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Underage Drinking & Driving / Underage DUI

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Underage Drinking & Driving

No matter your age, it is illegal for anyone to drive under the influence of any drug, including alcohol, in Arizona. When you receive your license, your actions are under the Implied Consent Law. This legal term means that officers have the right to give you a blood alcohol concentration test at any time.

In Arizona, there are differences between an adult and an underage DUI.

Penalties will also vary on your blood alcohol concentration reading. Thankfully, a Phoenix Underage DUI attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you manage your DUI case, providing you with the defenses you need to lower your sentencing and possibly even dismissing the case all together.

To begin, read the summarized explanation of what is a DUI below. Following that definition, we will discuss how an underage drunk driving charge can be harsher.

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Arizona’s Underage Drinking & Driving Laws

Definition of a Standard or Regular DUI

An Arizona DUI, or driving under the influence, charge occurs when you operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08%. When operating a commercial vehicle, this number lowers to 0.04%.

If you refuse to take a blood alcohol concentration test, you will immediately lose the right to drive. To reinstate your privileges, you will have to undergo drug screenings.

Penalties for a Regular DUI between BAC .08 and .149

First Offenses

For a first offense, you will face the most minimal punishments as an adult. These include:

  • Up to 10 days of jail
  • $1,250 fine
  • Alcohol screenings and treatments
  • Community Service
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

Second DUI or Third DUI within a Seven Year Period

Punishments are more extreme if you have at least one previous DUI conviction on your record. You could face:

  • At least 90 days of jail
  • $3,000 fine
  • Revocation of your license for a year
  • Alcohol screenings and treatments
  • Community service
  • Installation of the ignition interlock device


Arizona Extreme DUI – BAC of between .150 and .199

Extreme DUIs occur when your blood alcohol concentration is at least 0.15%. Penalties for this crime are some of the most severe.

  • First Extreme DUI Offense: at least 30 days of jail, $2,500 fine, alcohol screenings, community service, ignition interlock advice
  • Second Extreme DUI Offenses: at least 120 days of jail, $3,250 fine, revocation of your license for a year, alcohol screenings, ignition interlock device, community service


Arizona Aggravated Felony DUI

It is important to note that you will face penalties for an aggravated DUI when you have at least three convictions in the past 84 months. Other instances in which this crime occurs include when you have a passenger who is under 15, or when your license is revoked. Penalties include:

  • Up to 2 years of prison
  • Revocation of your license for a year
  • Alcohol screenings and education
  • Ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • Community service

Under 21 DUI Charge in Arizona

If a minor who is 14 to 17 years old drives drunk, they can face a conviction of what is known as an underage DUI, minor DUI, or a “baby DUI”. Arizona is a zero-tolerance state for both adult and underage DUI convictions, and teenagers can additionally face a misdemeanor or felony charge, just as an adult can.

Circumstances Surrounding Underage Drunk Driving

It is important to note that the minor does not have to be in the act of driving to receive an under 21 DUI. The teenager must only be in control of the vehicle. Even if the car is parked and the key is in the ignition, a baby DUI could occur.

A minor could also receive a class one misdemeanor, no matter their level of concentration. Any amount of alcohol in the system goes towards a baby DUI.


Underage DUI Exceptions

Arizona has a revised statute called ARS 4-244(34) that provides exceptions for underage drunk driving.

The two exceptions are:

  • Alcohol consumption while in a religious ceremony
  • Medicinal reasons for alcohol consumption, so long as there is allowance for operating a motor vehicle

However, without the help of an experienced Phoenix underage DUI attorney, it could be very difficult to prove these exceptions.

Arizona Felony DUI versus Misdemeanor DUI

Misdemeanor Charges

As mentioned, a class one misdemeanor can occur no matter how much a minor drank. This charge can show itself in the form of a regular DUI, as mentioned for an adult when the blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08%.

Aggravated DUIs with Minors

By default, any aggravated DUI is considered a felony charge, whether you are a minor or an adult. Remember, these occur when you have previous convictions, drunk driving while on a revoke or suspended license, or a passenger in the vehicle with you that is under 15 years old.

Extreme DUIs with Minors

Finally, extreme DUI can occur with minors as well. These convictions come with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.15% and are felonies.


Underage DUI Penalties and Fines

Penalties are different for each level of crime and each offense for underage drunk driving. It is important to note that a minor will receive the same penalties as an adult for aggravated and extreme DUIs.

First-Offense Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona

  • Probation
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Restricted license for up to 2 years
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Substance abuse education
  • Community service
  • $500 fines

Second-Offense Misdemeanor DUI in Arizona

  • At least 30 days of juvenile detention
  • $500 fines
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse education
  • Community service
  • Restricted license for up to 2 years

Arizona Aggravated DUI

  • Up to 2 years in jail
  • License revocation for a year
  • Substance abuse education
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Community service

Extreme DUI

  • irst-time: 30 days of jail, $2,500 fine, substance abuse education, community service, ignition interlock device
  • Second-time: 120 days of jail, $3,250 fine, license revocation for a year, substance abuse education, ignition interlock device, community service

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions that we are asked during our free consultation with a DUI attorney. If you have additional questions, definitely give us a call. We offer free consultations and will go over your entire case from top to bottom.

What Defenses Will a Phoenix Underage DUI Attorney Provide?

Your defense attorney will first determine if the police officer had probable cause to pull you over. If not, the evidence behind the sobriety tests is invalid. The same is true if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion.

Whether you are a minor or an adult, you must have physical control over the vehicle for a DUI conviction. There is no cause for arrest if only sleeping in the car.

Sometimes, the blood test device may be inaccurate. Police officers may also create records that contain misinformation. In either of these cases of inaccuracies, there is a lack of sufficient evidence.


How Will a DUI Conviction Affect Your Future?

An adult and under 21 DUI will show up on your record. Employers may consider this when choosing whether or not to hire you. It is up to each business’ discretion, however.

If you are a student, an Arizona underage DUI could affect your standing. You may be able to stay in school, but you can lose any scholarships or grants. A student will also likely have to undergo counseling.


Will a DUI Affect Your Finances?

DUI convictions will also affect your financial well-being. First, your insurance premiums will likely increase. This can be explained under what is SR22 Insurance. As mentioned, you may also lose college scholarships.

Sometimes, banks also consider your criminal records when approving mortgages or loans. You could lose your chance at owning a home or purchasing a new car.

Contact a DUI Defense Team You Can Trust

After an adult or underage DUI, you must consult a defense attorney. This professional will review all evidence concerning your case, hoping to lower your sentencing or negate your guilt.

You do not want a DUI that occurred when you were a teenager, for instance, to affect you for the rest of your life. Call us immediately to discuss how we can potentially get your charges reduced or even how to get your DUI dismissed completely.

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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 trial… Watching 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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