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Arizona has harsh legal penalties for a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), even if for a first-time offense. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, one of your first phone calls should be to a Chandler DUI lawyer.

Depending on circumstances surrounding your charge, you could be facing a mandatory ignition interlock device on your vehicle, suspension of your license, high fines, and even mandatory jail time, among other potential consequences. You might benefit from speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney who could help you better understand what to expect during the case process and possibly help you seek mitigation of your charges.

What is a DUI?

An individual could be charged with a DUI in Chandler if they drive or otherwise have “actual physcial control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to, or exceeding, 0.08 percent, according to Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1381. The legal punishment for driving under the influence depends on a few factors, including the accused individual’s BAC level and whether they have been convicted of a DUI before.

Arizona law prohibits individuals who are younger than 21 from operating a car while influenced by drugs or alcohol, even at the smallest level. Individuals who drive a commercial motor vehicle can be charged with a DUI offense if their BAC meets or surpasses 0.04 percent.

Different Levels of DUI:

First, many people do not realize that they can be charged with a DUI if the police suspect they are impaired “to the slightest degree” while operating their vehicle, even if their BAC is under a .08%.
Next, if a person is stopped and their BAC comes in above a .08 percent, this is another DUI charge, DUI with a BAC above a .08 percent. This is an addition to the impaired to the slightest degree DUI charge listed above.

Finally, Arizona law recognizes what is known as “extreme” and “super extreme” DUIs. A person can be charged with an “extreme DUI” if their BAC level is equal to or more than 0.15 percent, per Az. Rev. Stat. § 28-1382. A “super extreme DUI” is when someone’s BAC is 0.20 percent or greater. These elevated DUI offenses carry higher penalties than a standard DUI, making the assistance of a local attorney even more vital.

Sentencing for a DUI Charge

The sentencing structure for a Chandler DUI varies widely, and it is best to consult with a skilled attorney for further clarification specific to someone’s charge. For a first-time DUI conviction where the offender’s BAC was at least 0.08 percent but less than 0.15 percent, the base penalties include three months loss of driving privileges, incarceration for up to ten days, and a financial penalty of $1000-2000. If someone is convicted of a standard DUI charge a second time, they face the loss of their license for at least 12 months, a period of incarceration starting at three months, and a base fine of $3,000.

Extreme DUIs

“Extreme DUIs” are punishable by a minimum of one month in jail if it is someone’s first offense, while the base prison sentence goes up to four months for subsequent convictions. A first-time conviction for an “extreme DUI” means a three-month removal of the individual’s driver’s license, at the very minimum, and a base fine amount of $3,000.

Ignition Interlock Device

In addition to financial penalties, incarceration, and license removal, a person convicted of a DUI will also be required to install an ignition interlock device. The period the individual will be obligated to use an ignition interlock device (IID) is based on the specific charge. For example, a person convicted of an “extreme” or “super extreme” DUI could be forced to have an IID on their car for 12 months. Points are also assessed against someone’s license in the event of a DUI conviction.

Schedule a Consultation with a Chandler DUI Attorney

Arizona leads the nation in having some of the most severe consequences for those charged with Driving Under the Influence, including hefty fines, driver license suspension, and jail time. This is true even for first time DUI offenders. If you are up against DUI charges, you need to make sure you have a strong legal defense you can rely on.

A Chandler DUI lawyer could evaluate your possible legal options, review your traffic stop, evaluate any possible defenses, and lend extensive experience to fight for a favorable outcome. Call to set up your free initial consultation with one of our experienced DUI Traffic Attorneys. We offer convenient flat fee rates and free consultations. If you or someone you care about is facing a DUI charge call us today for a free strategy session and get your questions answered, we’re here to help.