Posted on March 3, 2023 in DUI Consequences
Arizona has different levels of DUI (driving under the influence) charges. If an individual is arrested for DUI, the charge(s) and level of the crime entered will depend on the nature and circumstances of the incident. If a drunk driver causes a DUI car accident with bodily injuries, the crime will be upgraded to an aggravated DUI – a felony offense with harsher consequences.
The definition of driving under the influence according to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S) Section 28-1381 is to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug if the person is impaired to the slightest degree. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level in Arizona is 0.08 percent; however, it is possible to get a DUI with a lower BAC if the driver appears impaired to any degree.
Certain circumstances can lead to an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona. Under A.R.S. 28-1383, a person is guilty of aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence if he or she is driving on a canceled, suspended or revoked license; commits three or more DUI offenses within 84 months; was driving with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle; was driving with a court-mandated ignition interlock device in the vehicle; or was driving the wrong way on a highway.
Causing a motor vehicle accident that results in bodily injury or death is also grounds for an aggravated DUI charge. This is a much more serious offense than a standard DUI. A standard DUI conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona, while an aggravated DUI is punishable as a class 4 felony. This means you will have a permanent record and lose certain constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and bear arms. If an intoxicated driver causes serious injury to others, the chosen penalties are often significant, as a judge may wish to use the defendant as a lesson for others in the community.
The penalties for a standard DUI conviction can include a minimum of 10 days in jail, a fine of at least $250 (plus many additional assessments and fees), community restitution, an ignition interlock device, and mandatory traffic survival school. If the charge gets enhanced to an aggravated DUI, the potential consequences will be increased, as well – sometimes, substantially.
The harshest DUI penalties are reserved for drivers who injure others with their actions, whether the injured victim is a vehicle passenger or a stranger. If you get involved in a DUI accident where someone is injured, you could face immense criminal consequences for driving under the influence. If you are found guilty of this offense, you will have a felony on your record for an aggravated DUI. The consequences of this conviction can include:
The penalties for an aggravated DUI can be extreme if the defendant is a repeat offender or if someone was killed as a result of intoxicated driving. In these situations, the defendant could face many years in prison and other life-changing consequences. If you or a loved one is facing charges for a DUI involving injury to others, it is important to contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Presenting a defense against these serious charges requires assistance from an experienced lawyer.