What is the Real Cost of a DUI in Arizona?

Arizona DUI penalties blogArizona is notorious for its severe punishments for driving under the influence. No matter which punishments are included in your sentence, it’s common knowledge that an Arizona DUI is going to be expensive. Some of the expenses, like the standard fines, are clear. Other DUI consequences have hidden costs. Many of the punishments increase in severity if the driver had an especially high BAC or if it is not their first DUI. 

Fines:

The fines for a first standard DUI in Arizona start at $1,480. The judge may use their discretion to fine you a higher amount than this, but this is the bare minimum you can expect. For an extreme DUI (BAC of .15-.19), the base fine is $3,000. For a super extreme DUI (BAC of .20 or more), the minimum amount you can expect to be fined is $3,250. When the driver already has a DUI conviction, the fine for their next DUI will start at $3,000. For a second extreme DUI, the minimum is $3,250, and increases to $4,250 for a super extreme. 

Jail Time:

A unique feature of Arizona DUI laws is that even for a first offense, everyone convicted of a DUI must serve at least one day in jail. The minimum jail time increases dramatically for high BAC levels and secondary arrests. Not only could this cost you wages, but there are fees associated with jail time. In Arizona, the average cost for jail time is $200 for the first night and $90 for each additional night. 

License Suspension:

One of the consequences of a DUI is a driver’s license suspension. The fees to reinstate your license after a suspension are some of the most affordable out of all the consequences of a DUI. There is a $10 reinstatement fee and the application fee ranges from $10-25

Vehicle Impound:

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days after a DUI. You may incur expenses finding alternative transportation during this time. You will also need to pay to get your vehicle back. There is an administrative fee of $150 and the fee is $15 per day. So if you pick up your vehicle as soon as it is available, you will be paying $600. Your car will incur daily fees for 10 days after it is available, at which point the impound company can file for an abandoned title to the car. 

Driving Classes:

You will likely be required to take driving courses after a DUI conviction. The price will vary depending on the institution you use and how many hours of coursework you are required to take. You will need to take an alcohol screening as part of this, which is where a counselor will determine if you have an alcohol dependency. For the screening and classes, you can expect to pay around $200-800

Interlock Device:

To get your driver’s license back after a DUI, you may need to install an interlock device in your vehicle. This is a small breathalyzer you must use every time you start your car. There are plenty of companies that provide this service, and their prices will vary. Some will charge an installation fee but there are many that don’t. You can reasonably expect to be paying $70-120/month for your interlock device. 

SR-22 Insurance:

After a DUI conviction, you will be required to get SR-22, or high risk, insurance. The average increase in insurance rates per year in Arizona is $2,180

Additional Potential Consequences:

There are many other potential consequences to a DUI, and all of those can affect your finances incidentally. You may also experience negative impacts in your professional, social, and family life. 

If a DUI doesn’t ruin your life, chances are, at the very least it will severely inconvenience you. Therefore, that is why many people arrested for DUI find that it is worth the cost of hiring a private criminal defense attorney to represent them when facing a DUI arrest in Arizona. A criminal defense attorney may be able to spot procedural defenses in your case and negotiate favorable plea deals. With all the potential costs and punishments for a DUI, don’t leave your fate in the hands of a court-appointed public defender. You should at least consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can tell you what to expect in your case, and what benefits hiring them could bring to you. Our Arizona Criminal Defense Law firm offers consultations free of charge, so you can discuss these possibilities at no cost to you. Don’t wait- if you’ve been arrested for DUI, call and schedule your appointment today(480) 833-8000