Arizona Law has ZERO tolerance for Underage Minor DUI
Arizona law ARS 4-233(33) says that is illegal for an underage minor to drive a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system.
Arizona law is very harsh when it comes to drinking and driving by underage drivers. For adults a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher can get you a DUI charge, but in the case of minors and young adults (up to age 21) a BAC of .01 is all that the law needs for a DUI charge, even if there are no physical signs of impairment.
That means if you are under the age of 21 and you have any amount of alcohol in your body you could be convicted of an underage DUI. Arizona law has a zero tolerance attitude on underage drunk driving. Some courts are even known to actually come down harsher on minors charged with DUI. The penalties for a conviction of underage DUI have harsh consequences.
For a first offense underage DUI, a DUI conviction in Arizona:
- Your driving license can be suspended for up to 2 years (you may be eligible for work permit at court’s discretion)
- You may acquire a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal record
- You may get up to 6 months in jail
- You may be subject to fines and court costs up to $2500.00
- You may be sentenced to a probation, education classes, community service and other penalties as the court may decide
Underage Alcohol Consumption
In Arizona you must be at least age 21 to legally consume alcoholic beverages. The state’s seriousness to discourage underage drinking is reflected by the fact that in Arizona, underage consumption of alcohol is a misdemeanor and carries severe penalties like:
- Suspension of driver’s license for up to 2 years
- Fines up to around $500 plus court costs
- A misdemeanor record
- Community service
Consequences of underage Alcohol purchase
In order to support the underage alcohol consumption laws the State of Arizona has gone a step further to prevent minors and underage adults from obtaining alcohol. According to Arizona law using a fake driver’s license or any other identification to obtain alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Punishable by way of:
- Being subject to alcohol and substance abuse treatment
- Paying fines up to around $750
- Serving jail up to 4 months
Open Container and possession of alcoholic beverages
The strictness of Arizona law can be judged from the fact that even simple possession of alcoholic beverages or being found sitting next to an empty beer can in a car can result in misdemeanor charges and a heavy fine for anyone under 21.
What you should do if stopped for a DUI
You have the right to remain silent!
If you have been stopped by the police and are being investigated for a DUI, you have the right to remain silent. The Arizona law does not require you to answer any questions; this is due to the fact that at this point of time anything you say may be used as evidence against you in a DUI court. The only thing the law requires you to do is to provide the police officer with your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration.
You have the right to an attorney!
On being stopped by the police, you may immediately request a call with an attorney. The Arizona DUI law gives you the right to consult with an attorney before you chose to submit to any chemical test (breath or blood) provided it does not delay the investigation.
Refuse to take a sobriety test!
Refusing to all kinds of field sobriety tests can be a good option especially as these tests are not required by Arizona DUI law, and being subject to the perception and judgment of the police officer conducting them, may not always accurate.