How a DUI Can Ruin Your Life in Arizona
A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is something that affects normal people every day. Contrary to popular belief, they are not relegated solely to drunks and winos stumbling out of the watering hole after five hours of hard drinking and fall-sitting into the driver’s seat. In fact the majority of the DUI charges are truly levied against people between a.08 and a.12 blood alcohol content (BAC). For some smaller people who may not have a large diet this could be as few as three beers. Think back to the last time you had a few drinks after work and drove home. You probably didn’t think anything of it at the time, but there’s a good chance you were truly over the limit.
Fast forward by the event itself. Once it is said and done, there are serious ramifications on your life after the fact. I’ll focus on Arizona, because it is the state I am from and am most familiar with. Here, the biggest shock to most people is that they now have to use ten days in jail, with the first being the night of their DUI. While sometimes the remaining nine days are waived, courts these days are often sending people off to use the week in Tent City.
Aside from the bewilderment of being incarcerated for the first time, there is also hefty financial damage done. According to the statute, the fine totals at $1,250. This does not tell the whole story, however. Many people are ordered to get an ignition interlock device. You have to buy this device yourself, and up to several times a month report to have the results checked by a state-verified technician. You must pay for each and every one of these visits in addition. If you are placed on probation, which you could be for up to five years, you must pay a probation fee in addition as other costs associated with the course your probation officer assigns you to. Those stated to counseling must pay for this out of pocket in addition. When it is all said and done, $5,000 is a low calculate.
If that sounds intense, consider this: that is for first time offenders with a BAC between.05 (if impaired) and.15. If you look at the high end for a first timer (above.15 BAC) you are looking at $2,500-$10,000, thirty days in jail, and you must attend the counseling and receive an ignition interlock device. In either case, your license will be suspended for ninety days. Some of this can be abated if you have a reliable DUI lawyer, however nothing is certain.
After it is all said and done, you will be thousands of dollars shorter and have done some jail time. Many people lose their jobs due to not having a license for ninety days, and can have serious social or specialized consequences due to the stigma of a DUI.
The best way to avoid a DUI is simple: Don’t drink and excursion! The limit is much lower than most people think, and those times when you think you are “good to go,” you could be stopped and arrested and suddenly find yourself in a cold cell without dinner. There are commercially obtainable BAC machines or strips to check yourself before you leave a bar, and I always recommend people have a good DUI attorney’s information with them. The bottom line is, if you take the risk of drinking and driving, those three beers could cost you a chunk of your freedom AND your cash!