Multiple DUI Convictions: Arizona’s Repeat DUI Laws

What are the penalties for a second DUI conviction in Arizona?

Over one million drivers are arrested per year for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data.  Of those arrested, about a third are repeat offenders. In Arizona, as in many states across the country, repeat DUI offenders are subjected to far harsher penalties.  Repeat DUIs could lead to mandatory prison time, loss of your license for several years, fines, and other stringent penalties. Every DUI arrest increases exponentially the potential penalties.  Anyone arrested for a multiple offense DUI should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to strongly defend against the charges they face.  

Subsequent DUI Penalties

In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for anyone to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  A DUI is defined as having a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08% or more. You can also be charged with a DUI if you are impaired or under the influence of any illegal, prescription, or over the counter medication.  Arizona is known to be one of the toughest states in the nation when it comes to DUIs.

A first offense DUI in Arizona is generally considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, though aggravating factors can raise the seriousness of the charge.  For a first DUI offense, you will face a minimum of 10 days in jail, some of the jail time can be waived, with a potential sentence of up to six months in jail.  You will need to pay at least $250 in fines, and potentially up to $2,500per charge. Your license will be suspended for a period of between 90 and 360 days, depending in part on whether you refused the chemical tests.  You will need to undergo mandatory alcohol and substance abuse screening and may potentially additionally have to complete substance abuse treatment.

For seven years after your first DUI, your conviction can be used to enhance your sentence on any subsequence DUI offense.  While many first time DUI offenders will end up just spending days in jail, for a second DUI you will be in jail for a minimum of 90 days.   You could face the maximum of 180 days in jail, but it typically some of the jail time can be stayed pending successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program.  Being in jail for 30 days may result in loss of your job and immense hardship to your family. Typically, when you are released for jail, you will be without your driver’s license for at least a year and be forced to pay fines of minimum of $3,000 (ARS28-1381A1 Section K, paragraph 1).

Third or subsequent DUIs will be treated as felonies, which means you will face lifelong consequences.  A felony offense on your record will be visible to your current or potential employers, potentially having major consequences on your career and earnings.  You will no longer be able to lawfully own a gun and should you be arrested for another felony you could become a habitual offender which may equate to years in prison.  

Third and subsequent offense DUIs will result in a minimum term i Arizona Department of Corrections.  Your license could be revoked and potentially your vehicle may even be forfeited. The increasing penalties involved with DUIs in Arizona make it critically important that you avoid conviction at each level.  By fighting your first DUI conviction, you may avoid being subjected to subsequent DUI penalties later on. There are numerous ways to defend against a DUI, so contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.