DUI Laws in Arizona: A.R.S. 28-1381

A DUI in Arizona is a misdemeanor.

DUI Laws in Arizona: A.R.S. 28-1381

Laws pertaining to drunk driving (DUI’s) are detailed in A.R.S. 28-1381, which describe driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. According to the Arizona statute, it is unlawful for a person to be driving, or in actual physical control, of a vehicle in the following circumstances:

  • While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
  • If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle.
  • While any of these drugs, or their metabolites, are in the person’s body.
  • If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a commercial driver license and the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more.

Regular DUI Penalties

DUI charges are class 1 misdemeanors. If convicted, the offender can be:

  • Sentenced to at least 1 day in jail, but not more than 10, and will not be eligible for probation or suspension of the execution of the sentence until the entire sentence has been served.
  • Fined a minimum of $250.
  • Assessed up to $1000 in total.
  • Ordered to perform community restitution.
  • Required to install a certified ignition interlock device into their vehicle for one year.
  • Mandated to complete Traffic Survival School.

A judge may also choose to order the offender serve a single day in jail, rather than the full 10 days, if they attend a court-ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program. Failure to complete this program may find the offender ordered to serve the remainder of their jail time.

Arizona also provides for the classification of “extreme” and “super extreme” DUI charges for levels of higher impairment, as well as aggravated DUIs in cases with aggravating circumstances. These can have harsher penalties for the offender than a regular DUI conviction.


Penalties for Additional Regular DUI’s

An individual convicted of a second DUI within 7 years of the previous conviction, for which the license restrictions have already ended, can be sentenced to another class 1 misdemeanor. However, the penalties will be more severe than for the first DUI and will sentence the offender to:

  • Spend not less than 90 days in jail.
  • Perform at least 30 hours of community restitution.
  • Have their driving privileges revoked for one year, after which they must install a certified ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
  • Pay a fine of not less than $500.
  • Pay two assessments of $1,250.00.
  • Complete Traffic Survival School.

An individual charged with a second DUI during the time in which their license was already revoked or suspended as a result of a previous DUI conviction can be charged with an aggravated DUI, which is a felony.

The Arizona Department of Transportation will also assess points against the driving record of anyone convicted of a DUI, which can ultimately lead to a revocation of driving privileges. To understand the ADOT points system, visit our article.

Arizona has an Implied Consent Law, meaning that anyone who is licensed to drive in the state automatically gives consent to have their blood alcohol concentration or drug content (BADC) tested if they are arrested for a suspected DUI, as explained by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Read our tips outlining common signs of being too drunk to drive. If you are being pulled over by law enforcement for a suspected DUI, follow Rideout Law Group’s tips to handle the situation in a manner that keeps you safe and protects your rights.

A DUI conviction can significantly hamper anyone’s life. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Rideout Law Group immediately to build your best defense. Our attorneys are extremely experienced in favorably handling DUI cases and ADOT hearings across the state of Arizona.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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