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As a former prosecutor and an experienced criminal attorney, Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, offers zealous representation in DUI cases involving motorcyclists. The Scottsdale-based law firm offers useful educational information for the public about DUI’s and motorcycles in the Grand Canyon State:
Six Key Background Facts About Arizona Motorcyclists
- The State of Arizona specifically licenses drivers of motorcycles. These individuals apply to receive an “M” class license endorsement. The standard M license expires at age 65, although drivers must renew the photo and eye exam portions of the application at 12-year intervals. Applicants for an M class license endorsement age 60 or older receive a five-year motorcycle license.
- Arizona registers motorcycles. The Statista website estimates some 170,240 registered motorcycles operated in Arizona during 2018 alone. In 2020, a registered motorcycle exists in Arizona for every 36 people in the population. The state ranks 29th in terms of motorcycle ownership nationwide.
- Arizona promulgates specific traffic regulations for motorcycles. These provisions allow a motorcycle to use a complete traffic lane. However, state traffic regulations also permit motorcyclists to ride in a two abreast formation. Motorcycle riders cannot ride with more than two motorcycles abreast, however. Additionally, they cannot pass an auto in the same lane, or drive between adjoining rows of autos.
- Motorcyclists in Arizona must carry liability insurance. As of 2014, Arizona required motorcyclists to carry specified minimum levels of liability insurance to protect against property damage and physical injuries.
- Motorcyclists must meet specific requirements to transport passengers. Both the driver and passenger require their own seats and footrests. ARS 28.924.B specifically requires that motorcycles in Arizona possess functional headlamps.
- Motorcycle safety poses a big concern in Arizona. Between 2016 and 2017, Arizona departed from national trends by witnessing an upturn in motorcyclist traffic fatalities. Some 165 motorcycle deaths occurred in Arizona during 2017, an increase of 14.6% over the previous year.
DUI’s And Motorcyclists in Arizona
- Arizona maintains an Implied Consent Law. It impacts all drivers in the state, including motorcyclists. The law requires drivers arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) to consent to a blood alcohol or drug content testing as a condition of retaining one’s driving privileges. Refusing the test (or failing to cooperate in its completion) automatically results in the loss of driving privileges.
- DUI laws apply to Arizona motorcyclists. The regulations prohibiting DUI in Arizona apply to motorcyclists as well as automobile drivers.
- Arizona prohibits any alcohol blood concentration levels for some drivers. Drivers (including motorcyclists) under age 21 who have arrested for DUI risk the suspension of their license with the detection of any concentration level of alcohol in the bloodstream.
- Motorcycle DUI’s in Arizona carry steep penalties. A first DUI conviction results in a minimum 10-day jail sentence, with 9 days suspended, and a fine of at least $1,500. A defendant convicted of this offence must undergo substance abuse or alcohol counselling. Arizona requires the modification of the ignition to include an interlock device to prevent impaired driving. A second subsequent offence carries a jail sentence of at least 90 days in jail, with 60 days suspended, and minimum fines of at least $3,500, along with the mandatory substance abuse or alcohol counselling.
- Extreme DUI carries elevated penalties. Defendants with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or above incur significant penalties and fines for DUI.
- Super-extreme DUI carries even greater elevated penalties. Defendants with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or above incur ever-greater penalties and fines for DUI.
- An Aggravated DUI conviction, which is a felony, carries prison time. An aggravated DUI arises in four specific circumstances:
- Refusing a DUI blood test or committing a DUI while currently subject to an ignition lock requirement
- Previously convicted of a DUI two times within a 7-year period
- Committing DUI with a suspended, cancelled, or revoked license
- Committing DUI while transporting anyone under age 15
- Arizona may require a certified interlock ignition manufacturer to install a motorcycle ignition lock. This process increases the overall costs of incurring a motorcycle DUI in Arizona.
Find a Knowledgeable DUI Attorney
Motorcyclists facing DUI charges in Arizona can sustain potentially serious consequences if convicted. Thus, it generally makes sense to seek experienced, skilled felony DUI representation in this type of case. To discuss your case with an aggressive criminal defense attorney, speak with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. Contact him through his office in Scottsdale, or by calling 480-860-4321 to request a free initial consultation.