Published on Jan. 24, 2017, updated Nov. 21, 219. Content provided by The Law Office of Brian Sloan, AZ DUI Lawyer
Arizona is one of the toughest states in the country when it comes to DUI laws. As time goes on, more and more states are developing harsh DUI penalties to deter drinking and driving. There’s no such thing as getting off easy, even if you are a first-time offender. The truth is, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction will have a drastic impact on your daily life.
Penalties affiliatied with a DUI conviction according to AZ DUI law:
- Mandatory jail time
- Bail costs
- Court fees
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device
How is DUI determined in Arizona?
The legal threshold for a DUI charge in most states is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Anyone driving with a BAC at or above that level could be arrested and charged with DUI. Having a higher blood alcohol content could even lead to more severe consequences, such as extreme DUI, super extreme DUI or aggravated DUI (a felony).
Financial Costs of a DUI
The financial strain can be quite significant when you consider the fines, attorney fees, and the cost of placing an ignition interlock device. There’s also the financial impact of missing work due to mandatory jail time, court dates and meetings with your DUI attorney.
If you need to pay bail as a condition of your release, it can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s up to the judge to set the bail amount. For Arizona residents, the judge may choose to release you without bail on the condition that you appear at a scheduled court date.
Securing the legal guidance of a skilled attorney is highly recommended. Depending on the circumstances of your case, legal fees could range from $500 to a few thousand dollars.
Fines will vary by state, but in those states with harsher penalties including Arizona, expect to pay around $1,500. Repeat offenders can expect to pay much higher fines as is assigned to each instance of the offense.
Igniton Interlock Requirements
In Arizona and some other states, first-time DUI offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device. You’ll be responsible for paying the costs for regular maintenance of the device, installation and removal and a monthly lease fee.
Other Costs Associated with a DUI
When it comes to determining the true cost of a DUI, it’s important to look at more than just the financial impact. The costs to your personal, family life, career and reputation are also significant.
In most states including Arizona, DUI arrests are part of the public domain and anyone can see that you’ve been arrested.
Family and Work Impact
Having a DUI conviction that results in a suspended driver’s license can have a serious impact on your ability to provide transportation to members of your family. Further, being unable to drive to work may also create a strain on your family. Those who have the option of an ignition interlock device should seriously weigh the benefits of having the device and regaining driving abilities.
How to avoid or lessen the costs of a first time DUI
Of course, the best way to avoid the costs associated with a first-time DUI is to always have a designated driver or to take a cab or ride-share service.
If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. There are many types of defense attorneys out there and many handle all types of defense, from trespassing to white collar crime and DUI.
You should always look for an attorney who handles DUI and related offenses exclusively. This will provide you with confidence in knowing that the lawyer you choose to work with spends all of his or her time defending suspects charged with driving under the influence.
This person will understand DUI laws thoroughly and know what type of defense will provide you with the most effective representation possible
The cost of a first-time DUI can be severe but with effective legal representation, your lawyer will fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed and help to lessen the blow. If you are arrested, remember to exercise your right to remain silent and speak with your attorney before making a statement or agreeing to a plea bargain.
About the Author
Attorney Brian Sloan is a criminal defense lawyer solely focused on DUI defense representation. Mr. Sloan has been defending DUI cases since 2004, and has defended more than 3,100 DUI cases, with incredible results. If you, or someone you know, has been charged with a DUI Offense in Maricopa County, Arizona, visit Mr. Sloan's website here.