In Tucson, Arizona, there is a high rate of DUI enforcement, with Arizona being among the toughest states on DUIs. These laws are even stricter when it comes to underage drinking. Arizona law states that it’s unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with ANY amount of alcohol in their system. Drivers may face a serious criminal offense, and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) doesn’t need to be much. In fact, underage drinking and DUI charges can occur for a BAC that is hardly a trace over 0.00. Comparatively, the limit for adults is 0.08 BAC.
The zero-tolerance rule has helped reduce the frequency of underage drinking and driving. However, statistics also show that alcohol-related crashes of young drivers in Arizona are higher than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Penalties under AZ law for DUI vary according to the number of offenses. Under a 1st offense, there is a minimum of 24 hours to 10 days of jail time, a 2nd offense has a minimum sentence of 30 days to 90 days in jail time and a 3rd offense has a minimum of jail time of 4 months. Fines vary from $250 to $750. License suspensions can range from 90 days to two years.
The judge is allowed to order that the DMV issue a restricted driving permit which allows the person to drive to and from work, school, and any court-ordered alcohol classes during that two-year period. The arguably worst consequence occurs when most insurance companies refuse to ensure a young person who is currently on a restricted driving permit during those two years. If an insurance company will insure the young person, it will be at an incredibly high rate. The penalties for minors driving under the influence can haunt someone for the rest of their life with high insurance premiums and other consequences.
In addition to the DUI charge, other charges can be levied depending upon the circumstances.
If death or a serious injury resulted, then far more serious charges come into play; particularly vehicular manslaughter, which is a very serious felony with years in state prison if convicted. A juvenile between 14 and 17 years old in that situation may be charged as an adult in Arizona.
Juveniles charged need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled many of these cases and knows the intricacies of the law.