DUI Conviction Under 21 Consequences in Arizona

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Is Arizona a zero-tolerance state for minors? The quick and easy answer to that question is yes, it is. This means that, even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below 0.08%, an officer can still arrest you.

Drug Use Lead to a DUI

DUI Implications for Minors

Under DUI law in Arizona, authorities will file charges against a minor if they have been found to have any amount of alcohol in their system while driving. It doesn’t matter how much they’ve had at the time.

It doesn’t matter if the minor was not impaired to drive. It doesn’t matter whether or not they can prove that they only had one drink. Any alcohol level will get you in trouble if you are a minor behind the wheel of a vehicle.

If you are within the age range of 18 to 21 years old and have been arrested for underage DUI, then you may be facing harsh consequences. Arizona law may treat the case similar to that of an adult driving under influence, though this can depend on the severity of the case.

There will be no need to prove that your BAC is above or below 0.08%. You will end up facing two charges. First, you will be charged against the prohibition for driving under the influence, and second, you will face charges against drinking under the legal drinking age.

Consequences of DUI Under 21 in Arizona

Let’s emphasize this point: there is no acceptable blood alcohol concentration level is very strict states like Arizona. They have no tolerance for underage drinking and even less for underage drinking and driving.

On top of that, a conviction for a driver in the state who is under the age of 21 is very undesirable. Here are some of the penalties that such a conviction may carry:

Understanding the Consequences of Underage Drunk Driving in Arizona

Note that the penalties for driving under the influence will vary with the age of the person that has been apprehended. If you are a minor, under the age of 18 years, then you will be under the jurisdiction of juvenile law.

Adults, of course, will be tried accordingly with applicable Arizona laws and statutes. You will be considered an adult in this state if you are anywhere from 18 to 21 years old.

Note that whether you are 18 to 21 or below 18, if you are apprehended at a police stop then that already constitutes an arrest. That is especially true if you test positive for any form of traceable alcohol in your bloodstream.

As you can see from our list above, the penalties imposed by the State of Arizona can be quite harsh, even for minors, but they will be processed differently if you are tried as a minor. This may be somewhat of a comfort for parents.

Here are some of the possible penalties that a minor might face under Arizona law:

  • Court-mandated substance abuse program
  • Spending time in juvenile detention
  • License suspension for two years

Aggravating Factors

Note that the court will consider other aggravating factors when it comes to the judgment of any case in Arizona. Some of these factors include:

  • Significantly high blood alcohol content
  • Injury to a third party
  • Damage to property
  • Loss of life

In some extreme cases, especially when the damage to property or injury caused are severe, then a minor driving under the influence may be processed under adult law and its corresponding penalties.

Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Underage DUI Case?

Maybe you don’t want your employer to know about underage DUI charges or maybe you don’t want your parents to know. People may need expert advice under such circumstances for different reasons.

We advise you not to plead guilty at arraignment court.  Consult an experienced lawyer before you go to court. For effective defense for this and other related charges, you may call or email Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law. Visit our website below:


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