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DWI Laws and Penalties in Arizona

Posted on November 9, 2023 in
Arizona Laws and Penalties for DWI or DUI

Driving while impaired (DWI), officially known as driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, refers to driving while drunk or drugged. Arizona state laws prohibit motorists from driving vehicles if:

  • their driving abilities are impaired due to the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • they have detectable levels of alcohol and are under 21; or
  • their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least .08%, and are at least 21 years old.

What counts as DUI or DWI may vary per state, so make sure to check with your state law. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, speak with a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Actual Physical Control DWI

DWI ArizonaYou may be charged with impaired driving in Arizona even if without driving your vehicle, as long as you were determined to be in actual physical control of the vehicle. Factors to be considered by a judge or jury during the determination include:

  • whether the engine was running;
  • whether the headlights were on;
  • where the vehicle was parked;
  • where the ignition key was located;
  • the position the driver was in; and
  • the state the driver was in.

Arizona driving laws recognizes that some drivers may be sleeping it off in their car and did not have intentions of driving while intoxicated. If you were charged with DUI even though you were sleeping it off, consult with a DWI attorney about your case to discuss whether you can use this as a defense.

Arizona DUI Penalties

The penalties for drunk-driving vary depending on the blood alcohol level of the driver, and whether they had a prior DUI conviction, or was a first-time offender. The possible jail times, fines, suspension of license, and installation of ignition interlock device (IID) are shown in the table below. Getting a third DUI offense within seven years is considered a felony, and entails a sentence of at least four months jail time, getting your license revoked for a year, a two-year IID requirement, and hefty fines.

0.08% – 0.149% 0.15% – 0.199% 0.20% and over
Jail time First Offense ≥ 10 days ≥ 30 days ≥ 45 days
Subsequent Offenses ≥ 90 days ≥ 120 days ≥ 180 days
Fines First Offense ≥ $1,500 ≥ $3,000 ≥ $3,250
Subsequent Offenses ≥ $3,000 ≥ $3,250 ≥ $4,250
License Suspension First Offense at least 90 days
Subsequent Offenses at least a year, eligible for a restricted license after 45 days if IID was installed)
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) First Offense 1 year, eligible for a six-month reduction 1 year 1 year
Subsequent Offenses mandatory one year


Arizona also has implied consent laws, which require all drivers to submit to a breath test or a blood test after a lawful DUI arrest. Refusing to test your blood alcohol content will result in license suspension for a year for a first offense DUI, and two years for repeat offenders.

Call Snader Law Group Today!

Are you facing charges of DUI or DWI in Phoenix, Arizona? Hiring a Phoenix DUI defense attorney who is well-versed in Arizona DUI laws makes a big difference in the outcome of your face. Call The Law Office of Howard A. Snader, LLC and get a free case evaluation today!