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DUI/DWI in New York and Arizona

More and more folks from the Northeast United States are moving to Arizona whether to retire or just to live. Since there might be people traveling to either state for the holiday season we feel it is necessary to cover the DUI laws in each state. Every holiday season you should realize that police all over the United States are ready and waiting to pull over and arrest those driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs that may impair driving.  Whether you are staying local or going away on vacation it is important to know the laws of the state you are in, especially when you are driving.

Traffic laws differ from state to state along with the penalties associated with it.  You should remember also that just because you receive a ticket in one state does not mean that it will not affect your license in your home state (See Driver License Compact below).  This article will shed some light on some of the DUI/DWI laws if you are driving in Arizona or New York state.

Driving in Arizona

What Are the Penalties For Getting A DUI In Arizona?

Arizona law requires that you must serve time in jail if you are convicted of a DUI charge, even if it is the first time.  A judge will consider several factors before sentencing you to jail.  First they will take into account what your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test was at the time of your arrest.  The mandatory minimum sentence based on your BAC will be as follows:

  • BAC under .150+ – 1 day jail sentence
  • BAC between .150+ and .200 – 30 day jail sentence
  • BAC above .200 – 45 days

The jail terms listed above apply only to first time DUI convictions.  If are a repeat offender you will be facing more severe penalties and longer jail sentences.  You can get a pretty good estimate of your blood alcohol content if you know your personal limits before getting behind the wheel.

A conviction for DUI in Arizona requires that you go to a drug and alcohol screening.  Based on the results of the screening you may be required to enter into substance abuse education programs or a treatment program.

 

How Does A DUI Conviction Affect My License?

In Arizona your driving privileges can be suspended if your BAC test results are above a .08.  Different from driving in New York however, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Arizona rather than the courts has the authority to suspend your driver’s license.

DUI convictions in Arizona also require that a person install an Interlock Device on their vehicle.  The device is installed on the ignition of the car and requires that a person’s breath is measured for alcohol before they begin driving.  If the device detects alcohol the car will not start.

What If I Refuse To Take A Breathalyzer Test?

If you are driving in Arizona, there is an implied consent that you will submit to a chemical test for alcohol or other drugs when asked.  You have a right to refuse these tests however there is an automatic 1 year driver’s license suspension.

 

Driving in New York

Driving While Intoxicated (New York does not have a “DUI” distinction) is a crime in the state of New York and some of the penalties include heavy fines, license suspension, community service and in often jail time.

 

Can I Refuse the Breathalyzer Test For Alcohol?

If you are driving in New York and are pulled over for DWI you implied consent to taking a chemical test either by breath, blood or urine.  If you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will automatically have your driving privileges suspended (regardless of whether or not you are guilty of DWI) and be subject to a fine.

Refusal to take test

1st offense  – 1 year license suspension

2nd offense – 18 month license suspension

3rd offense – 18 month license suspension

 

Does It Matter How Much I Drank When I Get Pulled Over?

New York makes certain distinctions and classifications based on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) when you get pulled over.  The more you drink the heavier the penalties.  You will be convicted of driving while intoxicated in New York if your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher.  When it comes to plea bargaining in NY for DUI/DWI cases, remember that certain prosecutors will simply not negotiate with you if your BAC is too high.

If your BAC is 0.18% or higher you will be charged with Aggravated DWI (A-DWI), with the first offense classified a misdemeanor, a minimum fine of $1000, up to 1 year jail time and having your license revoked for a minimum of 1 year.  Repeat offenses will be considered a felony with stricter fines and penalties.

Can I go to Jail for getting a DWI in New York?

If you are convicted of DWI for the first time in NY, you can go to jail for up to 1 year, will be forced to pay a $500 fine, and will lose your driving privileges for at least 6 months.  With a second offense you can go to jail for up to 4 years and a third offense 7 years.  Also if you are charged with or convicted of certain alcohol-related offenses, the court will order an alcohol evaluation or alcohol screening before sentencing.

Can An Out Of State DWI Affect My License Back In My Home State?

The Driver License Compact

Both Arizona and New York are members of the interstate Driver License Compact (DLC).  The DLC is an interstate agreement used in the United States so that information involving traffic violations and license suspensions can be communicated between the states.  What this means is that the home state of a driver can treat an out-of-state offense as if it happened at home.

Offenses that are reported to the DLC are usually serious moving violations like reckless driving, vehicular homicide and DWI/DUI. Some states record all out-of-state moving violations that they are notified about.

 

Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is a licensed attorney practicing in both New York and New Jersey. Adam’s Traffic and DUI website is www.ticketdefenselaw.com.

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