom line is you should always exercise caution while operating a motor vehicle and obey the laws, whether they’re DUI laws or speed limits that are put in place to keep you and other drivers safe.

During the holiday season, police officers will be extra vigilant to help keep drivers safe while traveling, but they cannot make your choices for you. If you do not want the only gift you receive this Christmas to be your Thanksgiving DUI, including an ignition interlock requirement, be safe and be smart. This year, Arizona may be planning its own festival of lights. Drive sober.

An Arizona Felony DUI Is No Happy Hour Special

Arizona Felony DUIMany people who work the typical nine-to-five look forward to happy hour and the time they spend with their co-workers or friends. What makes happy hour so great is socializing and celebrating the end of another long, hard work week. It is time to let loose and let those worries slide away while you have a couple drinks and a few laughs.

In Arizona, happy hour can quickly turn sour, especially if we are not careful about how much “happy” we are drinking. The laws governing drunk driving are among the toughest in the nation. An Arizona felony DUI is called an aggravated DUI. You can be charged with an aggravated or felony DUI under the following circumstances:

  • You have committed three or more DUI offenses in the last 7 years, excluding any time you have spent in prison, in the state of Arizona or any other state in the United States.
  • You drive under the influence while your license is suspended, revoked, or has any type of restriction placed upon it.
  • You have a passenger under the age of 15 in your car while you are driving under the influence.
  • You are caught driving under the influence while you have an ignition interlock device.

Arizona Felony DUI convictions carry harsh penalties; just the mandatory minimums should be enough to discourage drunk drivers. The mandatory minimum penalties for an aggravated DUI include four months in prison, fines, mandatory counseling, an ignition interlock device, and a three-year revocation of your license. And these are just the beginning of the long-term effects a felony conviction can have on your life.

A felony conviction carries a stigma with it. People are automatically suspicious of you and it is not something you can hide. For the rest of your life, you will have to disclose your status as a felon to employers, rental agencies, or any other situation where a background check is required. The effects of an Arizona felony DUI on your life should not be discounted and should be counted as another major reason to avoid drinking and driving.

Be smart and know your limits, if you have had too many make sure a responsible, sober driver is on hand to get you home safely. Let happy hour live up to its name, not turn your good time into a tragedy.

Arizona Implied Consent: Your BAC Test Refusal Options

Arizona implied consent violationArizona implied consent penalties fall under two different areas: the per se consequences and the no refusal consequences. As with the majority of states, Arizona has both criminal and administrative (DMV) penalties for a DUI, and that begins with the first test a suspected drunk driver is asked to take: the initial blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test via police breathalyzer.

Violating Arizona implied consent laws means you will face additional penalties.

For an admin per se violation of the Arizona implied consent laws, your initial cooperation with the breathalyzer test that indicates your BAC is at or above the per se limit of .08 percent will result in a 90-day license suspension. Of that 90 days, you will likely be eligible for a restricted license (and ignition interlock device) after 30 days. However, you will be given 15 days to get your affairs in order before the suspension goes into effect.

For the implied consent violation, you would have to refuse the initial breathalyzer test with the understanding that you will then be arrested (law enforcement probably will not just let you go when you refuse the breath test). You will then have no choice but to be BAC tested once in police custody. This type of violation will result in your license suspension for one year, with possible eligibility for a restricted license (and interlock) after 90 days. You will also be required to carry SR-22 insurance and provide proof to the DMV.

When you first applied for your driver’s license, you agreed to BAC testing if you were ever in a DUI investigation. Arizona implied consent laws are a big reminder of that initial commitment that was made to be a safe driver. Any Arizona BAC test refusals after getting your license are taken seriously, with the next step leading directly to further investigation of your ability to drive safely.

“I Drove without My Arizona Ignition Interlock!”

Don't drive without your Arizona ignition interlockWhen you have an Arizona DUI, you are expected to follow your court order to the letter. That means your ignition interlock requirement is essential in the process, and not something you can blow off… even if you’re just running down the street to the store. Arizona requires ignition interlock devices for all DUIs, even a first-time offense.

Driving without a required Arizona ignition interlock device means your requirement will be extended an additional year from the original date you were eligible to have the device removed. So, your quick drive results in your extended commitment to sober driving with the interlock.

That is just one violation of your ignition interlock requirement. You could also face similar consequences for failing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test too many times. If your device records data that shows any circumvention or tampering, you could be in violation. Refusing a startup or rolling retest are also violations, all of which could mean your requirement is extended or that you are removed from the program entirely.

“I was also intoxicated when they caught me driving without my Arizona ignition interlock device.”

Unfortunately, now there are even more obstacles in your path to regaining your freedom. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the number of offenses on your record, you will certainly have an extension in the program, if not a complete removal. Plus, you’ll have all of the additional penalties for a second or subsequent DUI. The reality is that the interlock requirement was there to prevent this very situation, and now you will have to face those very real consequences.

Even if you don’t like your interlock, your best way to get through the requirement is to use it as directed and calmly wait for the day it is uninstalled. That’s the day you can look forward to driving from the service center without another thought to your interlock.

You Really Don’t Want to Risk an Arizona DUI

Arizona DUIAn Arizona DUI is nobody’s idea of a good time, but people still take a chance on their level of sobriety, discovering too late that they were, indeed, too drunk to drive. Taking drunk driving seriously is the job of every resident in every state, advocating for the enforcement of current laws and strengthening those same laws as time moves on. But there are even more problems than the criminal consequences for a DUI. Drunk drivers in Arizona have a lot more at risk than community service and an ignition interlock requirement.

