September 25, 2023

Getting Your License Back After DUI in Arizona

Losing driving privileges due to a DUI in Arizona can have serious legal and personal consequences. Here are the steps to regain driving privileges after a DUI.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Contributors & Editors

Dane Perikly

Director of Virtual Services & DUI Education

Last Update on September 25, 2023

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If you or someone you know has lost their driving license due to a DUI in Arizona, understanding the gravity of this situation is crucial.

A DUI not only brings with it legal challenges but can also deeply impact one’s personal life and reputation.

Tackling this issue isn’t something you should do alone.

Seeking professional legal advice can be a game-changer in navigating the road back to reinstatement.

Keep reading to uncover the steps and insights on how to regain your driving privileges after a DUI in Arizona.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information about the topic and should not be considered as legal advice. Every individual case is unique, and laws can change over time. If you or someone you know is facing a DUI situation in Arizona, it’s imperative to consult a qualified DUI attorney to get guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Understanding DUI Laws in Arizona

Different Types of DUI Offenses:

Navigating the world of DUI offenses in Arizona can be a daunting task.

Let’s break it down for you so you can better understand the terrain.


DUI (Blood Alcohol Content above .08)

This is the most basic offense. If someone is caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of above .08, they’re in this category.

It means their alcohol level is above the legal limit, making it unsafe, and illegal, for them to be behind the wheel.


Extreme DUI (BAC above .15)

The name says it all.

If someone’s BAC climbs above .15, they’ve not just crossed a line—they’ve leaped over it.

This category signifies a much higher level of intoxication and, as you might guess, carries stiffer penalties.


Super Extreme DUI (BAC above .20)

This is the red zone.

With a BAC above .20, one is not just putting themselves at risk, but everyone else on the road too.

This category is reserved for those who have consumed alcohol to a very dangerous level before deciding to drive.

Remember, while these categories help to define the severity of the offense, any DUI can have significant legal and personal consequences.

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge, it’s vital to get informed and consult with a professional who can guide you through the specificities of each offense.

DUI Penalties

Delving into the consequences of different DUI offenses can reveal their severity in Arizona1

DUI TypePenaltiesJail TimeLicense Suspension
DUI (BAC above .08)Fines can range significantly, often starting from a few hundred dollars but can escalate depending on other factors involved in the DUI case.First-time offenders could face up to 10 days in jail. However, some of that time may be suspended if they agree to undergo alcohol education or treatment.The suspension period for a first-time offense is typically 90 days.
Extreme DUI (BAC above .15)The fines for this category are notably steeper, potentially reaching into the thousands.For first-time offenders, a conviction might mean a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail.License suspension for Extreme DUI can also be lengthier, sometimes up to a year.
Super Extreme DUI (BAC above .20)In addition to hefty fines, one might face additional costs related to mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices and alcohol education classes.Those found guilty can face a minimum of 45 days in jail for their first offense.License suspension periods remain severe, often ranging up to a year or more.

It’s crucial to stress that these are general consequences and can vary based on specific circumstances, previous offenses, and other factors.

License Suspension Periods

Driving is a privilege, not a right.

In Arizona, if you or someone you know gets caught up in a DUI case, the suspension of that driving privilege is almost certain.

Understanding the potential suspension durations can prepare one for the road ahead:


First-time Offense

If it’s someone’s first dance with a DUI, the sting can still be sharp.

Typically, a first-time offense can lead to a license suspension of up to 90 days.


Second-time Offense

If a person finds themselves in this spot again, the penalties stiffen.

For a second-time offense, they could be looking at a suspension period of up to a year.


Subsequent Offenses

Three strikes, and it gets even tougher.

With multiple offenses under one’s belt, the suspension can extend for even longer periods, often more than a year.


Aggravating Factors

Now, if there are extra elements added to the mix, things can escalate.

Aggravating factors can include having a minor in the vehicle, causing an accident, or having a particularly high BAC level.

Any of these can lengthen the suspension period, even for first-time offenders, and make the road to getting one’s license back more challenging.

Navigating these turbulent waters can be daunting.

If you or someone you know is facing a suspension, it’s essential to be aware of these periods.

Equally crucial is seeking guidance from professionals who can provide insights tailored to the specifics of each situation.

Steps to Take Immediately After a DUI Arrest

Getting arrested for a DUI can throw anyone’s world into a whirlwind.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in this situation, taking the right steps immediately can make a significant difference in the outcome.

