Arizona DUI Laws

Driving under the influence in the state of Arizona is a violation of the state’s per se law. This means, the offender has a blood alcohol level at or higher than the legal limits (within two hours of driving) at the time of the offense. Arizona DUIs are also prosecuted based on evidence that the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired, even slightly, as the result of consuming alcohol. Driving under the influence is a serious crime in the state of Arizona, but “extreme” DUI or DWI is even worse. A person whose blood alcohol content level (BAC) is nearly twice as high as the legal limit (within two hours of driving) will be charged with an “extreme” DUI or DWI.

What is the blood alcohol content level (BAC) limit in the state of Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. 0.15% or higher is considered extreme, so if caught with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you will be charged with an extreme DUI.

In the state of Arizona what is the administrative license suspension period for a first offense?

In the state of Arizona, if you get arrested for DUI, the administrative license suspension time for a first offense is 90 days. Under administrative license suspension, the drivers’ license will be taken before conviction when he either fails or refuses to be tested for alcohol or drugs. During the 90 day revocation period, the driver may obtain a limited license for work purposes only during the last 60 days of the revocation period only for a Breathalyzer test result of 0.08% or greater, not for refusing to take the test.

In the state of Arizona, what are the penalties for a first DUI offense? Second offense?

In the state of Arizona, if you are a minor and you get caught driving with any amount of alcohol in the body, you will be charged with a DUI/DWI. First DUI/DWI cases are misdemeanors. They become felonies if:

•    the driver has two or more DUI/DWI convictions within five years of the current violation
•    a passenger under the age of 15 was in the car at the time of the offense
•     if the offender committed the offense under suspended license

Depending on the type of DUI, penalties for drunk driving convictions in the state of Arizona will vary. First time offenders and second offenses within 5 years with a BAC of 0.08% and above, but below 0.15%:

•    may have to spend 10 days in jail (9 of the 10 days may be suspended if the offender agrees to treatment and/or a drug or alcohol evaluation
•    will have to pay a $250 fine plus $500, and a surcharge
•    will have his license suspended for 90 days
•    will have to go to counseling if recommended after an evaluation
•    may be on probation for up to 5 year
•    will have to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle (for second offenses only, not required for first offenses)

For first time extreme DUI offenses (BAC at or above 0.15%), the offender:

•    may have to spend 30 days in jail (20 of the 30 days may be suspended if the offender agrees to treatment and/or a drug or alcohol evaluation
•    will have to pay a $250 fine, plus $250 assessment to the Arizona DUI abatement fund, a surcharge, and an additional $1,000 assessment.
•    will have his license suspended for 90 days
•    will have to go to counseling if recommended after an evaluation
•    may be on probation for up to 5 year
•    will have to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

A felony DUI is a class 4 felony in the state of Arizona and the penalties are severe, even if you have a clean felony record. If you are convicted of a felony DUI:

•    You may receive up to four months in prison before you are eligible for release, probation, pardon, or suspension of sentence.
•    You may pay up to $150,000 in fines, plus a $250 assessment to the Arizona Dui abatement fund, $1,500 assessment for arrests, and a surcharge.
•    Your license will be suspended for three years
•    You will be required to submit to treatment, if the sentencing court grants probation.
•    You may be placed on probation for up to five years.

It is important to note that in the state of Arizona, a six-person jury tries DUI cases. The defendant can waive his right to a jury trial and instead, have his case tried by a judge.

If your license has been revoked for drunk driving in the state of Arizona, once your driving privileges are restored, you will have to obtain SR 22 auto insurance. This is a type of auto insurance for high risk drivers. SR 22 auto insurance carriers report the status of your auto insurance to the DMV. With SR 22 auto insurance, you will have to show proof of insurance for 3 years after the your suspension period ends ends.

Bars and Restaurants May be Liable for Damages in Kentucky DUI Car Accidents

Car accidents in Los Angeles caused by drunk drivers are doubly tragic. First, innocent victims are injured or killed. Second, the accident probably would have been avoided if the driver had exercised restraint and did not attempt to drive while intoxicated. In 2008 in Kentucky alone, 226 of the 826 car accident fatalities were related to alcohol. Obviously, in these cases the driver who was under the influence and caused the accident should be held liable for damages to the victim’s car and any injuries sustained. However, many states have laws that make the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol to the intoxicated individual liable as well.

Currently, 43 states have “dram shop laws.” The name comes from a reference to a small drink of alcohol. Bars and taverns that sold alcohol were once called “dram shops.” These laws pertain to any establishment where alcohol is sold, whether a bar or restaurant. The laws state that businesses can only be considered liable for an incident if the employees knew that the patron was intoxicated and continued to serve him alcohol or allowed him to drive a vehicle rather than find him alternate transportation.

