As most people in Arizona know, being charged with drunk driving can be bad news. No matter how mild or severe the charges in question, you could still end up with a mark on your criminal record if convicted. Furthermore, you might be fined, sent to jail or face the suspension of your license. The severity of the penalties depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the offense and any previous convictions you might have.

Even your location can be important as the laws surrounding DUI offenses vary significantly from one state to the next. A recent study conducted by WalletHub sought to rate each state and the District of Columbia on its strictness in dealing with drunk driving, scoring them based on a combination of 15 factors.

Arizona scored highest, partly due to the severity of its penalties. In Arizona you can be jailed for a minimum of 10 days even if it is only your first offense. This goes up to 90 in the event of a second offense. If you are convicted a third time, it is considered a felony DUI and can carry even more severe penalties.

Of course, each case is unique so it can be difficult to predict the exact sentence you might be given. However, a good defense is vital if you hope to minimize your penalties or attempt to clear your name. An attorney may be able to advise you about your options and guide you through the legal process as you work to ensure that your side of the story is heard by the court.

Source: ABC27, “Analysis: Pa. DUI laws among most lenient in US,” Myles Snyder, June 16, 2015