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 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 of ignoring Arizona law.
The Different Types of Charges
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 the age of 21, your license will get suspended if there’s any blood alcohol concentration.
Extreme DUI Charge
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 eligibility for probation or suspended sentence. 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.
Aggravated DUI Charge
ADOT classifies an Aggravated DUI charge as any person who commits a DUI on top of an additional charge. A person can fall under this category if they commit a DUI while their license is still under suspension, while a child is in the car, or commit a third DUI within seven years of their charge. These are serious charges and can result in harsher sentencing. A first Aggravated DUI offense in Arizona could result in 180 days in jail, along with a $1,800 fine. If a person charged with a DUI refuses to submit a blood alcohol content test at the time of arrest, this can also contribute to an Aggravated DUI charge. It can also cause you to lose your privileges for a more extended period — from 12-24 months. You will also be required to submit an alcohol or drug screening before you can reinstate your driving privileges.
Subsequent DUI Charges
There are even higher charges for those who are 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 will 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 most 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.
The Consequences of Not Appearing in Court
It might be tempting to ignore your DUI charge completely. However, there are penalties for not appearing in court for a DUI, and 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. For knowingly missing a court appearance, you could face up to six months in prison. 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.
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 education course, find one available in your local area or online. Cornerstone Healing Center offers 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 course offers you or your loved one the ability to fulfill your sentencing requirements without all of 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.