DUI Laws In Arizona
There are two different classifications of drinking and driving offenses. First, it is unlawful to drive or be in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug, vapor, or any combination thereof. Second, it is unlawful to drive or be in control of a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 or more within two hours of driving. These are separate charges. A driver can be charged with one or both. Usually, if a driver submits to a chemical test which results in an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, he/she will be charged with both offenses. If a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test and none is performed nonconsensually, he/she will only be charged with driving under the influence (assuming the officer has enough evidence to establish probable cause for the arrest). A person charged and convicted of one or both of the aforementioned is guilty of a class one misdemeanor.
Substance Abuse Screening
If convicted, a first time offender must complete an alcohol abuse screening. If the court or the screening facility determines that the offender has a substance abuse problem, the court may order the offender to obtain counseling, education, or treatment. If the offender has the financial resources to pay all or part of the screening, counseling, education, or treatment, then the court shall order him/her to do so. All programs must be approved by the Department of Health Services.
Arizona Penalties For DUI - First Time Offender
The statute requires the court to sentence a first time offender to serve not less than ten consecutive days in jail. However, the court may suspend all but twenty-four consecutive hours of the sentence if the offender completes an alcohol abuse screening. Since the statute stipulates consecutive hours the court cannot give credit for any time served on the day of the arrest.
The statutes also require a fine of not less than four hundred twenty-five dollars plus administrative fees and court costs. The court may also order the offender to perform up to forty hours of community service and attend a class sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, known as the Victim Impact Panel. Usually the offender will also be placed on twelve months of probation as well.