DUI – Alcohol

DUI – 1st Time Regular DUI – Arizona Revised Statute §28-1381

Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation. A 1st Time Regular DUI is a Misdemeanor, and although you may have never had a DUI in your past, Arizona Law requires that anyone convicted of a DUI get at least one day in jail.

An Arizona DUI is nearly always charged two different ways: Count 1: DUI – Impaired to the Slightest Degree; and Count 2: DUI – BAC Above a .08. Each are considered a Regular DUI, and both are Misdemeanors. They are alternate ways in which a person can be convicted of a DUI in Arizona. That means that even if you went to trial on both counts, and either lost on both counts, or lost on one of the two counts, the sentence will be the same. They are two different ways the prosecutor can try to prove you Guilty at trial.

Under Count 1: DUI – Impaired, the prosecutor can try to prove that you were Driving, or in Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle, and that your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree by the use of alcohol, drugs, medications, or vapor releasing substances, or a combination of the same.

A conviction for Count 1, no matter whether it is alcohol, drugs, or even your prescription medications, requires a minimum of at least one day in jail. The maximum sentence is six months in jail… possible, even though you never had any prior DUI convictions. There are also numerous fines, fees, counseling, and other penalties associated with a conviction.

While the standard Count 2 has to do with someone who has a Blood Alcohol Content above a .08, tested to within two hours of driving, there are actually a few different ways someone can be charged with alternate counts.

Sometimes, Count 1: DUI – Impaired, alleges that someone is impaired by drugs, medications, and/or vapor releasing substances, instead of alcohol. When that is the case, Count 2 is usually charged as a DUI where there is an illegal substance or its metabolite in your system. Likewise the charge could be that there was a legal substance, that was not being taken as prescribed.

In any of the above situations, Count 2 is an alternate count to Count 1. Additionally, in any of the above situations, a conviction on both counts would be the same as a conviction on only one count.

Count 1 is always a more factual argument, and Count 2 is always a more scientific argument.

There is hope, however. It is possible, depending on the facts of the case, the laws, the court, the level of substance found in the system, and the right DUI Defense Lawyer, to get the case to go away, or possibly eliminate the DUI charges in exchange for something like a Reckless Driving plea agreement.

Your best chance of success comes from having a DUI Defense Attorney who is experienced, and focuses on DUI Defense Representation.

Keep in mind, a Criminal Defense Lawyer is not the same as a DUI Defense Lawyer.

1st Time Regular DUI Sentence:

  • 1 day to 6 months in jail
  • Approx. $1,500 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Suspension
  • Possible Probation
  • Possible SR22 High Risk Insurance required
  • Possible Community Service
  • One Year Ignition Interlock Device (can be reduced down to six months)

2nd Time Regular DUI Sentence

– alleging a prior DUI conviction within seven years, although it doesn’t matter what type of prior DUI conviction it was (Regular / Extreme / Super Extreme), only what the new charge is):

  • 30 days to 6 months in jail
  • Approx. $3,500 minimum in fines and fees
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • License Suspension
  • Possible Probation
  • SR22 High Risk Insurance required
  • Community Service
  • One Year Ignition Interlock Device

Keep in mind that with an experienced DUI Defense Lawyer – like the ones on the AZ DUI Team – even a required jail sentence can be reduced down with certain options, such as Home Arrest, Continuous Alcohol Monitoring, and Suspension of Sentence for Ignition Interlock Device, depending on the court and judge.

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