In Arizona, it’s important to have a clear understanding about what is considered the legal limit. While you should never get behind the wheel while intoxicated, knowing more about the blood alcohol content (BAC) limits in the state is essential for every Tucson resident to avoid unpleasant surprises.
One of the most important considerations with the legal limit of alcohol in Arizona is that a BAC of 0.08% or greater is grounds for a DUI charge. You may not feel impaired in the slightest, but if the blood or breath tests show this level, the police can arrest you.
Arizona: The Zero-Tolerance State
There is something else that you should know about the legal limit of alcohol in Arizona. Since this is a zero-tolerance state, you may face an arrest even if your BAC is below 0.08%.
Additionally, anyone that is under the legal drinking age can be charged with DUI for any BAC level. The severity of your charges will increase depending on your blood alcohol levels too.
Understanding Blood Alcohol Levels and Testing
Your blood alcohol level can be impacted by a variety of factors. It depends on the types and amounts of alcoholic beverages you’ve consumed. Your biological sex and your body weight can also play a role. If you’ve taken any medications or illegal drugs, this can impact the percentage reading during testing. Food may additionally factor into your BAC level, particularly if you have been drinking on an empty stomach.
Law enforcement uses breath tests and blood tests to determine the percentage of alcohol in your body. Even though these are commonly used, breathalyzers have a high margin of error. Blood samples are far more accurate as they require lab testing. In Arizona, the level you test at will depend on the DUI charges you will face.
What Are the Types of DUI Charges in Tucson, Arizona?
In Tucson and the rest of the state, the 0.08% BAC is the minimum threshold for charging someone with DUI. However, you can still be charged even with a lower percentage if you appear intoxicated.
The state of Arizona charges a Standard DUI with BAC levels of 0.08% to 0.149%. If you test between 0.15% to 0.199%, you will face Extreme DUI charges. Testing 0.20% or higher for your BAC will mean Super Extreme DUI charges. Anyone under the legal drinking age that has 0.01% or higher will face an Underage DUI charge.
If you are convicted of a Standard DUI charge, you may have to serve up to 10 days in jail and pay a $1,500 fine, even for your first DUI offense. Depending on your case, you may even be subjected to screening and counseling. Jail fees along with an $80 monitoring fee will likely be factored into your penalties.
You also face having your driver’s license revoked for 90 days. You will need to use an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive for one year. If you get a second conviction of Standard DUI, you will face an additional 90 days in jail. After serving 6 of those days, you may be able to request home detention. You’ll still need to pay a fine of $3,500 plus expenses for jail or home detention along with an $80 monitoring charge, ignition interlock device, and 90-day license suspension.
If you are facing an Extreme DUI but it is your first violation, you may need to serve up to 30 days in jail. Home detention may be a possibility, though you will need to pay $2,780 in fines, $80 for monitoring, and be mandated to go through a screening process as well as therapy. You will also need to use an ignition interlock device for 12 months and you will have a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license. For a second Extreme DUI, you will face a minimum of 120 days in jail and pay a monitoring charge of $3,740 per month.
Super Extreme DUI
The charge of Super Extreme DUI has the most serious consequences. You will serve a minimum of 45 days in jail and need to pay roughly $3,240 in fees and fines. Your license will be revoked for 90 days, and it will be mandatory for you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 18 months. Since Tucson authorities and courts take DUI charges very seriously, you should not take any chances. After your arrest, contact a Tucson DUI lawyer to discuss your defense strategy.