Under 21 DUIs In The State Of Arizona
If you or your child is facing underage DUI charges—also known as “baby DUI” charges—in Arizona, you might want to consult with a lawyer who can help you understand the challenges that may lie ahead. It is not uncommon for drivers under the age of 21 to be charged with under 21 DUIs in the state of Arizona. A conviction could result in the loss of driving privileges and other penalties, which is why you should consider visiting with the experienced criminal defense lawyer at Chuck Franklin Law to discuss your defense options. Call (480) 545-0700 to speak directly to Attorney Chuck Franklin today.
What Are Under 21 DUIs in the State of Arizona?
Arizona Revised Statutes § 4-244(34) makes it unlawful for any individual under 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his or her system. A person below the age of 21 could face underage DUI charges in Arizona if they were legally intoxicated when they had actual physical control of a vehicle.
For the purposes of charging an individual with underage DUI in Arizona, it makes no difference if the driver was actually impaired by the alcohol. Therefore, the prosecutor does not have to prove that a defendant’s blood alcohol concentration was .08% or higher (the legal BAC limit for adults in Arizona), but they do need to prove that the defendant had actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence.
Arizona has adopted zero-tolerance laws when it comes to underage driving under the influence. Zero-tolerance laws mean that any person under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI if any amount of alcohol is found in that person’s system, regardless of whether or not their ability to drive safely was impaired.
Since Arizona law makes it illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in the system, an individual under the age of 21 could face criminal charges even if they get behind the wheel after consuming just one drink. If you or your child is facing underage DUI charges in the state of Arizona, consider contacting a skilled lawyer to build the best possible defense to avoid the harsh penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Contact our experienced and dedicated underage DUI defense lawyer at Chuck Franklin Law to explore your defense options, or the defense options for your child.
Penalties for Underage DUI in Arizona
There are strict laws for under 21 DUIs in the state of Arizona because the legal drinking age in the state is 21. Individuals charged with baby DUIs can face serious penalties, including possible jail time and mandatory license suspension. Unlike a DUI charge for adults, underage DUIs do not carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence. First-time offenders convicted of under 21 DUIs in the state of Arizona can face probation instead of jail time.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, a driver’s license can be suspended if the driver under the age of 21 had any amount of alcohol in their system. Depending on the circumstances of the underage DUI offense, the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood, the number of prior violations, and other factors, a person under the age of 21 can face the following penalties for DUI in Arizona:
- A maximum jail sentence of six months.
- Up to $2,500 in fines.
- Community service.
- Mandatory suspension of driver’s license for two years.
- Mandatory drug/alcohol testing and counseling.
- Ignition interlock device for two years after reinstatement of driver’s license.
Diversion Programs for Underage DUI in Arizona
Criminal courts in Arizona often use diversion programs to allow defendants who complete a specific program to have their criminal case dismissed. Diversion programs are also referred to as deferred prosecution programs. Common examples of diversion programs for defendants facing underage DUI charges are alcohol education courses and treatment.
Judges in Arizona regularly offer diversion programs for people under the age of 21 who are facing underage DUI charges. If you want your criminal charges to be dismissed after participating in a diversion program, consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can help you better understand your options and eligibility for diversion.
Defenses to Underage DUI Charges in Arizona
People facing charges for under 21 DUIs in the state of Arizona may have several defense options available to them. Common defenses to underage DUI charges in Arizona include:
- The defendant was not the driver. If you were not driving the car, you cannot be charged with a DUI, even if you had alcohol in your system.
- There was a lack of reasonable suspicion to stop. If law enforcement had no reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, any evidence obtained after the illegal stop, including evidence of alcohol impairment, cannot be used against you in court.
- The defendant had no actual physical control of the vehicle. One of the elements of an underage DUI conviction in Arizona is proving that the defendant had actual physical control of the car. If you were not actually driving and had no intention to drive when you were arrested for DUI, a knowledgeable lawyer might be able to help you get the charges dismissed.
- There was an improper test or inaccurate test results. A skilled lawyer might help you challenge the accuracy of field sobriety tests. If you were arrested based on the presence of alcohol in your blood, a seasoned lawyer might be able to help you challenge the results and have them tossed out of court.
Schedule a case review with an experienced underage DUI lawyer in Arizona to discuss the facts surrounding your case and learn more about your legal rights.
Contact an Underage DUI Defense Lawyer in Arizona
Consider speaking with a skilled, results-driven defense lawyer if you or your child is facing underage DUI charges in Arizona. At Chuck Franklin Law, our compassionate criminal defense lawyer has decades of experience representing clients in DUI cases and under 21 DUIs in the state of Arizona. Call (480) 545-0700 to be directly connected with Attorney Chuck Franklin to develop a plan to fight for your rights.
Get in touch today! We are available 24/7 and we're looking forward to hearing from you!
- +1 480-545-0700