Penalties under Arizona law for repeat DWI offenders

As with many states, Arizona increases the severity of sanctions against drivers who are convicted of DWI offenses more than once within a specified time frame. In a blog post in mid-August this year we covered the possible penalties you could be subject to for a first time DUI conviction in Arizona.

In Arizona, if you are convicted of a second DWI offense within 84 months (seven years) of the first one, you are subject to more severe penalties as a repeat offender that someone with a first-time conviction. For instance, jail time increases from 10 to 90 days, at least 30 of which must be served consecutively and which cannot be waived in the court’s discretion if the offender agrees to undergo an alcohol or drug screening treatment and education program.

The mandatory fine doubles from to $500, and additional assessments increase from $1,000 to $2,500. In addition, community service becomes mandatory instead of a court option, and the duration of that service must be at least 30 hours. The offender’s driver’s license is also suspended for one year.

Furthermore, once the suspension is over the court may require that any vehicle that the person may operate must have an ignition interlock device installed into it for an additional 12 months. Arizona is also considering other forms of punishment for repeat DWI convictions, including automobile impounding, intensive probation with supervision, and electronically monitored house arrest.

The best way to fight any DWI conviction is to avoid consuming any alcohol before getting behind the wheel. But if you find yourself facing DWI charges, your next best defense is to retain a defense attorney knowledgeable in how to defend drunk driving cases, and who can seek to gain for you the best possible outcome in your circumstances.