Thousands of people visit Arizona annually to take advantage of our beautiful golf courses, scenic mountains, warm winter weather or to conduct business. During these vacation or business trips, people will regularly patronize the popular bars, clubs and restaurants in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tempe as well as other surrounding cities. Unfortunately, many visitors also learn firsthand about Arizona's strict enforcement of DUI laws and the harsh penalties which can result from a DUI conviction.
If you live out of state but have been charged with DUI in Arizona, there are a number of things to keep in mind:
- You Must Appear in Court - People charged with DUI in Arizona are given a citation which includes a date, time and location to appear in court. If you return home and fail to appear as required. a warrant will be issued for your arrest. This can result in your driving privileges being suspended in Arizona and in your home state as well. If you decide to hire an attorney, your lawyer can appear on your behalf and save you the trouble and expense of traveling back and forth between Arizona and your home state.
- Arizona Imposes Harsh Consequences in DUI Cases - The State of Arizona imposes some of the harshest penalties in the country upon people who have been charged with and convicted of DUI. Whether your alleged to have been Impaired to the Slightest Degree (28-1381A1), have an Alcohol Concentration Above .08% (28-1381A2) or charged with Extreme DUI (above .15% BAC) or Super Extreme DUI (above .20%), potential penalties include jail time, significant fines, loss of driving privileges, alcohol education classes and the requirement that an ignition interlock device be placed on your car. These punishments must be satisfied upon conviction even though you live out of state.
- Jail Time - Jail terms following a DUI conviction are perhaps the most difficult part of a sentence for people who live out of state. For non-Arizona residents, this may require that you return to Arizona and serve any term of incarceration that is imposed. Obviously, this causes additional expense as well as time away from your family and employment. In some cases you may be able to transfer the jail sentence to the state where you live and serve it in a local facility. However, the court will pace the responsibility upon you to locate a jail to serve your sentence, pay any required costs and submit proof that the jail term was completed.
- Drivers License Issues - A DUI charge and conviction in Arizona will result in sanctions being placed upon your ability to drive. If a breath or blood test reveals an alcohol concentration above .08%, your driving privileges in Arizona will be suspended for ninety days. Should you refuse to participate in chemical testing following a DUI arrest, a one year revocation of your driving privileges will result. Any restrictions, revocations or suspensions resulting from a DUI arrest within Arizona will generally affect your driving privileges in this state. However, you should be aware that each state's Motor Vehicle Agencies share information through Interstate Compact Agreements. Consequently, once your home state learns of the DUI charge and sanctions within Arizona, restrictions can be placed on your license there as well.
- Alcohol Education Classes/Fines and the Ignition Interlock Device - Other penalties imposed following a DUI conviction can be satisfied in the state where you live. For instance, alcohol screening and education can be completed online or through a state licensed facility in your home state. Fines can be paid over the phone and proof of the breathalyzer device can be submitted to the court and Arizona MVD by email.
Certainly, DUI charges in Arizona can result in harsh penalties and are much more complicated for people who live out of state. Undoubtedly, an experienced DUI attorney can be tremendous help in obtaining a favorable result and navigating through drivers license issues, jail time, etc.