Here’s what one should consider doing right off the bat:


Hiring an Attorney

This isn’t the time to go it alone.

Getting a seasoned attorney on board can be a game-changer.

They understand the ins and outs of the legal system and can offer invaluable advice.

So, whether it’s you or a loved one, make sure the first call is to a reputable DUI attorney.


Requesting a Hearing

Time is of the essence.

It’s essential to request a hearing from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) or the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) promptly.

This hearing will decide the fate of the driver’s license and can influence the length and type of suspension.

Missing this window can lead to automatic penalties.


Comply with Court Orders and Mandates

If the court orders specific actions, like attending alcohol education classes or installing an ignition interlock device, it’s paramount to comply.

These aren’t mere suggestions; they’re mandates.

Following them diligently not only ensures you or your loved one meets legal requirements but also shows responsibility and a commitment to making things right.

Facing a DUI arrest is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right steps and guidance, navigating this complex terrain becomes more manageable.

Always remember, it’s crucial to act swiftly and consult professionals to steer the journey back to normalcy.

The Reinstatement Process

When you or someone you know has faced the consequences of a DUI and is on the path to getting back behind the wheel, the road can seem long and intimidating.

But understanding the reinstatement process can be the compass that guides the way.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps one should take:


Completing the Suspension Period

First and foremost, patience is essential.

The suspension period must be completed in full, whether a few months or longer.

Serving this time shows commitment to adhering to the law’s consequences.


Paying the Reinstatement Fee

Once the suspension period is over, one’s journey isn’t free and clear just yet.

A reinstatement fee must be paid, which can vary based on the offense.

Think of it as the ticket to getting back in the driving game.


Providing Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR-22)

Before getting back behind the wheel, one must show responsibility.

This is where the SR-22 comes in.2

It’s not insurance but a certificate from your insurance company that proves you’re covered.

Think of it as a promise that you or your loved one is prepared to take financial responsibility if there’s another mishap.


Taking a Written and Road Test, if required

Sometimes, especially if the suspension was lengthy, the state might require a refresher in the form of written and road tests.

This ensures that the driver’s skills and knowledge are up-to-date, ensuring safer roads for everyone.


Filing for Restricted Driving Privileges, if eligible

There might be a silver lining even during the suspension period.

In some instances, one can file for restricted driving privileges.

This could allow them to drive to essential places like work or school, but there are specific rules to follow.

Navigating the reinstatement process after a DUI can feel overwhelming, but the journey becomes clearer with these steps in mind and a commitment to seeing them through.

Alcohol Treatment Programs & Education

When someone finds themselves entangled in a DUI situation, the experience can be both a wake-up call and an opportunity for growth.

For many, attending alcohol treatment programs and education sessions can be a crucial step towards making positive changes.

If you or someone you know is considering this path, here’s what you should know:

Types of Programs Available

Educational Classes

These sessions focus on imparting knowledge about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and impaired driving.

They can be a real eye-opener.

Counseling Sessions

Individual or group counseling helps participants address underlying issues related to their alcohol use.

Inpatient Treatment

For those with more severe alcohol dependencies, a residential program can provide a more intensive level of care and support.

Outpatient Programs

These allow individuals to receive treatment and counseling while still managing daily responsibilities.


Duration and Requirements

The length of each program can vary.

Educational classes might last a few hours, while inpatient treatment could stretch over several weeks or months.

The duration often depends on the severity of the individual’s situation and the court’s mandates.

As for requirements, participants might need to attend a certain number of sessions, actively participate, or even undergo random alcohol tests.


Proof of Completion

This isn’t just about attending; it’s about completing.

At the end of a program, participants typically receive a certificate or another form of documentation.

This proof isn’t just a piece of paper—it’s a testament to commitment and progress.

If the program was court-ordered, this documentation would be vital to show compliance.

Taking the step towards alcohol treatment and education is more than just fulfilling a requirement.

It’s a move towards self-awareness, responsibility, and growth.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Imagine being in a world where your car double-checks your sobriety before letting you drive.

For many who’ve faced a DUI charge, this isn’t just imagination—it’s reality.

This reality comes in the form of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

If you or someone you know is required to use one, here’s the lowdown:


What is it?

An Ignition Interlock Device is a small, handheld gadget installed in your car’s ignition system.3

Before starting the car, the driver has to blow into it.

If the IID detects alcohol above the programmed limit, the car won’t start.

