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How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona?

In Arizona, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction stays on your record forever. However, for sentencing purposes, Arizona considers DUIs that occurred within the past 7 years. This means that if you receive another DUI within 7 years of a previous DUI conviction, it will be considered a repeat offense and carry harsher penalties.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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DUI Penalties in Arizona

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), if you are pulled over for suspected DUI and a test reveals an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher (0.04 in a commercial vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license), or if a blood alcohol or drug test result is unavailable, your driving privileges will be immediately revoked [1]. Additionally, you must complete an alcohol or drug screening before you can obtain a restricted permit or reinstate your driving privileges.

It's important to note that you can be found guilty of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of any drug or its metabolite even if your blood alcohol concentration was below 0.08 percent. For individuals under 21, any alcohol concentration can result in license suspension.

Refusal to submit to or failure to successfully complete any tests when arrested for DUI will lead to an automatic 12-month suspension of your driving privileges or 24 months for a second refusal within 84 months. Similar to the initial scenario, you must complete alcohol or drug screening before obtaining a restricted permit or reinstating your driving privileges.

Moreover, for a second or third offense DUI violation, your driving privileges will be automatically revoked, in addition to any criminal penalties imposed by the court.

As of 09/29/2021, per House Bill 2187 (HB2187), MVD will revoke for three years when an individual has at least one aggravated DUI (28-1383) conviction in combination with any other DUI conviction under 28-1381 and/or 28-1382.

Penalties for DUI include:

First offense: A minimum of 10 consecutive days in jail, a fine of at least $1,250, alcohol screening/education/treatment, installation of a certified ignition interlock device in any vehicle you operate, and community service.

Second and subsequent offenses: A minimum of 90 days in jail, a fine of at least $3,000, license revocation for 12 months, alcohol screening/education/treatment, installation of a certified ignition interlock device in any vehicle you operate, and community service.

Extreme DUI, applicable to those with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher:

First offense: A minimum of 30 consecutive days in jail with no probation or suspended sentence, a fine of at least $2,500, alcohol screening/education/treatment, community service, and installation of a certified ignition interlock device in any vehicle you operate.

Second and subsequent offenses: A minimum of 120 days in jail, a fine of at least $3,250, license revocation for 12 months, alcohol screening/education/treatment, installation of a certified ignition interlock device in any vehicle you operate, and community service.

Aggravated DUI, applicable to those who commit a DUI while suspended, revoked, or canceled; commit a third DUI in 84 months; commit a DUI with a person under 15 in the vehicle; or commit a DUI or refuse to submit a blood alcohol content test while under an ignition interlock device requirement:

You will be sent to prison for not more than two years and, in addition to any other penalty required by law, your license will be revoked for one year. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood Test in Arizona

According to Forbes 2023 publication, under ARS § 28-1321, the "implied consent affidavit" is issued to any driver suspected of a DUI offense who refuses or is unable to undergo testing to determine their blood alcohol concentration or drug content [3]. This affidavit serves as a DUI citation.

For this reason, all drivers are required to submit to testing. The first time a driver refuses, their driving privileges get suspended for a year; a second refusal within 84 months of the first will cause a two-year suspension - Forbes.

Arizona DUI Statistics

According to the SLO, the number of DUI arrests in Arizona has seen a decline in recent years [2]. For instance, in 2018, there were 33,827 DUI arrests, which decreased to 27,104 in 2019. This drop could be attributed to various factors, including heightened awareness and education campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, as well as increased enforcement efforts by law enforcement agencies.

Of the 27,125 DUI arrests made in Arizona in 2020, approximately 79 percent were for first-time offenses. The remaining 21 percent were repeat offenders, which shows that Arizona’s DUI laws effectively prevent repeat offenses - SLO stated.

A report from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety highlighted 2,114 traffic stops resulting in DUI arrests, with 257 for aggravated DUI, 1,479 for misdemeanor DUI, and 378 for extreme DUI. These figures underscore the ongoing efforts to curb impaired driving in the state.

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References:

1. https://azdot.gov/mvd/services/driver-services/driver-improvement/driving-under-influence-dui
2. https://www.suzukilawoffices.com/faqs/how-many-dui-arrests-are-there-in-arizona/
3. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/dui/arizona-dui-laws/