What are the penalties for a first time DUI offender in Arizona?
Arizona is known as a tough on crime state, and its DUI laws are no exception. America’s largest online driving school, I Drive Safely, set out to rank the states with the harshest DUI laws and Arizona came in at the top of the list. Anyone accused of a DUI in Arizona will need the assistance of an experienced DUI defense lawyer to avoid being convicted and sentenced to the extreme penalties potentially imposed on Arizona offenders.
Arizona Toughest on First Time Offenders
In comparing the DUI laws in all 50 states, I Drive Safely concluded that Arizona has the toughest laws for first-time offenders. Arizona was the first state to require mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices for first offense DUIs. Now, 16 other states either require or encourage the use of ignition interlock devices. Arizona requires that first-time offenders use the interlock device for 12 months, plus pay a plethora of fees and mandatory jail time.
Arizona’s penalties for first-time offenders are as follows:
- Minimum of 24 hours in jail with a maximum sentence of six months;
- A $250 fine, along with other fines and fees that may bring the total out of pocket expense to $1,500;
- Installation of the interlock device with costs of up to $200 and monthly rental charges;
- Alcohol education course;
- Community service hours;
- Possible probation; and
- Suspension of your driver’s license for between 90 and 360 days.
Some of the other states that rank high as the harshest for DUI offenders include Washington, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Washington state ranked highest for the largest fines, with DUI offenders having to pay $5,000 or more if convicted of the offense. In Massachusetts, a DUI conviction earns potentially the most jail time in the nation. DUI offenders can be sentenced to up to two years in jail. Meanwhile, in Ohio, a DUI conviction could result in the loss of your license for up to three years.
Those charged with a DUI in the state of Arizona need to recognize that this crime is a serious one. To mitigate your chances of conviction and jail time, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer who will advocate on your behalf.