What is a DUI?

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What is a DUI?

Most people forget that driving is a privilege and not a right. It is no easy feat to get a driver’s license and drive freely. We have to go through a driving course, pass a written driving test, get a permit, be supervised while driving for a number of months, pass a driving test, and then we can obtain a driver’s license without any stipulations. Since driving is an earned privilege, it is important that we adhere to all driving laws at all times. When you violate any one of the many driving laws you could get in trouble. Coolidge Law has seen hundreds of cases related to driving law violations all around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Gilbert. One very frequent violation that we come across is DUIs.

DUI Defined

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, but another commonly used acronym for the same violation is Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Regardless of which acronym you use, this is an incredibly dangerous violation for many reasons. To be driving while using drugs or alcohol is a life-threatening action with harsh penalties. Arizona courts as well as the Arizona Department of Transportation do not look too kindly when it comes to this violation.

DUI Classifications

DUIs are classified by a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and the circumstances surrounding the offense. However, any trace of BAC for those younger than 21 is considered an automatic DUI. The standard rates for those older than 21 are as follows:

  • Standard DUI: .08% or more BAC, .4% BAC or more if driving a commercial vehicle.
  • Extreme DUI: .15% or more BAC
  • Aggravated DUI: DUI committed while a person has a suspended or canceled driver’s license; 3rd offense for DUI in 48 months; DUI committed with passenger 15 years old or younger.

Every offense of DUI in Arizona has its own specific harsh penalties and consequences that follow these penalties.

Consequences Related to a DUI

After committing a DUI, you could face several harsh penalties from both the criminal court system as well as the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. The consequences for individual violations are determined by the circumstances surrounding the offense and the specific offense committed. The more serious the crime committed, the harsher the penalties. For example:

  • Standard DUI: 10 to 90 days in jail; Fine of $1,000-$3000; Alcohol/drug program; Ignition interlock on vehicles; Community service
  • Extreme DUI: 30 to 120 days in jail; Fines of $2,500-$3,250; Possible revocation of driver’s license for 12 months; Alcohol/drug program; Ignition interlock on vehicles; Community service.
  • Aggravated DUI: 2 years in prison; Revoked driver’s license for 1 year; Alcohol/drug program; Ignition interlock on vehicles; Community service

There are serious consequences and very harsh penalties for a DUI. While these may vary based on the circumstances around your offense you do need to be adequately represented and ensure you have a strong legal team on your side. If you have recently been cited for an Arizona DUI offense contact Coolidge Law today to see how you can benefit from our many years of experience working with cases like yours.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/22/2017) Sonny Abesamis (Flickr)