THE IMPACT OF GETTING A DUI IN ARIZONA
In Arizona, being convicted of a DUI, or driving under the influence, has serious consequences. Some of these are ordered directly by the court, while others stem naturally as a result of the DUI. You should consider all the ways a DUI conviction can impact your life when deciding whether to face the charges self-represented, with a public defender, or with a private attorney.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you will be required to obtain SR-22 insurance coverage. Otherwise known as high-risk or non-standard insurance. Therefore, switching to SR-22 insurance coverage for a DUI in Arizona will usually at least double the cost of vehicle insurance.
In Arizona, a DUI will remain on your record for 5 years. Plus, having a DUI can make it more difficult to get a job, professional licensure, or security clearance. Additionally, a landlord can also decline to rent to you if you have a DUI on your record.
Both your current and future employers will be able to see the DUI conviction as long as it is on your record. Whereas, an employer may legally terminate you or decline to employ you for a DUI conviction.
Your Family and Relationships
Whether you plead guilty or fight the charges, a DUI will take up a large amount of your time and resources. Thus, this can put a strain on your relationship with your family. Also, many people have lost loved ones or been affected by a drunk driver, and may take offense if you are convicted of a DUI.
You may be ordered to take classes as part of a DUI arrest. The amount of class hours you will have to complete will depend on factors like your BAC at the time arrest, previous DUI convictions, etc. Also, you may be ordered to take 8-56 hours of post-DUI classes, or even more. Plus, these classes aren’t free and the driver will be responsible for paying for them.
Fines and Restitution
DUIs carry heavy fines in Arizona. whereas, penalties increase as you enter a new class of DUI. DUIs with a BAC of up to .15 are standard DUIs, an Extreme DUI is a BAC of up to .20, and Super Extreme DUI is for BACs of .20 or more. Also, for a first DUI, the base fine for a standard DUI is $1,480. Hence, the base fine for an Extreme DUI is $3,000. The base fine for a Super Extreme DUI is $3,250.
For subsequent DUIs, the base fine for a standard DUI is $3,000. Also, for an Extreme DUI, the base is $3,250. Plus, for a Super Extreme DUI, the base fine for secondary expenses is $4,250. Therefore, the actual fine you receive may be higher than the base, depending on the judge’s discretion.
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Jail and Probation
Arizona jail sentences for DUIs may be ordered to be onel length, but a portion of the jail time can be suspended if the driver completes alcohol screening and/or installs an interlock ignition device on their vehicle. Additionally, Alcohol screening is the process of a counselor determining if you have a drug or alcohol dependency. Plus, for a first DUI, the base jail time for a standard DUI is a minimum of 10 days, 9 of which may be suspended. Also, for an Extreme DUI, the jail time minimum is 30 days, 21 of which may be suspended. And, for a Super Extreme DUI, the jail time minimum is 45 days, 31 of which may be suspended.
Subsequent DUIs, the base jail time is even higher. Therefore a subsequent standard DUI, the base time is 90 days, 60 of which may be suspended. Also, a subsequent Extreme DUI, the minimum is 120 days. The minimum jail time for a subsequent Super Extreme DUI is 180 days. Probation periods will last at least as long as whatever portion of the jail time is suspended, and like all punishments stemming from a DUI, up to the discretion of the judge. All jail sentences come with additional jail costs.
For all levels of a first DUI, the driver’s license will be suspended for at least 30 days. Plus, for subsequent offenses, this period is increased to one year, but the license may be upgraded to restricted status after 45 days if the driver installs an interlock device. Therefore, refusing to take a blood test can result in an automatic DMV suspension of your license for one year. Also, the punishments are stricter for drivers with commercial licenses.
Community service is a mandatory punishment for subsequent DUI offenses. Also referred to as restitution, those subsequently convicted of all three categories of DUI will be ordered to 30 hours of community service. The website of whichever court you are tried in will likely have referrals to organizations you can volunteer at to satisfy your community service requirement.
Going to Court
Having to attend court for any reason is usually a stressful experience. When you are charged, you will receive a citation that will include your court date. That day is usually stressful, tiring, and embarrassing. It can be an even more perilous situation when proceeding without an attorney or with an attorney you don’t trust.
All DUI arrests regardless of class carry a mandatory 1 year interlock device period. An interlock device is a breathalyzer installed in your car that you must use each time you start your car. The driver will be responsible for the cost of an interlock, which typically ranges from $60-100 per month.
Schedule a Free Consult with an Experienced Arizona DUI Lawyer
Clearly, a DUI arrest and conviction can impact every facet of your life in a negative way. That is why you need an experienced Arizona DUI attorney in your corner when you are facing a DUI. An attorney can help make sure that you suffer as little impact from a DUI as possible. You need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible in the DUI process to know your rights and the possible outcomes of your case. Our office offers free consultations with our knowledgeable Phoenix DUI attorneys. Don’t wait- call and schedule your appointment today. (480) 833-8000.