When is a DUI a felony in Arizona?
In most cases, a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Arizona counts as a misdemeanor. However, there are certain types of DUI behavior that the state considers felonies. These violations are also known as “aggravated DUI” behaviors.
The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety provides clear information on the state’s DUI statutes. Under state law, there are four types of aggravated DUI violations.
- Driving with a DUI suspension
Arizona maintains strict laws to combat the risks of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and in many cases, DUI charges lead to convictions and penalties including license suspension. If a person drives under the influence within the suspension window from a previous DUI conviction, it counts as an aggravated DUI.
- Multiple DUI convictions within a time limit
Another type of aggravated DUI charge relates to multiple convictions. An individual may receive felony aggravated DUI penalties when he or she is guilty of three or more DUI convictions within 84 months.
- DUI with a minor passenger
A DUI charge may move up to a felony if there is a passenger younger than 15 years old in the vehicle when the violation occurs. This type of aggravated DUI charge may exist without previous DUI convictions.
- DUI when there is an interlock requirement
In some cases, individuals convicted of driving under the influence get an order to use a certified ignition interlock device in any vehicle they use. If a person under this interlock requirement drives under the influence, he or she may face an aggravated DUI charge.
The consequences for any sort of DUI conviction in Arizona may be severe and include fines, license suspension and jail time. However, a conviction for a felony aggravated DUI charge may bring even harsher penalties, making it even more imperative for people to explore legal defense options.