No matter what state you live in, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are illegal, and you can face serious penalties if you are caught. If you live in either Arizona or New Jersey, you can face penalties ranging from steep fines to jail time. Working with an AZ DUI lawyer or a NJ DUI lawyer is critical to helping you protect your legal rights and minimize the penalties after a DUI arrest. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to have the charges dismissed.
In Arizona, you are considered to be driving under the influence if you are found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher (or 0.04 percent if you are driving a commercial vehicle). Those under 21 can be convicted of a DUI if they have a BAC of any percentage.
The penalties for a first DUI conviction can include 10 days in jail, a $1,250 fine, completion of a drug or alcohol education and treatment program, community service, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on every vehicle that you regularly drive.
For every additional DUI conviction, the penalties become more severe, including more time in jail, higher penalties, and longer periods of having an ignition interlock device installed. You can also have your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
The higher your BAC, the more severe the penalties will be, as well. An “extreme DUI” is classified as having a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher. An aggravated DUI is classified as one that occurs while your license is suspended or revoked; the third offense within 84 months; or committed while driving with a passenger 15 or younger.
You can also have your license suspended for 12 months if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test (or 24 months for the second refusal in 84 months).
New Jersey defines a standard DUI as driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, as well, but it increases the penalties when the BAC is 0.10 percent or higher.
For the first offense, the penalties for a DUI can include prison time of up to 30 days, a three-month license suspension, 12 to 48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and fines totaling up to $905 plus surcharges of up to $1,000 per year for three years. The fines are divided into different funds that support different social programs.
An ignition interlock device is required for an offense with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher.
Minors who are convicted of a DUI with any BAC level must perform community service and complete an alcohol education course.
As in Arizona, the penalties in New Jersey are increased with each offense, as are the fines.
The legal repercussions aren’t the only thing you need to think about if you are convicted of driving under the influence or while intoxicated. There are many consequences of a DUI conviction that can affect your life for long after the event.
Your conviction will go on your criminal record, which can make it hard for you to drive, to get the jobs you want, or to hold other positions of responsibility.
You should never drink and drive. The momentary perceived convenience is not worth the harm that it can do to you and to others. Always drink when you are with a designated driver or when you are able to call a taxi or an Uber driver. You can even ask someone to call the driver for you so that you aren’t tempted to make a bad decision.
Unfortunately, alcohol clouds your judgement, so you may make the choice to get behind the wheel even if you didn’t intend to before you started drinking. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, it is important that you talk with an Phoenix Arizona DUI lawyer or New Jersey DWI lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.
My AZ Lawyers is ready to help. Our experienced Mesa DUI lawyers will talk to you about your legal rights and explore options for defending your case or reducing the penalties you face. Our goal is to help you move forward with your life as quickly as possible after your arrest so that the charge or the conviction does not follow you for the rest of your life. Call us in Arizona today to learn more.
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