Scottsdale Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Getting a DUI in Arizona Sucks: 7 Crucial Things You Need to Do Now

Getting a DUI in Arizona Sucks: 7 Crucial Things You Need to Do Now 1

By Megan Krause

Content Strategist, Developmental Editor, Editor, Writer, Managing Editor

October 8th 2019

We’re not going to sugar-coat it: If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Arizona, you have your work cut out for you. There are a number of steps you have to take to comply with the courts, get your license back and put the matter behind you. It’s a long process, but the good news is, thousands of people have met these requirements and moved on.

You can, too. 

This article explains the Arizona DUI laws and penalties and the seven things you need to do after getting a DUI.

Arizona DUI laws

  • You will be arrested for a DUI in Arizona if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08%.
  • If you’re a commercial driver, you will be arrested for a DUI if you are caught driving and your BAC is above .04%.
  • If you’re under 21 and you are caught driving with any alcohol in your system, you can be charged with a DUI.

Many people mistakenly believe that when you’ve been pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you don’t have to submit to the on-the-spot test for blood alcohol or drugs. This simply isn’t true. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, when you apply for a driver’s license in Arizona, you give consent to be tested under these conditions. This is called the Implied Consent Law.

Of course, a police officer can’t physically compel you to submit to the test. If you refuse to take the test, your license is automatically suspended for one year. If it is your second or third offense and you refuse the test, your license will be suspended for two years. On top of that, the police officer will likely ask a judge to issue a warrant for the test anyway, in which case you will be compelled to take the test. Then you can be convicted of a criminal DUI charge.

What are the penalties for a DUI in Arizona?

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety there are three tiers:

First offense

  • Jail: Minimum of 24 hours to 10 days
  • Fines: $250 base fine
  • License suspension: 90 to 360 days
  • Interlock ignition device required
  • Community service required
  • Required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment

Second offense

  • Jail: Minimum of 30 days to 90 days
  • Fines: $500 base fine
  • License suspension: 1 year
  • Interlock ignition device required
  • Community service required
  • Required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment

Third offense

  • Jail: Minimum of 4 months
  • Fines: $750 base fine
  • License suspension: 1 year
  • Interlock ignition device required
  • Community service required
  • Required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment

The penalties are even stiffer if you are convicted of extreme DUI (BAC of 0.15 or higher) or aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI is when you are convicted of driving under the influence while your license is suspended, revoked or canceled; for the third time in seven years; while a person under 15 is in the vehicle; or after refusing to take the BAC test. ADOT lays out these penalties on its site.

Now let’s examine the things to do after getting a DUI in Arizona.

1. Consider if you have a drinking problem

Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year in this country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Excessive drinking is responsible for one in 10 deaths among adults ages 20-64, and driving under the influence accounts for more than 30% of all driving fatalities every year.

Alcoholism affects people from all walks of life — “from Park Avenue to park bench,” as we like to say. Not everyone who gets a DUI is an alcoholic, but if you get one, it’s imperative you consider if you could have a drinking problem. Ask yourself :

  • Have you ever made a promise to stop drinking for a certain period of time, but found you couldn’t last that long?
  • Do you ever plan on stopping at a certain point — say, after the third or fourth drink — but found that you overshot the mark?
  • Is drinking causing problems at home or work?
  • Have you ever thought that drinking is a problem?

Any “yes” answers could mean you have a drinking problem. Now is the time to seek help. Go to an AA meeting. Consider treatment for alcoholism in Arizona. Help is available — this is your wakeup call!

2. Undergo the required alcohol screening/education/treatment

The state of Arizona requires you to undergo alcohol screening, education and treatment after receiving a DUI within the state. This consists of:

  • A face-to-face interview with a behavioral health professional. They will screen you for a drug and/or alcohol problem.
  • The treatment you must undergo depends on the outcome of the interview.
  • Education consists of at least 16 hours in a classroom setting (online or in person).

Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale offers all three of the above services — the screening, treatment and education components. These satisfy Arizona’s court-mandated DUI screening/education/treatment requirements. Contact us today to learn more.

3. Get your license back post DUI in Arizona

As mentioned above, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. You can petition to get a restricted license (this permits you to drive to work or school and to see a probation officer) after 30 days’ suspension, but you must complete step 2 before this is an option.

Once you have gone your assigned time period without a license (whatever the judge gave you, 90 days to one year) and you have completed step 2, you can file with MVD for license reinstatement.

4. Equip your vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device

You must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for 12 months, and you must provide MVD with proof of installation before you can reinstate your license. Here’s a list of companies authorized by MVD to install these devices.

5. Don’t miss any court dates

How many times you have to appear in court will vary on the nature of your charges and how you plead. One thing is for certain: Do not miss any court dates. If you do, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest, and you have just complicated your life even more. You may wish to hire an attorney to represent you.

6. Pay your fines and fees

The base fine starts at $250 for a first offense, but court fees go all the way up to $2,500 — and that’s not counting the cost of the screening, education classes and treatment. The court will work with you on a payment plan for the fees and fines, and do your best to stick to it. Once you get behind, it’s difficult to catch up.

7. Complete community service

Finally, the court will order you to complete community service hours with a 501(c)3 nonprofit such as a food bank or animal shelter. Look on your city’s website to find local eligible nonprofits.

DUI Screenings, Classes & Treatment in Scottsdale

Cornerstone Healing Center is a respected long-term drug and alcohol treatment facility in Scottsdale. We provide state-approved DUI services including DUI screening, DUI education classes and DUI treatment.

Getting a DUI is a big deal. Getting a DUI in Arizona is an even bigger deal than in most states. If you’ve had your run in with the law and maybe you think you might have a drug or alcohol problem, we can help. Our completion rates are five times higher than the national average, and we’re staffed by clean and sober people who have found a new way to live. Please reach out today.