If Arizona is tough on DUI (driving under the influence) offenders, it is doubly so to repeat offenders. However, the courts recognize that harsher penalties alone are not always enough to prevent a driver from repeating the same behaviors and misconduct. The root cause of the issue – the driver’s substance abuse problem – must be addressed for a long-term remedy to drunk driving. To address driving under the influence at its source, Arizona offers DUI courts and repeat-offender programs.
Repeat DUI offenders present a threat to public safety in the eyes of Arizona lawmakers. They did not learn their lesson the first time and will therefore face harsher penalties for each repeat drunk driving offense. Generally, the penalties for a second or subsequent DUI in Arizona include:
These penalties are further enhanced if a defendant is convicted of more than one extreme DUI or super extreme DUI in Arizona. In this case, a defendant could face months or years in jail, as well as lengthy probation and expensive fines. Furthermore, if a driver receives a felony DUI conviction, he or she could lose the right to vote, bear arms and other rights. A defendant may be eligible for an alternative sentence, however, through the DUI courts or a repeat-offender program.
Arizona’s Driving Under the Influence Court specifically manages cases involving aggravated DUIs. These are DUIs with extenuating circumstances that increase the severity of the crime, such as a drunk driver causing a car accident or having a child under the age of 15 in the car. If someone is charged with an aggravated DUI in Arizona, the DUI court will manage the case, including status conferences, settlement negotiations, changes to the defendant’s plea, a criminal trial and sentencing. The DUI court is focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment for repeat DUI offenders.
Arizona’s significant penalties for repeat DUI offenders are often enough to prevent a driver from risking a second, third or fourth drunk driving offense. If not, Arizona law may allow for an alternative sentence that focuses on substance abuse rehabilitation instead. The state offers programs to repeat offenders that are designed to address driving under the influence at its source. Depending on the circumstances, alternative sentences may be available, such as:
These measures can help an individual overcome a substance use disorder and stay off of the road until he or she develops healthier habits. However, if a repeat DUI offender violates any of the rules of an alternative sentence, he or she could face serious penalties, including jail time. It is important for anyone enrolled in a repeat-offender program to follow the rules of the program exactly.
It is critical to defend yourself using an experienced and skilled Scottsdale DUI defense attorney if you are facing charges for a second or subsequent driving under the influence crime. An attorney can build the strongest defense possible to increase your chances of case dismissal or reduced charges. If you qualify for the DUI court or a repeat-offender program in Arizona, your attorney can enroll you to help you avoid going to jail. A lawyer can give you sound advice and protect your legal rights if you’ve been charged with a second or third DUI in Arizona.