ARIZONA DUI LAWS HAVE HARSH CONSEQUENCES
Arizona DUI laws underwent significant changes in September 2008. These laws are in effect as of the date of this article. Arizona already had some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. During the 2008 legislative session the legislature amended Arizona’s already tough DUI laws to make them even harsher. This means that if your were arrested for a DUI after September 2008, the new law and DUI penalties apply to you.
New Second Offense DUI Time Frame
There were many new changes made to Arizona DUI law in 2008. First, the prosecutor may now allege a prior DUI for up to seven years. Under the previous law, the prosecutor could only allege a prior DUI for five years. Unfortunately, regardless of whether your prior DUI occurred at the time when the law only allowed a prior for up to five years, the State may now use that prior up to seven years later. This means many more people in Arizona will now be facing second or third DUI offenses because the prosecutor can now reach back seven years to find a prior DUI offense in your history. So you will have a Second Offense DUI if you have a prior DUI within the last seven years.
No More Suspended Jail Sentences for Extreme & Super Extreme DUIs
In addition to expanding the time in which the prosecutor may allege a prior DUI, the new Arizona DUI laws enhance the mandatory minimum penalty for Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI offenders. The Judge can no longer suspend a portion of your jail sentence if you are convicted of an Extreme (A.R.S. 28-1382(a)(1)) or Super Extreme (A.R.S. 28-1382(a)(2) DUI. This applies whether your Extreme DUI or Super Extreme DUI is a first or second offense.
New Extreme DUI Penalties
Under these new Arizona DUI laws, a person convicted of a first offense Extreme DUI, (BAC of .15 or more) in Arizona is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 consecutive days in jail. The new Arizona DUI laws require a minimum jail sentence of 120 days if you are convicted of a second offense Extreme DUI.
New Super Extreme DUI Penalties
The new Arizona DUI laws require a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 45 days for a First Offense Super Extreme DUI (BAC of 2.0 or more). A 6 month jail sentence is required for a Second Offense Super Extreme DUI.
New Driver’s License Penalties
The new Arizona DUI laws also have several new consequences on your license. First, before being allowed to drive following a suspension from MVD, a person charged with DUI will be required to obtained alcohol screening prior to reinstatement. The requirement for alcohol screening is not dependent upon a conviction. Also, following any DUI conviction, a person will be required to equip their vehicle with a certified ignition interlock for a period of not less than one year. The period of time required for the interlock device can be expanded.
The new Arizona DUI laws are sure to affect many people. Thus, people should be aware that if they or someone they know received a DUI conviction after September 2008, things have changed significantly and it important they contact an attorney to discuss their new case. The new consequences of a DUI conviction can be life changing.
Ted Agnick is the owner of a law firm in Arizona with offices servicing the Greater Phoenix (including Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale & Peoria) and Prescott areas.
Ted has been practicing law in Arizona for over fifteen years and attributes his continued success to his unwaivering commitment to achieving the best possible results for his clients. His choice to become a lawyer initially rose from his desire to help others. This desire became the bedrock of his legal practice and continues to be the driving force – setting the standard for himself and his employees to consistently achieve excellent results for their clients.