The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

More Than a DUI: Sentencing Enhancements in Arizona

DUI laws are meant to punish drivers for endangering others, which means if your DUI is especially dangerous, you can expect some sentencing enhancements. Arizona law has harsher punishments for drivers who endanger others beyond just drinking and driving.

Those additional punishments can include a longer incarceration or higher fines, or both. It could also mean additional charges or changing a misdemeanor to a felony.

If you're busted for a DUI you can expect some serious punishment. But if you meet the factors for a sentencing enhancement, it can be even worse.

Here's what we mean:

  • DUI with injury. Drunken driving is always dangerous, but if someone actually gets hurt you can count on a more serious sentence. This charge, called aggravated DUI, is a felony and carries serious penalties.

  • Endangering children. If you have a child under the age of 15 in your car when you're busting for driving while intoxicated, the charge is elevated to a felony. That means a mandatory license revocation and up to two years in prison if convicted.

  • Especially high BAC. Arizona's legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% for adults 21 and over, and zero if you're under 21. But a BAC of 0.16% or more is considered "extreme," and over 0.20% is "super extreme" which means a much harsher sentence.

  • Violating implied consent laws. As a condition of getting an Arizona driver's license, you agree to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test if you're stopped for a suspected DUI. If you refuse, your license is automatically suspended.

  • Excessive speed. You know what's more dangerous than drunken driving? Drunken driving while speeding. Breaking the speed limit and driving drunk means you're going to have a rough time in court.

A DUI is a crime which means you'll have to go through a criminal trial. But it also means you're entitled to an attorney, so get one on your side to fight for your freedom.

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