Getting accused of a DUI is scary in Arizona. If convicted, one may lose his or her freedom, pay fines, have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her car, and have to attend multiple classes. However, the potential loss of driving privileges is one of the most difficult consequences to deal with. In Arizona, and within Maricopa County in particular, public transportation is seriously deficient. Losing one's driving privileges can often result in an inability to get to work.
However, what is even scarier is the fact that a person who is merely arrested for the crime of DUI in Arizona can lose driving privileges solely as the result of the arrest. In Arizona, if arrested for a DUI, you will lose your license for 90 days on a first offense if you consented to the blood draw or breath test, and did not make the police officer get a warrant to obtain your blood or breath. This 90 day driving suspension handed out by the Arizona MVD may be reduced, but ACTION is required. The AZ MVD will make you jump through a series of hoops to get into one of its mitigation programs, including (but certainly not limited to) getting a screening for alcohol substance abusers. This is a serious consequence for just being arrested and accused (not found guilty) of a DUI in Arizona. An experienced AZ DUI defense attorney can assist you with the process, and advise you as to your options.
If, however, you were arrested for a DUI but do not fit the criteria listed above (meaning that you either refused the blood or breath test and a warrant was served to obtain your blood or breath, or this is not your first DUI offense within 7 years), the consequences are different. That scenario will be discussed in Part 2 of this series on losing driving privileges as a result of an Arizona DUI arrest.
**** Important Note***** There are punishments in Arizona for being arrested for a DUI that are separate and apart from punishments that come from a DUI conviction. In other words, the driving privilege punishments listed above are consequences of solely being arrested for a DUI in Arizona. There are many types of additional consequences that come when one is convicted of a DUI in Arizona.