8Apr 2015
Apr 8, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Arizona?

In Arizona there is no safe drinking level for driver under the age of 21 years, it is therefore illegal to drink under the influence of alcohol for drivers under 21 years old. Non-commercial drivers above 21 years old are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .08. On the other hand drivers of commercial vehicles are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .04. It is important to note that school bus drivers are commercial drivers under Arizona law.

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is determined to be .08 or more.
  • Commercial vehicle drivers are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is determined to be .04 percent or greater. In Arizona and according to Arizona law, school bus drivers are considered commercial drivers.
  • In Arizona if anyone under 21 drives while there is any liquor in the person’s body it is illegal. Under Arizona law, the offense of “underage drinking and driving” may be committed without any evidence or presumption of “impaired” driving. If an 18, 19, or 20-year old driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, that driver may be charged with DUI and underage DWI.

 

Arizona Drunk Driving Penalties

First time DUI offenders face imprisonment for at least 10 days, a fine of at least $250, in addition, the offender will have to pay $1,000 to be deposited in the state general fund and the prison construction and operations fund. The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is at least 3 months.

For second time offenders within two months of the previous conviction, they face imprisonment of at least 3 months, pay a fine of at least $500 and additional assessments fee of up to $5,000, and the revocation period for the offender’s driver’s license is one year. After the offender’s license is reinstated, he/she will be required to equip his/her vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device.

For third time offenders and subsequent offences within a three month period, the offender is subjected to “aggravated driving while under the influence” law. The offender will face 2 ½ years in prison, a fine of at least $750 and an additional assessments fee of $1,750. Furthermore, it is mandatory for the offender to attend an alcohol education or treatment program; the revocation period for the offender’s driver’s license is three years. After the offender’s license is reinstated, he/she will be required to equip his/her vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device.

The Point System in Arizona

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) assesse points against your driving record every time you are convicted of any violation, or forfeit bail for a moving violation. For a DUI conviction you get 8 points. Different violations carry different points; however some violations have such high value that they immediately invalidate your license.