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Arizona DUI Defense & DUI Laws

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Arizona DUI Defense and DUI Laws

Being arrested for a DUI can be frightening for most people. Many Arizonans charged with DUIs do not have any previous experience with the criminal justice system and do not know what might happen to them.

The experienced DUI attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you understand the charges you face and guide you through the process. We are aggressive criminal defense lawyers who work hard to secure the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Below we have detailed information about the different types of DUI charges, the penalties, and proven effective defenses below.

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The Different Types of Arizona DUI Laws

Standard or Regular DUI – Between .08 and .149 BAC

A standard DUI in Arizona can be charged under ARS 28-1381(A)(1) or (A)(2).

Under the (A)(1) statute, you can be charged with a DUI if you are impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol while driving or having actual physical control of your vehicle. Under the (A)(2) statute, you can be charged with a regular driving under the influence charge if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% to 0.149% within two hours of when the police stopped you.

When you receive your citation for a first-time misdemeanor DUI, it is common to see both ARS 28-1381 (A)(1) and ARS 28-1381 (A)(2) listed.

Even if you are convicted of a first standard DUI offense, the penalties can be severe. A first standard DUI conviction includes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days. However, if you complete an alcohol assessment and classes, 9 out of the 10 days can be suspended.

You can also be placed on probation for up to 5 years if convicted of a first-time standard DUI.

There are also minimum fines and assessments of $1,480, and your license can be suspended for at least 90 days. You will have to install an ignition interlock device on your car from six months up to one year and complete any alcohol classes that are ordered.

The Arizona MVD will assess 8 points against your license and require you to complete a Traffic Survival School course if convicted of a regular DUI. A regular DUI charge can also involve other costs, including auto insurance premium increases, SR-22 insurance, vehicle impoundment fees, jail costs, and others.

Second DUI or Third DUI in a 7 Year Period

Arizona has a seven-year lookback period for DUI offenses. If you are convicted of a second or third DUI within 7 years, the penalties will be even more severe. For a second DUI conviction within 7 years, the minimum jail sentence is 90 days, 30 of which must be served consecutively.

You can have 60 days out of the 90 days of jail suspended if you complete an alcohol assessment and classes. You will also receive minimum fines and assessments of $3,500 and have your driver’s license revoked for one year.

To reinstate your license, you will have to complete an MVD revocation packet, pay a reinstatement fee, and install an ignition interlock device. You must keep the interlock device on your car for 12 months after you complete your revocation period.

A second regular DUI conviction also requires 30 hours of community service and completion of any alcohol treatment that might be recommended. The Arizona MVD will also assess 8 points against your driver’s license and require you to complete a Traffic Survival School course.

A third DUI within a span of 7 years may be charged as a class 4 felony Aggravated DUI charge explained below

Extreme DUI Arizona Laws & Definitions

You can be charged with an extreme DUI under ARS 28-1382(A)(1) if you have a BAC ranging from 0.15% to 0.199% within two hours of driving.

For a first extreme DUI conviction, you will face the following penalties:

  • Mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days
  • Fines and assessments of more than $2,500
  • Minimum driver’s license suspension of 90 days
  • 12 months of an ignition interlock device
  • Alcohol assessment and completion of recommended classes
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • 8 points on your driving record
  • Traffic Survival School

If you are convicted of an extreme DUI as a second offense, you will face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 120 days, around $3,700 in fines and assessments, a driver’s license revocation of 12 months, mandatory ignition interlock device installation for 18 months, completion of 30 community service hours, and an alcohol assessment with any recommended classes.

Super Extreme DUI Charges in Arizona

You can be charged with a super extreme DUI under ARS 28-1382(A)(2) if your blood alcohol concentration within two hours of your arrest tests at 0.20% or higher.

For a first super extreme DUI conviction, you will face a minimum mandatory sentence of 45 days in jail. You will also be assessed fines and surcharges of more than $3,000 and have your license suspended for at least 90 days, along with other penalties listed below.

If you are convicted of a super extreme DUI as a second offense, you will face the following penalties:

  • Mandatory jail sentence of 180 days
  • Around $4,700 in fines and surcharges
  • Revocation of your license for 12 months
  • Ignition interlock device installed for two years
  • Completion of 30 community service hours
  • Alcohol assessment and any recommended classes
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • 8 points on your driving record
  • Traffic Survival School

After your driver’s license suspension ends, you will have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 18 months. You will also be required to complete an alcohol assessment and any classes that are recommended.

DUI while on Drugs (Including Marijuana, Prescription Drugs & Dangerous Drugs)

Under ARS 28-1381(A)(3), you can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if you have any drugs listed in ARS 13-3401 in your body. This includes a Marijuana DUI conviction as well. Some other of these drugs include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, oxycodone for which you do not have a prescription, etc.

