Arizona DUI Laws Do’s and Don’ts

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If you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI or any crime in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona give us a call at 602-307-0808 24/7 for a Free Consultation.

Know your rights as an American citizen. If you get pulled over it does not mean you are going to jail. However it is important that you understand your rights and that you exercise them. Just as importantly it is important that you give the police officer respect.

Arizona is tough on DUI, DWI and Extreme DUI cases. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, you need experienced legal help. Call us at 602-307-0808 24 hours per day and seven days per week for a FREE Consultation.

What You Need to Know about Arizona DUI Laws

Arizona takes DUIs very seriously, with the state’s laws being among the strictest in the nation. At the very least, DUI is dangerous and puts the public at risk. If you drive in the state of Arizona, understanding the state’s laws helps you protect yourself.

Arizona DUI charges include:

  • Impaired to the Slightest Degree
  • 0.08 percent BAC or greater
  • 0.15 percent BAC or greater
  • 0.20 percent BAC or greater
  • Drug DUI
  • Underage DUI
  • Commercial Drivers DUI – 0.04 percent BAC or greater
  • Aggravated Felony DUI – under revoked or suspended driver’s license
  • Aggravated Felony DUI – 3rd DUI within 84 months
  • Aggravated Felony DUI – with passenger under age of 15 in vehicle

According to state law, you are breaking the law if you drive or have actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any intoxicating substance. The state clarifies that you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08 percent or higher within two hours of having actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

You can also be found guilty of DUI when you have not been drinking at all. This happens after using legal or illegal drugs and being impaired to the slightest degree. Even if your BAC is beneath the legal limit, you can be convicted of DUI if you show impairment to the slightest degree.

Arizona DUI Criminal Penalties

Being convicted of a standard, misdemeanor DUI in Arizona for the first time means you face criminal penalties, including:

  • No less than 10 consecutive days in jail
  • No eligibility for probation or suspension of execution of sentence until entire sentence is served
  • Fines of no less than $250
  • Additional $500 assessment
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for 12 months in personal vehicle(s)
  • Possible community service hours
  • Alcohol and drug screening requirements
  • Alcohol and drug education and treatment

Being convicted of drugged driving means you face the same penalties as alcohol DUI. But for drugged DUI you are not mandatorily required to install a certified ignition interlock device (IID). This decision is mandatory for alcohol DUI, but now at the discretion of the court for drug cases.

Underage drinking in Arizona leads to DUI charges if any alcohol whatsoever is in your system while driving. That applies to all drivers under the age of 21 years. For these charges, you face the above penalties adults face, plus a two-year suspension of your driving privileges.

Felony DUI is a DUI with aggravating factors. Examples of aggravating factors include driving while your license is suspended, invalid or revoked. Driving with a minor under the age of 15, a third DUI in 84 months or causing severe injury or fatality to someone else are also aggravating factors leading to felony DUI.

Having BAC levels at Arizona’s Extreme DUI level without aggravating factors leads to a misdemeanor DUI. But with this charge you face possibly longer jail sentencing and heftier fines.

Felony DUI in Arizona can land you in prison. These sentences range from 10 days to eight months in state prison. Fines and fees average $4000, higher than misdemeanor DUI.

Felony DUI also leads to other penalties, including:

  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for 24 months in personal vehicle(s)
  • Revoked driver’s license for one year
  • Felony criminal record
  • Possible forfeiture of vehicle
  • Possible community service hours
  • Alcohol and drug screening requirements
  • Alcohol and drug education and treatment

Do’s and Don’ts When You Are Stopped for DUI in Arizona

If Stopped for DUI, DWI or Extreme DUI in Arizona, remember these important do’s and don’ts:


* Be respectful to the officer while saying as little as possible.

Be respectful and courteous when pulled over. But say as little as you must and do not admit to anything.

When the officer asks you if you have been drinking, answer this question with another question to avoid incriminating yourself. Answer him by saying, “Would you like to see my license,” or “Why do you ask?”

Admit nothing about having had any alcohol or drugs. You are not required to provide any information to the officer, beyond your driver’s license.

* Have your driver’s license, registration and insurance ready to provide to the officer.

Keep your driver’s license in your wallet and your insurance card and registration in your glove box or center console. You need these to be readily accessible. You should not spend time sifting through glove box items or searching for these documents.

* Turn on your dome light and keep both hands on your steering wheel, where the law enforcement officer can see them.

These things keep the officer at ease and make the entire situation easier for everyone involved.

* If you are being accused of DUI, ask to speak with an Arizona DUI lawyer immediately.

Call DM Cantor immediately at 602-307-0808.

If you are being accused of DUI, ask for release to obtain an independent blood test from a hospital.


* Do NOT admit anything, answer questions or consent to being videotaped.

Police investigate DUI based on reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This suspicion comes from you having bloodshot eyes, slurring speech, smelling of alcohol or lacking coordination. The officer makes the decision to investigate at the window of your vehicle. From that decision forward, everything involves gathering evidence against you. So you need to minimize the amount of evidence the officer gathers before arrest.

* Do NOT take coordination or eye tests.

Roadside exercises or coordination tests are part of the officer’s evidence gathering. Even if the officer asks you to perform roadside tests, you are not at risk of penalty for refusing to do so. The only reason you are given these tests is for the officer to have legal justification for requiring you to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test. No one passes roadside sobriety tests, so do not take one.

* Do NOT try talking your way out of DUI.

Many police officers exert their control or ego during traffic stops. They use their training to control every citizen interaction, toward two purposes:

  1. Public safety and their own safety
  2. Evidence gathering

To achieve these goals, they bark commands, give instructions and expect your compliance. Do not try to use a friend on the force for a favor or drop names to keep the officer from proceeding. It will only make your situation worse.

* Do NOT take the breath test.

Most people underestimate how much alcohol they have had in the course of one day or night. You did not measure every drink before drinking it. Maybe you lost count. Breath tests are also notoriously full of errors, failures and maintenance problems. So do not gamble with your freedom by submitting to a breath test. Remember that refusing this test means you likely suffer an administrative license suspension. Call your DUI lawyer right away at 602-307-0808.

* Do NOT drive impaired.

The best way to avoid a DUI situation is to not drive drunk. It is that simple. Driving drunk means you risk hurting yourself or others. You also do not want to be arrested, lose your license, pay substantial fines, suffer high insurance premiums or lose your job as a result of DUI, either.

*These do’s and don’ts apply to most, but not all situations.

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