Consequences of Ignoring a DUI Charge in Arizona

consequences of ignoring a dui charge

This content has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified addiction therapist.

This content has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified addiction therapist.

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What happens when you ignore your DUI charge? Getting a DUI charge can be a scary experience. It’s no surprise that some might be tempted to try to ignore their charge. But the reality is that DUI charges don’t just go away. Here are the consequences of ignoring your DUI charge. 

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The Reality About Ignoring Your DUI Charge

Your DUI charge can indeed feel overwhelming. You might have had too much to drink and decided to drive home. You might ignore the charge and hope it all blows over.

However, ignoring legal responsibilities can lead to severe consequences. Refusing to submit to alcohol screenings could get you into a lot of trouble. Ignoring court dates and refusing to pay fines only makes things worse. Here’s what you might not know about the penalties for ignoring Arizona law.

Differing Types of DUI Charges in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) states that driving over the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of .08% (or above .04% if you’re driving a commercial vehicle) will lead to a DUI charge. A regular DUI charge will most likely require you to serve ten days in jail or pay a fine of around $1,250. You will be required to undergo an alcohol screening. You’ll also lose your driving privileges.

ADOT continues by stating that you will most likely be required to take an education class and perform community service. You might also be required to equip your car with an ignition interlock device. If you are under 21, your license will get suspended if there’s any blood alcohol concentration.


According to ADOT, if your blood alcohol concentration level is at .15% or higher, it is called an Extreme DUI. A first-time Extreme DUI charge consists of a fine of around $3,000 and a maximum of 180 days in jail (no less than 30 days in jail) with no probation or suspended sentence eligibility.

You will need to undergo an alcohol screening and 12 months of using an ignition lock device. You may also be required to take an education course and perform community service. An Extreme DUI will involve a three-month license suspension.


There are even higher charges for those receiving a second or third DUI offense. ADOT states that for a regular secondary DUI charge, you will be jailed for at least 90 days, fined for at least $3,000, and lose your driving privileges for 12 months.

Like the previous charge, you will be required to submit an alcohol screening, take an education course, perform community service, and equip the car you use with an ignition interlock device.

ADOT goes on to express that a secondary aggravated DUI charge in Arizona will likely lead to 180 days in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. It also includes a 90-day license suspension and using an ignition lock device for 12 months.

What Will Happen to Me If I Don’t Appear in Court for a DUI Charge? 

It might be tempting to ignore your DUI charge completely. However, there are penalties for not appearing in court for a DUI; the more severe the charge, the higher the penalty.

If you fail to appear in court for a misdemeanor or a petty offense, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. You could face up to six months in prison for knowingly missing a court appearance. A regular DUI is considered a misdemeanor charge, and missing a court date would become an additional misdemeanor charge.

Failing to appear for a felony proceeding would be a Class 5 felony. If it is necessary by law that a person appears in court for a felony proceeding and knowingly misses it, they could face up to 30 months in prison for a first-time offense.

Those who fail to appear in court could also have a warrant issued for their arrest. Once you are apprehended and brought to your scheduled court date, bail can be higher, and the charges could become significantly worse, in addition to the failure to appear charge.

Understanding Why DUI is Such a Huge Deal in Arizona

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Arizona is a serious offense. Arizona’s penalties for a DUI are harsh, including jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation.

In addition, a DUI will stay on your record for life, making it difficult to get insurance or find employment. There are many reasons why DUI is such a big deal in Arizona. Firstly, the state has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country.

As a result, there are often sobriety checkpoints across the state, which can result in drivers being charged with a DUI even if they are not impaired. Understanding the reasons behind the strict DUI laws in Arizona can help you avoid being charged with this serious offense.

Instead of Ignoring Your DUI Charge, Do This:

Since DUI charges are so serious, it’s important to take care of the charge right away. Find a defense lawyer, attend the court date, and serve the sentences. If steps are needed, such as installing an ignition lock device or performing community service, complete those tasks right away.

If you are required to take an online DUI class, find one available in your local area or online. Cornerstone Healing Center offers online DUI education courses online for your convenience. Attending a class in person can be stressful for some people.

Additionally, lost license privileges can make it challenging to participate in a course in person. Covid-19 might make available in-person classes either risky or hard to come by.

Our online courses offer you or your loved one the ability to fulfill your sentencing requirements without all the hassles. If you’re interested in our online DUI course or want more information about your DUI charge, please call us today at (800) 643-2108

Let us help you start your journey to recovery.

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Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He also contributes factual guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI laws, DUI education, getting through the process of dealing with a DUI, and getting back on the road.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director


Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone. Passionate about helping those with addiction, he has trained as an EMDR therapist  adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of addiction, providing an empathetic approach to addiction.

Articles written prior to August 2023 were also clinically reviewed by Karen Williams, LPC 

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