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Individuals convicted for DUI in the state of Arizona will have serious consequences to deal with for many months. Like other states, Arizona takes driving under the influence seriously and assigns severe penalties and fines to those who are convicted.
Arizona DWI and DUI Laws
It is illegal in Arizona state for any driver to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver is stopped and he/she is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, they will immediately lose their license. The same applies for a commercial driver with a BAC of .04 percent or higher. If a convicted driver is under age 21, their license may be suspended if there is any alcohol at all in their blood. Drivers who have greater than a .15 percent BAC are placed in a category known as an “Extreme DUI” and they will be subject to a minimum of $2,400 in fines, along with a 1-year license suspension and a mandatory ignition interlock device requirement.
Additionally, when drivers in Arizona accept a driver’s license and the privilege of driving that comes along with it, they give their consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if they are arrested for driving under the influence. This is known as the Implied Consent Law, and if they refuse the test, they may incur certain penalties and a license suspension.
Penalties Associated with Driving Under the Influence in Arizona
First offenders will receive jail for at least 24 hours (and up to 10 consecutive days) with a minimum fine of $1,250. They will also be required to go through alcohol education or treatment, and may be required to use an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they operate. In addition, they will be required to perform community service.
If a driver refuses to allow blood alcohol testing, they will automatically lose their license for 12 months, and if they refuse the test again within seven years, their license will be automatically suspended for two years. Additionally, the driver will be required to go through drug and alcohol screening before getting their license back.
Second offenders will pay at least $3,400 in financial penalties, and have a minimum jail sentence of 30 days, up to a maximum of 90 days. Community service will be required for a minimum of 30 days, and alcohol screening and education will be required. In addition, there will be a license suspension of 1 year, and the driver will need to equip his/her vehicle with an ignition interlock device in order to get their driving privileges back.
An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that requires a driver to blow into it in order to start their car’s engine. If the person has any alcohol in their breath, the car will not start. The device also requires random periodic tests while the engine is running, to verify that the driver did not have someone else blow into the device to start the car. This device might be required for first offenders, but is an absolute requirement for all second and subsequent offenders.
In addition to the other penalties and fines, a driver convicted of a DUI will also receive 8 points on their driving record. This will also require them to attend a Traffic Survival School to avoid license suspension.
SR-22 Requirements in the State of Arizona
In Arizona, a driver convicted of a DUI will be required to carry proof of financial responsibility, in the form of an SR-22 insurance policy. This is mandatory in order to get their license reinstated, and will be required for three years with no policy interruptions.
SR-22 insurance can be quite expensive. If a driver chooses to discontinue their SR-22 insurance for any reason, the policy will lapse and the insurance company will be required by law to report the policy lapse to Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division. This will cause an immediate license suspension, and the driver will have to pay a fee and get a new SR-22 filed in order to regain their license.
Effects of a DUI on Car Insurance Rates
When a driver receives a DUI conviction, the mark may stay on their record forever. The individual will now be considered a high-risk driver by car insurance companies, which will automatically increase their rates. The positive side is that there are so many factors that play into an insurance company’s determination of rates for an individual, so any high risk driver needs to shop around and speak with several different insurance companies to compare quotes until an individual finds the combination of features and price that fits their situation.
High Risk Car Insurance Companies in Arizona
When a person gets a DUI, they may be able to stay with their current insurance company, but chances are the new quote for their insurance will be significantly higher. Some insurance companies will cancel a driver with a DUI on their record, and other insurance companies do not even offer SR-22 insurance policies. However, there are several insurance companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers, and some of the larger, well known companies are The General Auto Insurance and Progressive Auto Insurance. Regional carriers for Arizona include The Serenity Group and Classic Insurance Services. Any high risk driver needs to shop around as its the only way to get the best auto insurance rates after a DUI.