DUI penalties, even for a first offender, are serious and carry long-term repercussions. That said, the penalties for repeat DUI offenders in Arizona are treated far more severely.
Arizona law allows fines, restrictions on driver’s licenses, jail time and similar penalties to increase for repeat DUI offenses.
The Consequences of Subsequent Arizona DUI Offenses
If an Arizona driver is charged and convicted of a first DUI offense, then the increased penalties for a subsequent DUI are applicable for a period of 84 months (7 years).
A second or subsequent DUI offense leads to the following possible penalties if a driver is convicted:
- At least 30 days of jail time (a maximum of 180 days in jail may be ordered, and a second offense usually carries a jail term that exceeds the 30 day minimum)
- A required ignition interlock device
- Fines and fees that exceed $3,000
- A 12-month driver’s license revocation
- Mandatory alcohol/drug screening, education and treatment
- Community service
While some of these penalties will apply for a first offense DUI conviction as well — namely, community service, a required ignition interlock device and mandatory alcohol/drug screening — the fines and jail time are far more severe. A first offense DUI conviction typically leads to a fine of $1,250 and only 10 days in jail, which is quite lenient from a comparative standpoint.
Third and subsequent DUI offenses carry additional penalties. The minimum jail time is increased to four months, and a longer term is quite possible. Fines and fees leap to at least $4,000 (again, the likelihood for a larger fine is also a distinct possibility).
It is also important to note that third and later offenses are felonies, not misdemeanors. Felony convictions carry lasting consequences, such as the following:
- A complete ban from owning firearms
- Inability to vote
- Inability to serve in the Armed Forces
- Employment becomes more difficult
These are just a few of the lasting consequences associated with subsequent DUI offenses, and the serious nature of these penalties highlights the need for an Arizona DUI defense lawyer who will defend your legal rights.
The Importance of Defending a Subsequent Arizona DUI Charge
Arizona drivers who have been charged with a second or greater DUI offense should know upfront that they have an uphill legal battle. As a general rule, states come down hard on repeat offenders due to the state’s interest in reducing the statewide dangers of drinking and driving.
Arizona is no exception, and in fact, Arizona’s laws have been considered the toughest in the nation on DUIs. According to the recent study by Wallet Hub, Arizona ranks number one in the nation for criminal penalties for driving under the influence.
This reality underscores the need for an Arizona criminal defense attorney who will provide each and every defendant with a strong legal defense. There are many legal avenues to challenge a DUI charge, and a DUI defense attorney should explore all of them to give you the best possible defense against subsequent DUI charges.
Know that, even though these charges are serious, you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to have these serious consequences and penalties apply. Even if the facts are not in doubt, your Arizona criminal defense lawyer should work tirelessly to have your charges reduced or to obtain more lenient punishments on your behalf.
At Tyler Allen Law Firm, we understand that your finances, future and very freedom depend on our legal representation. Contact us for a legal consultation to discuss the facts of your case today.