I Got a DUI. Now What?
You’re out with your buddies at a bar in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Wanting to have fun, you swallow a few drinks and laugh along as your friend jabs at you about your lightweight drinking. You know driving home while drunk could result in a DUI, but that wouldn’t happen, right?
A couple of hours later, you slide the keys of your car into the ignition. You know you’re not in any position to drive. However, you decide you will be fine and strive to be extra cautious while on the road.
Nonetheless, about halfway home, you feel your vision blurring. A car approaches from behind as you swerve into the other lane to let them pass. The tailing car approaches and a swirl of red and blue lights illuminate the night. It’s a police car asking you to pull over. They cuff you and take you back to the station. They charge you with a DUI.
If this ever happens to you, you’ll probably wonder what to do. Likewise, if you’re suffering from an alcohol use disorder, you’re still probably wondering what happens when you get a DUI in Arizona. If you are in need of addiction treatment, then call us today at 623-263-7371. Our experts will help you start a new journey to a happier, healthier, and sober life.
This is Not the End
The process, though complex, is not impossible to navigate. There are many things you should know, but the most important is this: It is not the end of the world. In order to understand what to do after a DUI, it is vital to understand the laws behind drinking and driving. Also, understand that there is hope for those who seek help.
Arizona DUI Laws
Every state has different laws when it comes to drinking and driving. Some call it DUI, while others may call it DWI. Likewise, some states will have intricate laws, while others are more concrete. In Arizona, the laws on impaired driving are stern and clear. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the law is:
. . . if you are 21-years-old or older, you can receive a DUI charge if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above .08% (commercial vehicle driver – .04%, under 21 – 0.00%). If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs through field sobriety testing, a chemical test will be administered. Refusal to take the chemical test may result in a one year suspension of your driver license, if it is your first offense. If it is your second or third offense, your driver license may be suspended for two years.
Obviously, this is a harsh, but necessary, punishment. Having a drivers license suspension can make life extremely difficult. However, this may be what they have to do to keep the roads safe.
There is another department in Arizona that deals with DUIs. The Arizona Department of Transportation states why this is true and what measures they will take to enforce this law:
It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drugs to drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle. When you apply for and accept the privilege to drive a vehicle in Arizona, you give consent to test for blood alcohol concentration or drug content (BADC). If you are under arrest for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (DUI). This is the Implied Consent Law. When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you have been driving while under the influence, the officer will request that you submit to a BADC test of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance to measure the amount of alcohol or drugs present in your bloodstream.
Driving in Arizona is a privilege according to the state government and department of transportation. Therefore, individuals should take caution and make arrangements for their transportation home when going out to drink. As a result of this, citizens can prevent DUIs, and possible harm to others.
Penalties for DUI in Arizona
There are different penalties for DUI in Arizona, depending on the blood alcohol level of the individual and whether they are a repeat offender. Also, there are two types of DUIs: Regular DUI and Extreme DUI.
A normal DUI is when an individual has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. Or, if you are a commercial driver, the limit is 0.04. Likewise, for those under 21, it is anything over 0. When tested, these will all result in a normal DUI. However, if any individual has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or over, they will be charged with Extreme DUI.
A page on the ADOT website goes over the differences in penalties for each:
First offense: You will be in jail for not less than 10 consecutive days and fined not less than $1,250. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
Second and subsequent offenses: You will be jailed for not less than 90 days and fined not less than $3,000 and your license will be revoked for 12 months. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
First offense: You will be jailed for not less than 30 consecutive days with no eligibility for probation or suspended sentence and fined not less than $2,500. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and be ordered to perform community service and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device.
Second and subsequent offenses: You will be jailed for not less than 120 days, fined not less than $3,250 and your license will be revoked for 12 months. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
Going along with these, there is a law for those who get a DUI while suspended, revoked, cancelled or commits a third DUI in 84 months. This is called Aggravated DUI.
You will be sent to prison for not more than two years and, in addition to any other penalty required by law, your license will be revoked for one year. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
When the state charges someone with any of these, the process can be difficult. Many people wonder what happens after their arrest.
After the Arrest
This process is usually different for every person. One individual may have a very different experience than the another. It mostly depends on the station, police officer and the conditions of the DUI. However, there are guidelines that explain the general idea of what happens after your arrest.
- If they do not release you right away, you will be put in the book. Also, they will take your mugshot photo. Likewise, they will take your fingerprints as well. You may have to stay in jail until you are sober. Although in some states, a minimum number of hours is necessary.
- They will likely draw your blood. If not, they will have you take a Breathalyzer test if you have not already.
- Then, an arraignment hearing will take place. This will determine your bail and next steps. Also, a DMV hearing is likely to take place. Remember, if you don’t request one, you are likely to experience an immediate suspension of your license.
- It may be just a misdemeanor charge. However, the charge will stay on your record. This could lead to problems with your job. Not to mention the even more serious consequences if you have charges for other crimes.
What You Can Do
- It is a serious problem, but taking charge of the situation early will help. You should take back control of your life. Otherwise, the system will control you.
- When you have a DUI charge, you will lose your license, at least for some time.
- Generally, the most common way to get your driver’s license back is to show faith in the system. Show that you will not make the mistake again. This includes attending therapy or treatment course.
- Most individuals can search for “DUI classes near me” to find the kind of program that your state will accept. If you have a lawyer, your DUI lawyer will also know exactly what to do. The lawyer will sign you up for classes or an education program. Going to these classes will produce the best result for your situation.
- It’s possible to get some driving privileges back for hardship purposes. This includes traveling to work or your children’s school.
DUI and Addiction
There is no question that Alcohol Use Disorder and drunk driving can go hand in hand. Around one- third of DUI convictions are for repeat offenses. This alone is enough to wonder how many of those people have an Alcohol Use Disorder or suffer from addiction.
Although driving while a little tipsy can seem like no big deal, it always puts you and others at risk.
Every 33 minutes, someone dies from an alcohol-related crash in this country. Many times, these crashes happen as a result of alcohol addiction. Thus, causing millions of people across the country to fear what they may encounter while driving. Nevertheless, it does not have to be this way.
It goes without saying that something needs to change. Although we may not be able to change everything all at once, we can change one step at a time. For those struggling with alcohol addiction, there is always hope in receiving treatment. You do not have to continue on the path you are on.
If you struggle with an alcohol problem and need help, call the number today. When you call, you will connect with an addiction specialist. Together, you can decide what treatment is best for you.
There is no need to suffer. Call us today, you are furthering change in yourself and in your community.