Arizona drivers convicted of a third DUI within 74 months face an Aggravated DUI charge. Other infractions that may result in a charge of Aggravated DUI include committing DUI with a passenger younger than 15 and driving under the influence with a driver’s license that is suspended, revoked, or canceled. Convicted drivers face mandatory fines, jail time, and penalties that include license revocation and the installation of a certified ignition interlock device. Arizona has some of the harshest DUI penalties in America, which is the result of Arizona previously having one of the highest rates of DUI-related deaths in the country.
Typically, drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) 0.08 percent or higher face standard DUI charges. The BAC threshold for drivers of commercial vehicles drops to 0.04 percent, and there is zero tolerance for drivers under 21 years of age. Note that you may still face arrest and a DUI charge even if your BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, depending on the judgment of the arresting officer and the discretion of the court. This is yet another reason hiring an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney is in your best interest.
Consequences of an Aggravated DUI Conviction
Drivers convicted of Aggravated DUI face numerous penalties. These include:
- Minimum 120 days in jail with a maximum sentence of two years
- Minimum fines of $4,000
- Driver’s license revoked for three years
- Completion of alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education
- Installation of a certified ignition interlock device on each vehicle you drive, at your expense, once your license is reinstated
- Proof of SR-22 insurance
- Community service
Certified Ignition Interlock Device
No matter which DUI conviction you receive, installation of a certified ignition interlock device (installed at your own expense) is mandatory in Arizona. This device attaches to your vehicle’s ignition system and works like a breathalyzer, measuring your BAC. You cannot start the vehicle until you blow into the device. Additionally, some IIDs require intermittent BAC testing as you drive to ensure you did not trick the device by having another person perform the test before starting the vehicle.
SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but rather verification that you have insurance. “SR” stands for Safety Responsibility. This verification is required for any driver whose license was revoked due to DUI and is provided by the driver’s insurance company. The driver must present the SR-22 to the DMV before license reinstatement. If the policyholder fails to pay his or her insurance premiums, the insurer files an SR-26 with the DMV, resulting in another driver’s license suspension until the driver presents the DMV with another SR-22.
Reinstating Your Driver’s License
Once you have completed your sentence requirements, and your driver’s license suspension or revocation period ends, you may reinstate your license. Typically, this requires:
- Payment of reinstatement and application fees
- Passing required Arizona driver’s license tests
- Submission of court clearance documents
- Submission of SR-22 proof of insurance
Hire an Experienced Arizona DUI Defense Attorney
All these fines and penalties are the minimum consequences you face if convicted of three DUIs within a 74-month period. With so many variables in DUI classification and penalties, you need a qualified defense attorney to represent you. Arizona law forbids entering a plea bargain for a DUI charge, but the right attorney can help. Call Edwards & Petersen today for a free consultation.