In the last two months, at least one dram shop case has ended and two more have been filed in three different states. In Mississippi, a $15 million judgment was handed down against Slippery Nick’s Saloon and Grill in a case involving the 2007 wrongful deaths of three young adults caused by a drunk driver. The case alleged that the intoxicated driver was served alcohol even though she was visibly drunk. She was also allowed to drive away in her vehicle. Although the parents of the young adults killed do not expect to receive any of the judgment money since the bar did not have liability insurance and has since closed, they felt it was important to file the suit to hold the bar owner accountable and hopefully prevent this tragedy from happening to someone else.

In Florida, a woman has filed a lawsuit against the Suite Nightclub in Pensacola after her husband was killed by a drunk driver leaving the nightclub. The suit alleges that the employees knew the driver was an alcoholic, but still allowed the band performing at the club to pour shots down his throat. Damages requested in the suit include lost wages of the deceased, pain and suffering for his widowed wife, and damages and attorneys’ fees.

An Ashville, North Carolina couple have filed suit against four separate bars after their daughter was killed by a drunk driver who was served at all four locations. After her last stop, Jennifer Kessler left Temptations Red Room around 2:45 a.m. on October 2, 2010, and drove westward in the eastbound lanes of I-240, colliding head-on with the victim. Her blood-alcohol content was 0.262, three times the legal limit. All four establishments state they did not know Kessler was drunk and are seeking to have the charges dismissed.

Arizona Auto Insurance Laws, Minimums, Requirements

The state of Arizona?

-Arizona requires that every motor vehicle operated on its highways be covered by liability insurance through a company that is authorized top do business in Arizona.
-In the state of Arizona, golf carts, motorcycles, and mopeds are all considered motor vehicles and must carry at least the minimum levels of liability insurance.
-In the state of Arizona, minimum levels of liability insurance are $15,000 bodily injury for one person and $30,000 for two or more persons, and $10,000 property damage liability.

What is the Minimum Liability Coverage (Bodily Injury amounts per person, per accident, and property damage amounts):

If you buy automobile insurance in Arizona, your policy must include minimum liability coverage of:
15,000 bodily injury liability for one person in an accident,
$30,000 for bodily injury to two or more persons in an accident,
and $10,000 property damage in an personal injury accident

What are the Rental Car Insurance Requirements?

In the state of Arizona, every motor vehicle on its highways must be covered by insurance. Most insurance policies cover car rentals as well as most credit cards. If your insurance policy or credit card does not cover car rentals, you must purchase the minimum liability coverage from the car rental company.

What are the rules pertaining to Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

In the state of Arizona, all automobile insurance companies must offer uninsured motorists (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) to every policyholder. Uninsured/Underinsured coverage provide protection when an at-fault driver does not carry enough insurance coverage, or does not have any insurance at all. While this type of insurance coverage is not required by Arizona law, it is recommended. If you elect not to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage, Arizona law requires that the insurance company provide a declaration page indicating that you have elected not to carry these coverages.

What are the rules pertaining to the exclusion from coverage of a driver living in household?

In the state of Arizona, exclusion from coverage of a driver in a household is permitted. This means Arizona car insurance companies may exclude certain driver’s from your household if not specifically listed on the application. In Arizona, this is called “Household,” “Family,” or “Intra-Family” Exclusion.

What are the rules regarding whether a driver has prior insurance? That is, how does state law handle it if a driver has no prior insurance or has let their previous insurance lapse?

In the state of Arizona if a driver’s insurance lapses or cancels, the driver must either pay the premium in order for the policy to be reinstated or if the policy cancels, the uninsured must obtain a new auto insurance policy immediately in order to operate a motor vehicle in the state. If the driver feels that his policy has been cancelled unfairly, the state allows 10 days within receipt of the cancellation or non-renewal notice to write to the Director of Insurance, State of Arizona, Department of Insurance, 2910 North 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, Arizona, 85018, stating the objection to the insurer’s action.

If a driver has tried several insures and cannot find coverage as a result of a lapse or cancellation, the driver may be insured through the Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan. Driver’s can apply for coverage through the plan by contacting any licensed property and casualty agent or producer. For general information on the Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan, call or write to: Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans, P.O. Box 7917, San Francisco, CA 94120-7917–(800) 227-4659, or visit their official website.

What are the rules and guidelines auto insurance companies must follow regarding the use of Personal Credit History in selecting applicants and setting rates?

In the state of Arizona, auto insurance companies are permitted to use Personal Credit History to select applicants and to determine rates. Arizona auto insurance companies use credit score to assess one’s risk of losses.

Is the state a No Fault or Tort state? What does either mean to the policy owner?

Arizona is a Tort state. This means that the driver who is at fault in the accident must pay the victims medical expenses and the victim has the ability to file a court claim against the driver found to be responsible for the accident for any additional and related damages including pain and suffering and lost wages. Because Arizona is a Tort state, most insurance companies recommend that driver’s consider carrying higher coverages than the state minimums.

What is the average auto insurance premium in the state of Arizona? As of what year?

As of 2006, Arizona’s resident’s average insurance premium was approximately $913, the 14th most expensive in the nation. This was down 1.7% from the previous year. The national average was $817.