It’s like a mini breathalyzer test every time one wants to drive.


Costs Involved

The costs of an IID can vary, but here’s a general breakdown:

Installation: An upfront fee to install the device in your vehicle can vary widely based on location and provider.

Monthly Rental: Yes, it’s usually a rental. The driver typically pays a monthly fee if the vehicle requires the IID.

Maintenance: Now and then, the IID needs to be recalibrated or checked, which may come with its fees.


How Long You May Have to Use It

The duration one needs to use an IID largely depends on the nature of the DUI offense and the state’s regulations.

For first-time offenders, it might be as short as 6 months.

However, the requirement could stretch out to several years for those with multiple offenses or more severe cases.

Having an IID can feel like having a co-pilot— a co-pilot that ensures both the driver and those around them are a little safer on the roads.

If you or a friend need one, understanding its purpose and the costs involved can make the journey a bit smoother.

Additional Requirements

Navigating the aftermath of a DUI isn’t just about the immediate consequences like license suspension or jail time.

The ripple effect can extend into additional requirements that serve as punitive measures and steps toward rehabilitation.

If you or someone you know is facing these stipulations, here’s what to expect:


Community Service

Think of this as a way to give back.

After a DUI, one might be required to contribute a set number of hours of community service.

This could involve cleaning parks, assisting in local shelters, or helping with community events.

While it’s a consequence of a DUI, it’s also an opportunity to make a positive impact and gain some perspective.


Fines and Court Costs

The financial aftermath of a DUI can sting.

Beyond potential attorney fees, some fines might be imposed as a direct penalty for the offense.

On top of that, there are court costs, which cover everything from paperwork to administrative fees.

Being aware of these costs upfront is crucial so they don’t catch you or your loved one off guard.


Ongoing Monitoring

Accountability continues once the initial court dates wrap up.

Depending on the severity of the offense and the judge’s discretion, there might be ongoing monitoring.

This can mean random alcohol tests, periodic check-ins with a probation officer, or continued use of an Ignition Interlock Device.

It’s the system’s way of ensuring that the lesson sticks long-term.

By understanding these additional requirements, you or the person you’re supporting can better prepare for the journey ahead, taking each step with clarity and purpose.

The Role of a DUI Attorney

Navigating the turbulent waters of a DUI case can be confusing and daunting.

In this journey, the role of a DUI attorney becomes as critical as a captain steering a ship through a storm.

Whether it’s you or someone close to you who’s facing these charges, understanding the importance of a DUI attorney can make a world of difference.

Here’s what they bring to the table:


Expert Guidance

Think of a DUI attorney as your GPS through the complex legal landscape.

They’re equipped with a deep knowledge of the law, and they can help decode its intricate language and procedures.

They provide insight into what to expect, the possible outcomes, and the best strategies to pursue, ensuring you’re not walking through this process blindly.


Representation in Court

Facing a judge can be nerve-wracking.

With a DUI attorney by your side, you have a voice that speaks the legal language fluently.

They present your case, advocate for your rights, and ensure all the facts are laid out clearly.

It’s like having a professional narrator for your side of the story.


Negotiation for Reduced Penalties or Alternative Sentencing

Not all DUI cases are black and white.

Sometimes, there’s room for negotiation.

A skilled DUI attorney can sometimes work their magic to reduce penalties or argue for alternative sentencing options.

This could mean jail time, community service, a hefty fine, or a more lenient penalty.

In the challenging chapter of a DUI case, having a DUI attorney is like having a seasoned guide on a treacherous hike.

They know the pitfalls, the shortcuts, and the best paths to take.

Investing in a trusted attorney can be a pivotal step toward a more favorable outcome.

Regain Your Driving Privileges After a DUI in Arizona Today

Cornerstone Healing Center is based in Arizona, and offers online DUI education approved by the court and tailored to meet Arizona’s regulations.

We provide various services, including online DUI courses, weekend DUI sessions, screenings and assessments.

We’re here to assist and offer support if you face DUI-related challenges.

Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, we offer an alcohol rehab program, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Let’s work together to start the journey towards healing!

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Author & Reviewers

dane perikly dui writer headshot

Dane Perikly


Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He contributes guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI charges, education, and the overall process of meeting Arizona requirements after a DUI. He cares deeply about raising awareness of the dangers of DUI and illustrating the impact on victims and on those charged. 

lionel estrada lisac clinical director

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges, he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of conditions.

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