Arizona DUI Laws

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Arizona DUI laws state that anyone who has a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above can be charged with a DWI. If your BAC is higher than 0.15%, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI in Arizona. If your BAC is higher than 0.2%, you could be charged with an extreme DUI. You can even be charged when the vehicle is not moving.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
It is dangerous—and a crime—to drive while under the influence of intoxicants like alcohol and drugs. Penalties vary by state, but even a first-time offense could cost a driver up to $10,000 in legal fees and fines. Plus, a DUI can trigger a huge increase in your car insurance rates.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about the DUI laws in Arizona.
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What is a DUI?

DUI is an acronym that stands for driving under the influence whereas DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. The state will determine the difference.
Some states use different terms to mean the same thing, like OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).
You can be charged with a DWI for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and this includes legal drugs like prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. If you become impaired as a result of taking a substance and then get behind the wheel, you can be charged with a DUI.
It’s possible to be charged with an “actual-physical-control” DUI if you are simply inside the vehicle with a high BAC. A judge and jury may decide not to charge you if you can establish that you were sleeping it off. They will consider whether the vehicle was running, where in the vehicle you were found, and whether you were legally parked.

DUI in Arizona

In Arizona, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of:
  • 0.08% or higher
  • 0.04% if you’re driving a commercial vehicle
  • Any detectable amount if the driver is underage
Key Takeaway There is zero tolerance for minors driving under the influence. People under the age of 21 may not carry alcohol inside a vehicle unless a parent is present and the container is unopened, full, and sealed.
Each state has an implied consent law which says that you consent to be tested if an officer suspects you of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is an offense to refuse to submit.
If you are lawfully arrested for a DUI, you are required to submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. Arizona drivers who refuse to be tested can be penalized with lengthy license suspensions or even revocation of their license.
You do not have the right to consult with a lawyer before you take the test.

Penalties for DUI in Arizona

Arizona DUI penalties are harsh and the conviction will remain on your driving record for seven years.

First conviction

A DUI in Arizona (first offense) could result in these penalties:
PenaltyDescription
Fine$1,480
JailMinimum 10 consecutive days
License suspensionMinimum 90 days
Ignition interlock deviceYes
Vehicle impoundmentNo
SR-22 requirementYes
ProbationUp to 5 years
If you are convicted of an extreme DUI in Arizona, you could face these consequences:
PenaltyDescription
Fine$2,730
JailMinimum 30 consecutive days
License suspensionMinimum one year
Ignition interlock deviceYes
Vehicle impoundmentPossible
SR-22 requirementYes
ProbationUp to 5 years
If your BAC was higher than 0.20%, your fines will total $3,190 and you could face 45 days in prison.
The state may require that you complete an alcohol/drug treatment program. The length of the program will depend on the severity of your conviction.
You must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a minimum of 12 months upon license restoration. This device will prevent you from starting the car if there is any alcohol on your breath.
You will also receive eight points on your driving record.

Subsequent convictions

If you are convicted of a DUI more than once, you will be subject to increased penalties. These could include serious fines (up to $4,000), up to 240 days in prison, an ignition interlock device, community restitution, three-year license revocation, and even forfeiture of your vehicle.
After the suspension period, it may be possible for you to obtain a limited license that permits you to drive when necessary (i.e., to work) if you agree to:
  • Complete the prescribed DUI program
  • Install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Only drive vehicles that have an ignition interlock device
  • Pay the reissue and restriction fees to the state
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties are usually increased if you had a very high blood alcohol concentration or if you were involved in an accident where someone was injured—even for a first conviction.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Arizona?

Yes, a DUI classifies you as a high-risk driver. Insurance companies pay very close attention to DUI convictions and usually charge higher premiums.
If you’re struggling to find car insurance with a DUI on record, a good strategy is to shop around with multiple providers. The Jerry app has condensed the process to a 60-second form via a smartphone app. You’ll get personalized quotes from top companies—no confusing forms or judgmental salespeople.
With a DUI on your record, expect substantially higher rates than your previous payment. Arizona drivers with a DUI must find an insurance company to file an SR-22 on their behalf. This confirms that they have state-mandated minimum insurance.

Other effects of a DUI

On top of increased insurance rates and financial penalties, you could also face the following consequences as a result of a DUI conviction:
License revocation: Your license may be revoked if you were charged with another serious offense.
Ignition interlock device: Every state has a version of the ignition interlock program. It requires drivers with a DUI conviction to install this device in their vehicle, which will disable your engine if any alcohol is detected on your breath.
Background checks: DUIs show up on background checks. If your employer pulls a check on you, they may refuse you employment because of your DUI.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old overpriced policy!
Why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
“My past tickets were making it hard to find affordable insurance. With Jerry, I went from paying $450/month to $273/month. They took care of everything—such a relief!” —Josephine R.
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