Understanding Arizona’s DUI Laws

What is the charge of “impaired to the slightest degree” in Arizona?

Arizona residents or visitors to the state will want to fully understand the various offenses related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Arizona takes the crime of driving under the influence quite seriously and a DUI conviction could mean prison time, fines, loss of your license, and much more. Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers offer an overview of Arizona’s DUI laws and various DUI charges below.

Arizona’s DUI Laws

Impaired to the Slightest Degree 

In the state of Arizona, drivers can potentially be charged with a DUI even if their blood alcohol content is below .08%. Arizona law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle if the driver is impaired to the slightest degree. Drivers who are under the influence of drugs may be charged as impaired to the slightest degree.  

Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, meaning there is no lawful amount of alcohol that you can consume before driving. Being charged as impaired to the slightest degree can prove challenging because there is no precise measure of your intoxication like there is with a breathalyzer test. This charge will generally stem from an officer’s observations, which may include slurred speech, poor driving ability, field sobriety test performance, and the like. This charge is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Standard DUI

A standard DUI in the state of Arizona is charged when a driver’s blood alcohol content falls between the level of .08% and .14%. Drivers holding a commercial driver’s license can be charged with a BAC of just .04%. Standard DUI charges will likely stem from breathalyzer evidence, field sobriety testing, and potentially blood tests. This charge could result in up to 10 days in jail, along with $1,500 in fines, suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months, and more.

Extreme DUI

Drivers who are measured to have a blood alcohol content of over .14% can be charged with an extreme DUI. This heightened offense will come with harsher penalties than a normal DUI. Extreme DUI defendants could receive up to 30 days in jail, fines of up to $2,780, suspension of your driver’s license, and more. Penalties for subsequent DUIs or Extreme DUIs will increase in severity. Anyone who has been charged with a DUI who needs more assistance should contact a DUI defense lawyer right away. 

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