Arizona DUI Laws Regarding Underage Drinking And Driving
Arizona has specific DUI laws regarding underage drinking and driving in the state. According to A.R.S. 4-244 (34), “underage drink and drive” is considered illegal if anyone younger than 21 years of age is found to have the physical control of any kind of motor vehicle while he or she is under the influence of alcohol. When underage alcohol consumption and driving are concerned, Arizona is a no tolerance state. Because of this law, anyone who is under the legal drinking age and who is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol will face Arizona DUI charges regardless of whether they were actually impaired by the alcohol at the time. If a vehicle driver younger than 21 years of age was stopped on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she will have their blood alcohol content (BAC) checked. If the BAC is any higher than 0.00%, he or she can be charged for driving under the influence because of the zero-tolerance law in Arizona.
What Penalties Are Faced For Underage DUI In Arizona?
Underage DUIs result in harsh penalties because of the Arizona no tolerance laws. A first-time conviction of underage DUI in the state can result in a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours or as much as 10 days. The offender will also face a $1,600 fine and will face a driver’s license suspension ranging from 90 days to 360 days. If a driver faces a second underage DUI conviction within seven years, a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and up to a maximum of 90 days will be faced. There will be a $2,500 fine and the offender will have his or her driver license suspended for a year.
What Other Penalties Can An Underage Drunk Driver Face In Arizona?
There could be more penalties than jail time, fines, and license suspension faced by an underage driver who has consumed alcohol in Arizona. Most auto insurance carriers will terminate insurance coverage if the driver has been charged with Arizona underage DUI. There are some companies that might allow you to renew insurance coverage. If your coverage is renewed, you can expect your monthly premium to increase significantly, by as much as $100 to $200 per month, as you are now classified as a high-risk driver. Usually, you will have higher insurance premiums for three to five years, which can be very costly. When you go to have your license reinstated after the suspension has ended, you will have to serve an SR-22 certificate to the DMV before your license will be reinstated. Your auto insurance company should provide the form to the DMV, but you need to check to see if your insurance company will offer that service for you.
How Can I Fight An Underage DUI Charge In Arizona?
Consumption of alcohol by anyone younger than 21 in Arizona is prohibited except for religious purposes, such as a religious ceremony, or for medical purposes, such as being administered for medical treatment. Because there is a disproportionate number of alcohol-related auto accidents and fatalities, the penalties are much stricter for those who drink and drive under the legal drinking age of 21.
What Other Charges Can Result From Underage Drinking And Driving In Arizona?
There are charges that can be faced in addition to driving under the influence in Arizona. Here are some of the additional charges that you might face:
- Soliciting alcohol
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Distributing alcohol to other minors (especially if your underage passengers had been drinking)
- Moving and vehicle maintenance violations
- Child endangerment law violations
- Possession of false identification
If you are facing underage DUI charges in Arizona, consult with an Arizona DUI attorney who is expert on DUI laws regarding underage drinking and driving in Arizona.