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What Happens When You Get a Second DUI?

Posted on May 12, 2021 in Second DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime in all 50 states. DUI means to operate a motor vehicle under the impairing influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In Arizona, a driver is legally too intoxicated to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. It is also possible to get a DUI with a lower BAC if the driver is impaired. If you get convicted of a second or subsequent DUI in Arizona, the penalties increase.

What Is a Second-Offense DUI?

A second-offense DUI means receiving two driving under the influence convictions within a certain time period. This is referred to as the DUI look-back period. In Arizona, the look-back period is seven years. Arizona also requires the driver’s blood alcohol content to be between 0.08 (or 0.04 percent for commercial drivers) and 0.149 percent at the time of the arrest for a second DUI offense.

If you are charged and convicted of two DUIs within seven years in Arizona, you will be guilty of a second-offense DUI. This can lead to increased criminal penalties and consequences. If more than seven years have passed since your first DUI, however, you will be charged as a first-time offender.

Do DUIs From Other States Count?

Yes, DUIs from other states count, as long as the definition of a DUI in the state where you received the conviction matches Arizona’s definition. A DUI in any state will become part of your permanent driving record. If the definitions match and you received the first DUI within seven years of the second offense, it will be processed as your second driving under the influence crime in Arizona.

Penalties for a Second DUI

Arizona penalizes DUI crimes harshly and is very strict with the law to discourage drivers from making this dangerous mistake. When a driver gets arrested for a second DUI, Arizona law sees it as the driver not learning his or her lesson the first time. This leads to an increase in fines and penalties to further punish the defendant.

The purpose of harsher penalties and heavier fines associated with a second DUI is to prevent the driver from any subsequent driving-while-impaired offenses. The penalties for a second DUI in Arizona can include:

  • A minimum of 30 to 90 days in jail
  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine of $500 to $2,500, plus surcharges and assessments that can cost $3,500
  • An alcohol screening test that costs $50
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device (plus costs)
  • Mandatory alcohol and/or driving classes that can cost several hundred dollars
  • Driver’s license suspension for one year
  • Mandatory community service
  • Probation for up to five years

These are the penalties for a standard second-offense DUI, which is a class 1 misdemeanor. You could face even more severe penalties if found guilty of an extreme second-offense DUI, such as for causing an accident with serious bodily injuries while intoxicated, which is a felony. This type of charge could lead to additional fines and/or jail time.

How a DUI Defense Attorney Can Help

If you have been arrested for a second driving under the influence offense within seven years in the State of Arizona, contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Scottsdale, AZ. An attorney can help you navigate this complex area of criminal law in Arizona while protecting your rights. An attorney may be able to reduce the charges against you to a wet reckless, for example, allowing you to avoid a second-offense DUI conviction.

A DUI attorney may also be able to help you plead not guilty and present evidence during a trial to counter the prosecutor’s case against you. If the arresting officer was guilty of misconduct, civil rights violations or not reading your Miranda rights, for instance, this may allow you to plead not guilty. A lawyer will do whatever he or she can to protect you from the consequences of a second DUI. Learn more today by requesting a free consultation at Rosenstein Law Group.

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