How Does Arizona Law Define First-DUI Offenses?
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §28-1381, there are three different scenarios under which someone can be arrested for a first-offense DUI in Gilbert while they're in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle:
- A police officer determines that their ability to operate a motor vehicle is in any way impaired by alcohol or drug intake;
- Their BAC exceeds 0.08 percent within two hours of them operating a motor vehicle;
- Any substance listed in A.R.S. §13-3401 is present in their body, regardless of whether they are noticeably impaired by it.
If someone’s BAC is measured to be less than 0.05 percent at the time of their DUI arrest, the prosecution cannot presume they were intoxicated. However, a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 could be considered potential evidence of intoxication and may allow for a conviction if combined with additional evidence suggesting impairment.
Additionally, a person cannot be convicted of DUI based solely on the presence of a drug in their system if they are taking it as prescribed and the drug was legally prescribed to them by a physician. However, if other evidence of intoxication is present, that could still be used against them to pursue a conviction.
What Is ‘Under the Influence’ Under Arizona DUI Laws?
Under Arizona DUI laws, a driver is considered "under the influence" if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, even if the driver's BAC is below 0.08%, they may still be charged with DUI if they show signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, impaired balance, or erratic driving.
It's important to note that Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. This means that any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge.
In addition to alcohol, Arizona's DUI laws also apply to drivers who are under the influence of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Arizona's DUI laws define drugs broadly to include both illegal and prescription drugs.
If convicted of driving while intoxicated in Arizona, the penalties can be severe, including fines, jail time, and a suspended driver's license. Therefore, it's crucial to seek the assistance of a qualified Phoenix DUI attorney who can help you contest the charges and protect your rights.
First-Time DUI Penalties in Arizona
Even if a person arrested for drunk driving in Gilbert has no prior criminal record, they may still face significant consequences for a first-offense DUI. In addition to a base fine of $250, those convicted of first-offense DUI may also be obligated to pay $500 into the Arizona prison construction and operations fund and another $500 into the public safety equipment fund, making for a total of $1,250 in fines.
In addition, just because a defendant has never been charged with a crime does not mean they will be able to avoid jail time for a first-time DUI offense in Arizona. Depending on the circumstances, mandatory jail time for a first-offense DUI may range anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days in length.
Arizona first time DUI penalties are:
- Jail: A max jail time for the first DUI in Arizona is 6 months with a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail – 9 days can be suspended only upon completion of mandatory attendance at alcohol screening;
- Classes: You can be sentenced to mandatory classes from Substance Abuse Counseling to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD), to name a few;
- Fines: A minimum fine and surcharge between $1500-$2500;
- License Suspension: You can lose your license for either 6 months to 12 months.
Furthermore, if a defendant’s driving under the influence conviction stems from them being impaired by alcohol, they'll likely be forced to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, and their driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days up to a maximum of one year. Additionally, a court may require them to perform community service and attend a traffic survival safety course as well. If the court chooses, they can order “more than twelve months” of an interlock device in more extreme cases.
If a first-time DUI involves aggravated factors, such as driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, having a minor in the car, or causing property damage or injury, the penalties can be more severe, including longer jail terms and higher fines.
If you or someone you care about is facing first-time DUI charges in Phoenix, Gilbert, or anywhere in Arizona, call and schedule a strategy session with our DUI lawyers today.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a First-Time DUI Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
If you or a loved one is facing a first-time DUI charge in Phoenix, AZ, schedule a free consultation with our experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer today.
Possible Defenses to First-Time DUI Offenses in Arizona
Being charged with drunk driving in Arizona can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, there are several defenses that an experienced DUI defense attorney can use to contest criminal charges. Some possible defenses include:
- Challenging the validity of the traffic stop;
- Arguing that the field sobriety tests were administered improperly or inaccurately;
- Disputing the results of the chemical tests;
- Proving that the defendant's BAC was below the legal limit while they were driving;
- Arguing that the defendant's impaired driving was due to a medical condition or prescription medication, not alcohol or drugs.
It's important to seek the guidance of a qualified Phoenix DUI lawyer who can evaluate your case and determine the best defense strategy.
Why Contact Gilbert Driving Under the Influence Attorneys?
Being charged with a DUI in Gilbert, Arizona, can have severe consequences that could impact your life for years to come. That's why it's essential to seek the assistance of experienced DUI defense attorneys who can help protect your rights and defend your case. Some of the reasons to contact our Gilbert driving under-the-influence attorneys include:
- Knowledge of the local court system and laws;
- Experience in drunk driving charges defense strategies;
- Ability to negotiate with prosecutors for reduced DUI charges in Arizona;
- Access to expert witnesses and resources;
- Dedicated support throughout the legal process.
With the help of a skilled first-time DUI attorney, you can improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case.
Why Choose Brandon White Law Firm for Your Phoenix First-Time DUI Case?
If you're facing a first-time DUI charge in Phoenix, AZ, you need a competent and experienced DUI defense attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. Here are some reasons why you should choose Brandon White Law Firm for your Phoenix first-offense DUI case?
- Extensive experience: Our attorneys have handled numerous DUI cases in Phoenix and have a proven track record of success;
- Personalized attention: We provide personalized attention to every client, ensuring that we understand their unique situation and develop the best defense strategy;
- Expert resources: Our experienced DUI lawyer has access to expert witnesses and resources to strengthen your case and increase your chances of success;
- Negotiation skills: We have strong negotiation skills and can work with prosecutors to reduce charges or penalties;
- Dedicated support: We're committed to providing dedicated support throughout the legal process, ensuring that you are informed and comfortable every step of the way.
Regular Phoenix DUI or DWI
A regular DUI is considered driving with a BAC of 0.08-0.14% or driving with a controlled substance in your bloodstream.
- Undergoing a substance abuse screening assessment;
- Completing substance abuse treatment program;
- Serving 10 consecutive days in jail and payin g jail costs;
- An additional 9 days in jail will be suspended if the substance abuse program is completed;
- $250 fine plus any surcharge;
- $500 State Prison Construction and $500 State General Fund payments.