First Time DUI Jail Time

Under Arizona law, all DUI convictions come with mandatory jail time. This jail time can be as little as one day for a first time conviction, or could go all the way up to years for multiple felony convictions. The amount of jail time you are facing depends on if you have any prior DUI convictions and what your BAC (blood alcohol content) was when you were arrested.

There are three main types of alcohol DUIs: Regular, Extreme, and Super Extreme. A regular DUI is prosecuted under A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1) (driving while impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol), or A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(2) (driving with a BAC greater than 0.08). While many people believe you must have at least a 0.08 BAC to be charged with a DUI, that is not correct. You can be charged, and convicted, of a DUI even if your BAC is below a 0.08 if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” by the alcohol in your system. Some prosecutors routinely prosecute cases where the BAC is below a 0.08.

For regular DUIs (those prosecuted under A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1) or (A)(2)), the minimum mandatory sentence is 10 days in jail. However, a judge can suspend 9 of those 10 days if the defendant completes substance abuse evaluation and treatment. This effectively means the minimum mandatory sentence, if convicted, is one day in jail. If you were taken to jail when you were arrested, you can be given credit for one day already served.

Extreme DUIs occur when your BAC is between 0.15 and 0.20. For Extreme DUIs, the minimum mandatory sentence is 30 days in jail.

Super Extreme DUIs occur when your BAC is greater than 0.20. Here, the mandatory minimum sentence is 45 days in jail.

The Extreme and Super Extreme DUIs (and regular DUIs - if you are facing multiple days in jail) can be shortened in two ways, under Arizona law. First, if you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 12 months, then a judge can reduce the Extreme DUI to 9 days in jail or the Super Extreme to 14 days in jail.  Second, you could be eligible for home detention after serving 20% of your jail sentence. That means the Extreme DUI can be reduced to 2 days in jail, and the Super Extreme can be reduced to 3 days in jail, if you qualify for (and the judge allows) home detention. The remaining jail time would be served as home detention, where you would be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor.

If you have questions about how much jail time you are facing in your DUI case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.