Legal Blood Alcohol (BAC) Level in Arizona

Legal Blood Alcohol (BAC) Level in Arizona

In Arizona, a person may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. However, Arizona is a zero-tolerance DUI state, meaning an officer can arrest anyone they suspect of being intoxicated or impaired.

According to A.R.S. 28-1381, if the driver’s blood, breath, or bodily substance was taken within two hours of the time of driving,  the following may be presumed in a court action or proceeding:

  • BAC 0.05 or less – The defendant was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
  • BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 – The defendant was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but this fact may be considered with other evidence to determine guilt or innocence of the defendant.
  • BAC of 0.08 or higher – The defendant was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

However, a defendant with BAC level below .08 can still be convicted of a DUI if the prosecution can prove that they were impaired to even the slightest degree.

Once an individual’s BAC has been proven to be 0.08 or higher, the DUI charges can vary based on the level of intoxication. Convictions result in varying lengths of incarceration, fines, mandated traffic school, screening or treatment programs, mandated usage of an ignition interlock device, and license suspension. Penalties increase further for repeat offenders.

  • A DUI resulting from a BAC of 0.08 or higher is a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • A DUI of impairment in the slightest degree is a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • An Extreme DUI may be given for those with a BAC between 0.15 and 0.20.
  • A Super Extreme DUI may be given in cases where the BAC is 0.20 or higher.
  • An Aggravated DUI occurs for any BAC of 0.08 or above if certain additional factors were involved, such as driving with a child in the car or on a suspended license.

It should be noted that drivers with commercial driver’s licenses must adhere to stricter regulations regarding BAC levels than the average driver. Commercial drivers are limited to a BAC of 0.04 in order to maintain additional safety.

Harvard University provides a helpful chart, below, depicting the average blood alcohol concentration of males and females based on weight, number of drinks, and the elapsed time since drinking:


If you are facing DUI charges, call Rideout Law Group today for an aggressive approach to your defense.



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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