FairWarning is a nonprofit news and advocacy organization that reports on public health issues and more. The group recently released its 17th annual assessment of states’ traffic laws. Arizona lags in several areas, according to FairWarning, needing stronger laws regulating motorcycle helmets, seat belts and cellphones, for instance.

The organization approves of Arizona’s tough drunk driving laws and punishments, however. That’s probably not surprising to our DUI Defense Blog readers who recall a WalletHub analysis of the nation’s drunk driving laws that determined that ours are the very toughest in the nation.

Several elements of our DUI laws have been cited by organizations eager to see ever-harsher punishments around the nation, including minimum jail time for a first offense, fines, ignition interlock device mandates and driver’s license suspensions.

For instance, a person convicted of a first offense DUI in Arizona can be sentenced to spend up to 10 days in jail, have their license suspended for up to 360 days and be required to have an ignition interlock installed (at their expense) in their vehicle.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety notes on its website that the ignition interlock requirement can be financially painful. These breath-testing devices cost a driver about $960 per year per vehicle.

Of course, there is often a financial penalty for people who have their driver’s license suspended for extended periods. A long period without a license can for many mean that they will be unable to drive to work, which results, unsurprisingly, in job loss.

The first and most important step you can take to protect your freedom and driving privileges is to contact a Scottsdale attorney experienced in aggressive DUI defense across the Valley of the Sun.