In Arizona, DUI laws are almost as confusing as they are harsh. Drinking and driving is not against the law. Yet, operating a motor vehicle while impaired to the slightest degree is illegal. That means if a police officer simply says that he thinks you had too much to drink while driving, you could end up with a DUI conviction. This could be the case even if you only had one alcoholic beverage with dinner. Most DUI laws don’t even take into account whether or not a driver is impaired. Instead, the laws look to what the government alleges a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is.

As any person would, most people automatically associate DUI charges with alcohol, but a significant percentage of DUI charges are from drugs. We aren’t just talking about illegal or illicit drugs, but even your simplest prescription drugs. If a person took a prescription sleeping pill at night, he or she could still be charged with a DUI early the next morning on their way to work. In limited situations, Arizona DUI laws are just starting to catch up to the objectives of what DUI laws are meant for, and hopefully the end result will be less absurd charges. But, this won’t stop the government from filing charges in the meantime.

In Arizona, mandatory jail sentences for DUI convictions are regularly implemented differently from court to court. One way to put it is that courts in Arizona administer what would be the exact same sentence for the exact same DUI conviction differently from each other. Yet another way to put it is that people convicted of the exact same offense are treated differently in different courts. Does this sound like the proper administration of justice? Beyond having an experienced vehicular crimes attorney—which is crucial—it’s of paramount importance that you have the right attorney who is aware of and familiar with these discrepancies and inconsistencies in the administration of the law.

Only the right attorney will know how to fight against such unfair inequities. As a former Vehicular Major Crimes prosecutor, Steve Garcia knows how to maneuver and oppose the complexities of DUI laws and the unbalanced administration of them. DUI and DUI-related offenses can not only result in mandatory jail and prison terms, but also heavy fines, fees, and driver’s license suspensions, revocations, and restrictions through the Motor Vehicle Department (the MVD). These types of allegations can range from misdemeanor to felony charges. Various types of DUI offenses, vehicular crimes, and traffic violations are as follows:

FELONY DUI / DWI

  • Aggravated DUI / DWI, a class 6 felony (minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle)
  • Aggravated DUI / DWI, a class 4 felony (DUI while driver’s license is suspended, canceled, refused, revoked, or restricted)
  • Aggravated DUI / DWI, a class 4 felony (3rd DUI in eighty-four months/7 years)
  • Aggravated DUI / DWI, a class 4 felony (driving without an ignition interlock device)
  • Aggravated DUI / DWI, a class 4 felony (DUI / DWI while required to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock)

MISDEMEANOR DUI / DWI and TRAFFIC-RELATED OFFENSES

  • Regular DUI / DWI, impaired to the slightest degree, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Regular DUI / DWI, blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Regular DUI / DWI, drug(s) or its metabolite in a person’s body, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Extreme DUI / DWI, blood alcohol content (BAC) above .15, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Super Extreme DUI / DWI, blood alcohol content (BAC) above .20, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Second Regular DUI / DWI Offense in 84 Months (7 Years), impaired to the slightest degree, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Second Regular DUI / DWI Offense in 84 Months (7 Years), blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Second Regular DUI / DWI Offense in 84 Months (7 Years), drug(s) or its metabolite in a person’s body, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Second Extreme DUI / DWI Offense in 84 Months (7 Years), blood alcohol content (BAC) above .15, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Second Super Extreme DUI / DWI Offense in 84 Months (7 Years), blood alcohol content (BAC) above .20, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • DUI Under the Age of 21 or Underage DUI, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit and Run, a class 2 misdemeanor, or class 3 misdemeanor
  • Aggressive Driving, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Reckless Driving, a class 2 misdemeanor (if 2nd in 24 months, then a class 1 misdemeanor)
  • Drag Racing / Racing on Highways, a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License, a class 1 misdemeanor

FELONY VEHICULAR RELATED CRIMES

  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Negligent Homicide, a class 4 felony
  • Vehicular Manslaughter, a class 2 felony
  • Vehicular Second Degree Murder, a class 2 felony
  • Felony Murder (for example, Unlawful Flight resulting in death), a class 1 felony
  • Endangerment, a class 6 felony
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit and Run, a class 2 felony, a class 3 felony, or a class 5 felony
  • Vehicular Aggravated Assault, ranges from a class 2 felony to a class 4 felony (“Dangerousness” often alleged)
  • Unlawful Flight from a Police, a class 5 felony
  • Theft of Means of Transportation, a class 3 felony
  • Unlawful Use of Means of Transportation, a class 5 felony or a class 6 felony

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