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Colburn Hintze Maletta – ⭐ 5 Star Rated Best Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and DUI Lawyers

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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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