Arizona (AZ) Teen Auto Insurance Laws, Rates & Requirements

In the state of Arizona, in 2008 a total of 3,533 teens between the ages of 15-19 were injured in car accidents where the teen was the driver. A total of 28 teens ages 15-19 died in car crashes in 2008. In all 28 accidents, the teen was the driver. The state of Arizona wants to reduce the number of teen accidents and fatalities, so in an effort to do so, the state offers several different “classes” of driver licenses. Teens cannot advance to any given class without satisfying some serious requirements ranging from a certain amount of practice hours behind the wheel to keeping a squeaky clean driving record. Continue reading to learn more about estate law and Arizona’s teen driving laws and the consequences for violating them.

Arizona Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) and Driver License Requirements

Arizona’s driver license classes are the same as Graduated Driver Licensing or GDL. Teen’s ages 16-18 can operate a motor vehicle with a Class G (Graduated) license. This means that the teen:

•    Has obtained a Graduated Instruction permit
•    Has held the instruction permit for six months
•    Has completed 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training. This includes 10 hours of nighttime driving

Graduated Instruction requirements and restrictions are as follows:

•    Teen must pass a written and vision test
•    Teen must be at least 15 ½ years of age
•    Teen must have a licensed driver aged 21 or older in the front passenger seat at all times
•    Teen and parent or legal guardian must provide the DMV with all necessary application documents

Driver training must be completed with an approved driving instructor, organization, or school or under the supervision of apparent or guardian. Graduated Instruction permits are valid for 1 year.

When applying for a Graduated Instruction permit or Graduated License, teens must provide the following documentation to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles:

•    Social Security card to verify identity – copies will not be accepted
•    Photo ID in the form of an Arizona ID card, US military ID card or passport
•    If no state or federal photo ID is available, the teen must provide an Arizona permit, birth certificate, w-2 form, bank card, school ID with photo, employee ID with photo or credit card (any three will do, but no less)

It is important to note that all documents must be originals or certified copies.

Once the teen has completed all Class G requirements and provided he has a clean driving record, he will be eligible to apply for an unrestricted Class D license at the age of 18.

Arizona Teen Driving Laws and Enforcement

The Class G license carries the following restrictions:

•    For the first 6 months, the teen cannot drive between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless it is a family emergency, he is driving to or from work, a school sponsored activity, or religious activity. The teen can drive between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. in all other cases if a parent or legal guardian is seated in the front passenger seat.
•    Teen cannot transport more than one passenger under the age of 18 unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or if the passengers are the driver’s siblings.

The consequences for violating Arizona’s teen driving laws are quite serious. You could lose your license and you might have to pay penalties up to $100.  A first violation will result in:

•    A maximum penalty of $75
•    Rules extended for 30 extra days

A second violation carries:

•    Maximum penalty of $100
•    Rules extended for 60 extra days, but 30 days for the first violation may be added on for a total of 90 days

A third violation will cost:

•    A maximum penalty of $100
•    License suspension for a total of 30 days

Arizona Cell Phone Use/Texting While Driving Laws

In the state of Arizona, cell phone use and driving while texting is legal, for now. House Bill 2191 is currently on the table in the Arizona Legislature. HB 2191 would prohibit cell phone use unless drivers have a hands-free device. Violators would face fines ranging from $50-$200. The Bill would include exemptions for emergency workers and medical providers.

Along with eleven other states, Arizona has banned cell phone use while driving a school bus.

Arizona Teen DUI Laws

In the state of Arizona, it is a crime for a teen to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.02% or higher. This is equal to as little as one beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink for most people. It can be even less for some. Proof of a BAC of 0.02% is all that is needed to convict an Arizona teen of DUI. If you get caught driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher you face:

•    Probation
•    A juvenile court hearing
•    Driver’s license/privileges suspension for up180 days
•    Attendance in a counseling or education program
•    Fines up to $500
•    Community service work

Arizona Teen Auto Insurance Requirements

In the state of Arizona, all drivers – teens or adults, must carry minimum liability coverage of at least 15/30/10. This means, you must carry at least $15,000 bodily injury for one person per accident, $30,000 for two or more persons per accident, and $10,000 for property damage. Because the risk of an auto collision is significantly higher during a teen’s first year behind the wheel without supervision, Arizona auto insurance companies recommend purchasing higher amounts of coverage than the legal limits. If you plan to add a teen driver to your policy, keep in mind that your annual rate will increase anywhere from $1,200 to $4,900 a year, with an average of $2,171 a year.

Although auto insurance premiums will increase if you add a teen to your policy or purchasing teen auto insurance will always be pricier than other policies, there are ways to qualify for discounts on teen auto insurance. Auto insurance companies offer discounts ranging from 10-15% or more for:

•    Maintaining at least a B average
•    Successful completion of a state approved safe driver course

You can also lower your premiums on teen auto insurance if you avoid purchasing sports and luxury cars for your teen, if you opt for a higher deductible, or if you combine insurance policies into one (i.e. life, home, health, renter’s, etc.).