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What is the Penalty For Drunk Driving In Arizona?

Posted by Shawn Hamp | Dec 01, 2015 | 0 Comments


Consequences Of Getting A DUI In Arizona

It is said that Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation.*  If you are charged with a DUI or Drunk Diving Offense in Arizona you can face some tough penalties for a mistake that can change your life.

License Suspension

The first immediate consequence you will face is having your driver's license suspended.  You can get your driver's license confiscated when you get arrested.  If you get convicted of a DUI the record of the conviction of the DUI will get forwarded to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles (AZ MVD).

Your license is automatically suspended when you are served with an Admin Per Se Form.  The officer will physically confiscate your Arizona Driver's License.  If you live out of State the officer cannot legally confiscate your Driver's License but your privilege to drive in Arizona will be suspended and your home state will be notified of the suspension and in turn will suspend your privilege to drive in your home state.

This is a critical time because after you are arrested and served with the Notice of Suspension, you only have fifteen (15) days to request a hearing with MVD.  This is called an Admin Per Se Hearing.  You can still legally drive until this hearing is conducted. This allows you to stay on the road and have an attorney review your case to see if there are any defenses to save your license at a DUI hearing.

Jail Time

The next major consequence is Jail time.  Why are Arizona's laws so tough on DUIs? Because the jail sentences are so much longer than most other states.

If you are arrested for a first time DUI offense you are facing ten (10) days in jail.  An Extreme DUI or an Super Extreme DUI can have you facing thirty (30) and forty five (45) days jail.

Alcohol Counseling

If convicted of drunk driving in Arizona you will be ordered to complete Alcohol Counseling.  To conduct the Alcohol Counseling you need to be screened for the number of hours of counseling to complete.  Alcohol Counseling can include sixteen (16) to thirty two (32) hours of counseling service.  Alcohol Counseling is required to get your driving privileges reinstated and are also ordered as terms of probation by the Court for a DUI conviction.


The financial consequences are also significant.  A first time DUI has a MANDATORY fine of approximately $1,500. An Extreme and Super Extreme DUI have fines ranging from $2,700 to $3,100.  These fines include surcharges, assessments, and abatement fees are the minimum fines for a DUI.  Depending on the sentencing judge, they could be even greater.

Jail Costs

These fines DO NOT include jail fees.  Jail Fees include a one time booking fee of $62 and $63/day.  A thirty (30) day jail sentence could end up totaling $1,952.00 in addition to any other fines or fees.

Insurance Premium Increase

A drunk driving conviction in Arizona will also increase your Auto Insurance Premiums.  A criminal DUI conviction in Arizona will require a driver to get what is called an SR-22 or a certificate of insurance.  An SR-22 is a vehicle liability insurance document required by AZ MVD.  The Automobile Insurer must issue the document and the driver must get a special SR-22 Insurance coverage which inevitably carries much higher insurance premiums.

If you are charged with a DUI or Drunk Driving you should consult with an attorney or criminal defense lawyer right away.  There may be defenses in your case that could mitigate the impact a DUI arrest can have on your life.

*“New Report Shows Arizona's DUI Laws As Toughest In The Nation.” Verde Independent (June 8th, 2015).

About the Author

Shawn Hamp

President and lead counsel for the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp, P.C. (An Arizona Professional Corporation), Shawn Hamp has practiced law for more than 15 years with an emphasis in criminal law. An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Hamp has been lead counsel in hundreds of criminal trials and court...


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