If the police officer thinks that you might be under the influence of drugs, you will be asked to give a urine or blood sample at the police station.

A DUI offense involving drugs as a first offense carries the same penalties as a standard DUI. However, the court might waive the ignition interlock device since it is not mandatory for a drugged DUI.

Arizona Felony Aggravated DUI Laws

Under ARS 28-1383, you can be charged with a felony aggravated DUI offense in the following four ways:

  • DUI while driving on a revoked, suspended, or restricted license
  • DUI while required to have an ignition interlock device in your car
  • DUI with a child younger than age 15 in your car
  • Third DUI within 84 months (7 years)
  • Wrong-way DUI

A third DUI within seven years, a wrong-way DUI, ignition interlock DUI, and a DUI while having a revoked, restricted, or suspended license is a Class 4 felony. Driving with a child younger than 15 in your car is a Class 6 felony.

If you are convicted of a Class 4 felony aggravated DUI as a first offense, you will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 4 months followed by up to 10 years of probation.

You will also face around $4,700 in surcharges and fines, have your license revoked for one year, be ordered to complete an alcohol assessment and classes, and have to install an ignition interlock device in your car for two years.

If you are facing felony DUI charges, it is critical for you to retain an experienced DUI attorney. The legal team at Colburn Hintze Maletta will fight to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome, which may include a reduced sentence or a dismissal of the charges against you. Without the help of an experienced legal team, you risk being sentenced to the maximum penalties.

Information About Ignition Interlock Devices

Arizona’s DUI laws mandate that people who are convicted of DUI offenses for alcohol must install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. These devices are wired into your vehicle’s ignition system.

To start your vehicle, you must blow into the tube to test for alcohol on your breath. After you start driving, the IID will signal for you to submit new breath results at random intervals. If any alcohol is detected, your vehicle will not start.

If you are driving and fail the breath test, you will be given time to pull your vehicle over before the engine stops. If you fail a test, the court might order you to keep the device in your vehicle longer. If you find yourself facing an ignition interlock extension action, our attorneys can request a hearing with an ADOT administrative law judge to challenge the extension.

Ignition interlock devices come with monthly monitoring and maintenance fees in addition to the cost of installation. The responsibility of paying for the IID costs will be yours.

Top 5 Best DUI Defenses Commonly Used and Proven Effective

There are several common types of DUI defenses that might apply in your case. Your attorney will review the evidence before determining which defense strategy to use. Some of the potentially best DUI lawyer defenses are detailed below.

  1. Officer Did Not Have Reasonable Suspicion

Other than at sobriety checkpoints, police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a traffic violation or a crime before they can stop your vehicle. If the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to support your stop, your attorney might secure a dismissal of all DUI charges against you.

  1. Lack of Probable Cause for Your Arrest

Before an officer can arrest you, he or she must first have probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. If the officer did not have probable cause in your case, your attorney could file a motion to suppress any evidence that was gathered after your arrest, including breath, blood, or urine test results.

Depending on the strength of the remaining evidence, a prosecutor might be forced to dismiss the charges if your attorney wins suppression.

  1. Forced Consent for Blood Test

Police must secure a warrant to draw your blood. They often do not have to get a warrant to test your breath, however. To get around the warrant requirement, some officers make threats or promises to coerce people into giving consent.

If this happened, your attorney can file a motion to have your blood results suppressed.

  1. Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results

The device police use to test your breath alcohol content can return unreliable results if it is not correctly calibrated, maintained, and certified. Your results might also be inaccurate if you have certain medical conditions, including diabetes or GERD.

Being on a ketogenic diet can also release ketones into your body and artificially inflate breath test results. An experienced DUI attorney can review the evidence to determine whether your breath test results might be inaccurate and challenge them in court.

  1. Inaccurate Blood Test Results

While you might think that blood test results cannot be challenged, there are several problems that can result in inaccuracies. Your attorney will review how your blood was drawn, how it was stored and transported, and the procedures followed by the lab analyst.

A thorough analysis of the underlying data from the blood testing procedure may lead to the discovery of critical issues that affect the reliability of the results.

These are just a small sampling of Effective DUI Defenses to Potentially Get Your DUI Dismissed. Speak with our law firm today so we can help.

How a DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help

Your Phoenix DUI defense lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you in the following ways:

  • Advise you about the DUI laws and what to expect at your court hearings
  • Negotiate a reduced sentence or reduced charges
  • Win a dismissal of the charges
  • Appear with or for you at all hearings
  • Save money on your court fees
  • Secure a not guilty verdict at trial

When you retain a DUI defense lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta, you are much likelier to secure a favorable outcome than if you try to represent yourself. You will also have an advocate by your side to help you throughout the criminal court process.

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What People Say

Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trialWatching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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