For a simple DUI, one that wasn’t a danger to another person or property, the criminal consequences are just the beginning. As a way to keep an accused drunk driver from repeating that mistake between the time of arrest and the official court hearing, Arizona adopted an administrative license revocation (ALR) policy through the DMV. Essentially, you can lose your license through the DMV, before you even have a criminal conviction, and you’ll need an ignition interlock to restore your license.

Oh, and if you don’t own a vehicle, you can’t just wait out the ALR in Arizona. You have to serve out the ignition interlock requirement one way or another, no matter how long it takes, if you ever want to legally drive again.

But that’s not all! If you have a security clearance or work as a teacher in the state, your DUI could affect your employment status. You could also have a harder time renting a home or finding housing.

Of course, the biggest risk with a DUI is the potential to kill another person, or yourself. Drunk driving is the cause of about one in three road fatalities across the U.S., giving you the best reason of all to never put yourself or others at risk, just because you weren’t sure how intoxicated you really were before you decided to drive home.

BAC Up: Super Extreme Arizona DUI

a Super Arizona DUI is anything butIn Arizona, recently noted as a state with perhaps the toughest DUI laws in the US, there’s no getting around a DUI.  The per se DUI BAC of .08 percent (the national standard) still affects regular drivers in court, as well as the .04 percent BAC for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. An Arizona DUI doesn’t require a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading, however, and there are criminal and legal penalties for minimal-to-no BAC. That all makes it unlikely for you to get away with drinking and driving at all, especially when your BAC is so “super extreme” that you probably can’t even walk… much less drive.

Super Extreme Arizona DUI Penalties:

  • 45 consecutive days in jail; mandatory drug/alcohol evaluation and completion of a mandatory alcohol treatment program.
  • Fines and costs exceeding $3,200.
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension (30 days no driving, and restricted license possible for the remaining 60 days).
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned or have access to for 18 months after license reinstatement.
  • Probation for up to 5 years.
  • Possible community service.
  • Possible impoundment of your vehicle.

A BAC of .20 percent or higher is considered a Super Extreme Arizona DUI, which is a pointedly apt name considering the “staggering” effects alcohol has on the body at that point. Alcohol drinkers at this stage are disoriented, confused, dizzy, and emotional, as well as lacking in muscular coordination. With their  slurred speech and the inability to walk without faltering, it’s no wonder why these penalties are in a class of their own.  

Of course, as previously stated, even a low BAC DUI has its own penalties in Arizona. With minimum penalties including 24 hours to 10 days in jail, fines and costs exceeding $1,500, probation up to 5 years, and much, much more, it’s better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, just call a taxi. Be vigilant and responsible by not drinking and driving.

Arizona is Tough on DUI Drivers

Arizona DUI driversArizona has high priorities for street safety, especially when it comes to DUI drivers. In Arizona and across the U.S., a DUI results from a person having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Arizona has the strictest DUI penalties in the country, allowing it a top rank from several organizations in the fight against drunk driving. If that’s not enough incentive to drive sober, Arizona also has sobriety checkpoints and the state will impound an offender’s vehicle in many cases.

What makes Arizona tough on DUI drivers are penalties for drunk driving, such as:

  • Mandatory 10 days in jail time of ten days for a first time DUI, plus a minimum fine of $750.
  • That jail time increases to 90 days for second-time convictions, with a minimum $1,750 fine.
  • A third DUI will increase jail time (four months to two years), increase fines and will cause a life-changing felony conviction on an offender’s record.
  • A high BAC DUI results in a revoked license, which can be more difficult to restore than a suspended license.

Not only that, but Arizona may require an ignition interlock device for DUI drivers that refuse a breathalyzer test in addition to the legal requirement through the judicial system.

DUI drivers are quickly becoming less of a threat in states like Arizona and across the U.S. Much of that is the result of organizations like MADD who campaign tirelessly for stricter laws. The other side of the reduction in DUIs and drunk driving incidents could be contributed to the higher reliance on technology that stops drunk drivers, such as ignition interlock devices, as well as rideshare services like Uber or Lyft that offer a safe and easy way to get home. That all adds up to safe streets and one of the best examples of a state that is dedicated to a progressive approach toward safety.

How Arizona BAC Affects Your DUI

Arizona BAC and your DUIArizona is tough on DUI offenders, with both administrative and judicial penalties handed down as the result of the circumstances surrounding their arrest. For example, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 percent or by refusing the Arizona BAC test entirely, an offender has an immediate administrative license suspension through the DMV. That BAC is a factor in even more consequences for a DUI driver in Arizona, with the freedom to drive legally hanging in the balance.

Arizona has an Extreme DUI policy for drunk drivers with .15 percent BAC or higher.

At .15 percent BAC, a person has likely lost all ability to be responsible with alcohol consumption, being behind the wheel and most other life-altering decisions. .08 percent BAC is the legal limit for a DUI in all states, making the high BAC extreme DUI an obvious danger on the roads.  If your BAC is at or above the .15 percent limit, Arizona will immediately revoke your license (not suspend) to send a strong message about how the state doesn’t tolerate drunk drivers. Once your revocation period is over and you are given the “all clear,” you will likely have at least a year with an ignition interlock device to keep you from repeating your mistake, or disabling your vehicle if alcohol is detected in your breath sample. After a second DUI offense in Arizona, you may also face the impoundment of your vehicle, plus higher fines, more jail time and a longer interlock requirement.

Whether Super Drunk or Extreme DUI, a high Arizona BAC is a recipe for disaster

Some people rely on math to keep them under the BAC limit, while others stop counting after just a few drinks. The best bet to avoid an extreme DUI in Arizona or even the lesser BAC version is to keep a steady head before you’ll be drinking and figure out how you’ll get back home even before you step out of your front door.

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