Drunk driving crashes are responsible for more than 10,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency says DUI-related crashes are responsible for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities.

A survey by the financial website WalletHub ranks Arizona as having the strictest laws and penalties for DUI offenses. The 2017 study places The Grand Canyon State first in criminal penalties for DUI and second for prevention efforts.

What are the penalties for DUI in Arizona?

Drivers who register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher face these potential penalties:

  • First offense: 24 hours to 10 days in jail, $250 base fine, suspended license for 90 days or up to one year
  • Second offense: 30 to 90 days in jail, $500 base fine, suspended license for one year
  • Third offense: 90 days to one year in jail, $750 base fine, suspended license for one year

Understand the costs associated with DUI

While base fines for DUI offenses range from $250 to $750, additional fees and surcharges can bring that total to nearly $3,000 for a first offense. The state also requires drivers with restricted privileges to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for one year, which can cost up to $1,200. Insurance rates can also skyrocket with insurers doubling or tripling premiums or denying coverage in some cases.

Know your rights if charged with DUI

A DUI charge can have long-lasting personal and financial consequences if you are convicted. However, having an experienced defense attorney on your side here in Arizona can help you avoid severe penalties. Your attorney will make sure officers had probable cause to stop you and that the officer correctly performed field sobriety and chemical testing. Your attorney will question all aspects of the case against you, which can lead to lesser charges and penalties, or charges being dropped in some cases.