Arizona DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

Getting behind-the-wheel when impaired by alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. Those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can face penalties such as license suspension/revocation, hefty fines, and even jail time. The Arizona DUI penalties increase if you are a habitual offender.

A DUI conviction, in Arizona, stays on your driving record for up to 10 years.

The punishments are the same no matter how they officer(s) and judge(s) conclude you’ve driven under the influence. Or, were at fault of being under the influence in or potentially using a vehicle.

The state has a no-tolerance approach to these incidents. Below, you’ll learn the consequences of your actions if you get behind the wheel while intoxicated and how to eventually reinstate your license.

The Arizona DUI Limit: BAC Levels and Impairments

Arizona police offers can pull you over under suspicion of a DUI for several reasons:

  • Speeding
  • Lane weaving
  • Driving slowly
  • Providing false info

The office will check for signs like bloodshot eyes, alcohol odors, and physical behavior. If the officer’s suspicions are valid, you will take one of several field sobriety tests.

Anyone refusing the alcohol or drug test will receive a suspended or revoked license. This includes refusing a breathalyzer with penalties increasing on repeat DUI offenses. Refusal to take these tests may also result in immediate jail-time.

The officer typically makes the driver take a breathalyzer test – checking for blood alcohol levels. Those failing will be immediately taken for holding and the vehicle will likely go into impound (more costs).

DUI definitions in Arizona include:

  • Standard DUI: 0.08%+, 0.04%+ commercial drivers, and any % if under 21
  • Extreme DUI: 0.15%+ or higher
  • Aggravated DUI: 3rd offenses in 84-months, DUI with a passenger under 15, or getting a DUI after your license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled

Medications may cause impairment, too, and may not be exempt from sobriety tests and convictions. Be aware of your medications before getting behind-the-wheel, else face the same penalties!

Additional sobriety testing may include you walking along a straight line, following the officer’s finger or light, and balancing. Those unable to show form will likely face DUI processing.

Fines and Penalties for an AZ DUI Offense

The following provides oversight of the fees and penalties if you’re convicted of driving under the influence in the state of Arizona. The final decision will depend on what the state decides.

1st Offense (0.08+ BAC)

  • Up to 10 days of jail time
  • Up to $1,500 in fines + monitoring fee
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension or 1-year revocation
  • Interlock device for 12-months

2nd Offense (0.08+ BAC)

  • Up to 90 days of jail time plus home detention
  • Up to $3,500 in fines + monitoring fee
  • Screening and counseling
  • 1-year revocation
  • Interlock device for 12-months
  • 30-hours of community service

1st Offense (0.15+ BAC)

  • Up to 30 days of jail time plus home detention
  • Up to $2,800 in fines + monitoring fee
  • Screening and counseling
  • 90-day license suspension
  • Interlock device for 12-months

2nd Offense (0.15+ BAC)

  • Up to 120 days of jail time plus home detention
  • Up to $3,750 in fines + monitoring fee
  • Screening and counseling
  • 1-year revocation
  • Interlock device for 12-months
  • 30-hours of community service

1st Offense (0.20+ BAC)

  • Up to 45 days of jail time plus home detention
  • Up to $3,250 in fines + monitoring fee
  • Screening and counseling
  • 90-day license suspension
  • Interlock device for 18-months

2nd Offense (0.15+ BAC)

  • Up to 180 days of jail time plus home detention
  • Up to $4,650 in fines + monitoring fee
  • Screening and counseling
  • 1-year revocation
  • Interlock device for 24-months
  • 30-months of community service

Many offenses also carry a probationary period for many years. Plus, you may pay additional fines and face other penalties in conjunction with your DUI-related actions.

Getting Your Driving Privileges Back

A DUI/DWI results in a license suspension or revocation depending on the severity of your actions. Or, if you’ve committed habitual offenses with driving under the influence.

You may choose to fight the state’s decision through an administrative hearing.

You can file a request through the AZ MVD website, in-person at an MVD location, or mail your request to the Executive Hearing Office located in Phoenix. If approved, you’ll be scheduled a hearing in 30 to 35 days of it being processed.

You may also choose to fight your DUI conviction with the aid of an Arizona DUI attorney.

However, for most people, your only real option is to wait out the probationary period and pay any associated fees. Drivers should refer to our suspended license guide to learn the steps and requirements for getting back on the road.