DUI/DWI Offenses

Arizona DUI / DWI Offenses.

Arizona has four basic laws prohibiting driving with illegal amounts of alcohol in your system.

These are:

§28-1381(a)(1): It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  Also known as driving while under the influence or impaired to the slightest degree.

§28-1381(a)(2): It is a misdemeanor to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.  Also known as driving with a BAC over the limit or .08 or more.

§28-1382(a)(1): It is a misdemeanor to have a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.  Also known as Extreme DUI.

§28-1382(a)(2): It is a misdemeanor to have a blood alcohol concentration of .20 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.  Also known as Super Extreme DUI.

§4-244.33: It is a misdemeanor for a person under 21 years old to drive a motor vehicle while there is any alcohol in the person’s body. This is commonly known as a underage DUI.

In most cases, both the §28-1381(a) offenses will be charged. This will result where you are cited for DUI and your reading is above a .08 but below a .15. Even though there is only one act, the law says a citizen can be charged and convicted of both offenses. However, the law says you can only be punished once for the offenses. (The punishments are identical.)

To convict you of violating §28-1381(a)(1) the prosecutor must show you were operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. To convict you of violating §28-1381(a)(2) the prosecutor must show you were operating with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.

The police can still cite you and the prosecutor can still convict you for violating §28-1381(a)(1), operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol even if your reading is under a .08. Thus, if the police think you are under the influence but below a .08, they can still prosecute you for DUI.

If your reading is above .15, then the police will cite you with three charges, they are §28-1381(a)(1), §28-1381(a)(2), and §28-1382(a). Thus, the prosecutor must show §28-1382(a) the prosecutor must show you were operating with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle. If they prove this, it follows they would be able to convict you for having a BAC of .08 or more. Also, if a jury or judge believes you had a BAC of .15 or more, they would convict you of driving under the influence. The penalties for this offense are more severe than the penalties for the §28-1381(a) charges.

Arizona Felony DUI Laws

A common question people ask is whether their DUI is a Felony. In Arizona, most DUIs are misdemeanors. However, there are three different ways your DUI can be a “Felony DUI.” Arizona laws governing felony DUIs is set forth in A.R.S. §28-1383.

A.R.S. §28-1383(A)(1): You received your DUI while your license was suspended for any reason or restricted due to a DUI. This is a class four felony.

A.R.S. §28-1383(A)(2): This is at least your third DUI within seven years. That is, you have at least two prior DUI convictions within seven years of your new DUI. This is a class four felony.

A.R.S. §28-1383(A)(3): You received your DUI when you had a child in your vehicle that is under 15 years old. This is a class six felony.

A.R.S §28-1383(A)(4): You received your DUI while your license was restricted due to an ignition interlock requirement. This is a class 4 felony.

If your DUI falls within any of these four categories, it is a felony. Felony DUIs as serious as the class fours have a mandatory prison sentence and three year revocations of driver’s license.

It is possible to be cited with other felonies related to your DUI, such as manslaughter. However, these are not DUI charges. They are other felony offenses that may have arose as a result of your driving, such as causing a fatal or serious injury accident while DUI.

Arizona DUI Laws Under 21 Years Old

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