The Impact of a DUI on Your Driver’s License in Arizona

In Arizona, the law takes driving under the influence (DUI) offenses very seriously. In an effort to dissuade drivers from drunk driving and to make an example out of offenders, Arizona penalizes DUI crimes harshly. One of the many potential consequences of a DUI is the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. This can interfere with your job, school, personal relationships, child custody and many other aspects of your life.

License Suspension

Being arrested for a DUI will trigger two separate cases against you: one by the criminal court and one by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). The MVD can choose to suspend your driver’s license simply for being arrested for a DUI, even if you are not convicted of the crime. You have the option of challenging the administrative suspension of your license, but you may still lose your license as part of a sentence if you are later convicted of DUI.

If a criminal DUI case against you results in a conviction, part of your sentence may be driver’s license suspension under Arizona Revised Statute, Section 28-1385. Depending on the facts of the case, the suspension as part of your sentence can be longer than the suspension imposed by the MVD alone. The outcome of your criminal case could add on to an existing loss of your driving privileges.

In Arizona, refusal to comply with a request to take a breathalyzer test will automatically result in a one-year driver’s license suspension by the MVD. This is because Arizona is an implied consent state, where all drivers give their implied consent to take breathalyzer tests upon law enforcement request. More than one refusal to take a breathalyzer test in a seven-year period can result in license suspensions for two years.

Challenging the Suspension or Qualifying for a Restricted License

If a DUI arrest or conviction in Arizona results in driver’s license suspension, you can challenge it with assistance from a DUI defense lawyer. First, you will be given a 15-day grace period during which you can continue to operate a motor vehicle. You can request a hearing with the MVD in these 15 days to try to fight the suspension.  

If the suspension is upheld, you may still be able to regain some driving privileges after the first 30 days of an admin per se suspension (based on reasonable suspicion that your blood alcohol concentration was at or above 0.08 percent) or the first 90 days of an implied consent suspension. A restricted license may be an option if you complete a drug or alcohol screening. This license allows you to drive to certain locations, such as to work, school, church and doctor’s appointments.

Driver’s License Revocation

Your driver’s license could be revoked entirely instead of just suspended from a DUI in certain circumstances. While a standard first-offense misdemeanor DUI in Arizona will not result in driver’s license revocation, your driving privileges could be terminated if you are convicted of two or more serious moving violations within a seven-year period. This includes DUIs, reckless driving and racing.

If you are convicted of an extreme DUI, super extreme DUI or aggravated felony DUI, your driver’s license may also be revoked under Arizona law. It is more difficult to restore your driving privileges after a revoked vs. suspended driver’s license, as you will have to reapply for a new license once the revocation period ends.

Get Help With Driver’s License Ramifications From a DUI in Arizona

 If you have been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in Scottsdale, contact Corso Law Group right away for a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Scottsdale. We can help you protect your driving privileges, such as by challenging an MVD driver’s license suspension, helping you apply for a restricted license and defending you against a DUI conviction. Call (480) 471-4616 today for assistance.

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