Arizona Underage DUI Laws
Arizona is one of the toughest states on the crime of Juvenile Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The legal minimum drinking age in Arizona is 21. However, you can legally drive at the age of 16. This gives a person five years of driving before they hit the legal drinking age. Arizona law is much tougher on what they call “baby DUI” than other states.
Blood Alcohol Content for Juvenile DUI in Arizona
As most drivers know, in Arizona, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are age 21 and older is .08 percent. For juvenile drivers under the age of 21, however, driving with any amount of spiritous liquor in their bloodstream is grounds for arrest.
Juvenile DUI to the slightest degree is the crime that you will be charged with when your BAC is .00 to .08. If you are under age 21 and have a BAC of .08 percent or more while you are driving a vehicle, you might also be charged with regular DUI (BAC .08 to .15), extreme DUI (BAC .15 to .20), or super extreme DUI (BAC .20 and above).
Penalties for Juvenile DUI in Arizona
Driving under the influence of alcohol in Arizona if you are under the age of 21 can bring harsh penalties upon you. You can lose your driver’s license for two years, even for a first offense. You can also serve up to 10 days in jail, and be ordered to pay up to $2000 in fines. Judges may also limit driving privileges of a juvenile who is convicted of DUI, allowing them just to drive to and from school and their job. This requires installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the juvenile’s car. Other penalties that are often imposed upon juveniles convicted of DUI crimes in Arizona include up to a year of probation, required attendance at an alcohol education class, and community service hours.
Minimum mandatory penalties for juvenile DUI to the slightest degree (0.00 to 0.08 BAC) include:
- 10 days in jail (a good criminal defense lawyer can get this reduced to one day)
- $2000 in fines and fees
- Attendance at drug and alcohol classes, and screening
- Suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days (with no driving for first 30 days and restricted driving for last 60 days)
- 8 points added to your motor vehicle record and mandatory attendance of Traffic Survival School
- Installation of IID for 6 months (possible)
- Must obtain SR-22 insurance for up to three years
Penalties, of course, may vary from one case to the next and depend on many different factors, such as the amount of alcohol present in your system, any previous offenses you may have on record, and others who were involved.
Other Charges Relating to Juvenile DUI in Arizona
Other criminal charges are often brought against juveniles who are charged with DUI crimes in Arizona. They may include, but are not limited to:
- Soliciting alcohol
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Refusing to provide a truthful name when detailed
- Traffic violations of various sorts
- Possession of and/or using a fake ID
- Identity theft
Defenses Against Juvenile DUI Charges in Arizona
If you have been charged with juvenile DUI, you need a good criminal defense lawyer on your side to help you reach the best outcome in your case. There are possible defenses against Juvenile DUI charges in Arizona, including:
- You were stopped without probable cause- i.e., without a valid reason to be pulled over
- You have a disability that prevents you from keeping your balance and couldn’t pass the field sobriety test because of that
- You have knee, back or other specific injuries that prevent you from passing the field sobriety test
- The officer did not read you your rights when you were charged
- There are no witnesses or evidence
Contact our criminal defense law firm today to see how we can help you fight Juvenile DUI charges in Arizona.