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College DUI in AZ: What you need to know

Arizona takes underage drinking seriously. In fact, it has a zero tolerance law for any person under the age of 21 years old who is stopped for driving under the influence, or DUI. The state doesn’t even care if you are old enough to live on your own and attended the hardest college courses. That doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. You have legal options and the Maasen Law Firm is here to help tell you what you need to know if you’re charged with a college DUI.

We are also available for a free consultation if you’ve been accused of college DUI. It’s important to note that we refer to an underage DUI charge as a college DUI. However, you can be accused of a college DUI, or underage DUI, even if you aren’t attending college.

DUI Elements

The state is not like your parents who are used to pronouncing guilty without hearing the facts of your situation. To be guilty in a court of law, a prosecutor must show you’re guilty based on three DUI elements.

  1. You were driving, operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle
  2. You were in control of a motor vehicle
  3. Your BAC level above the legal limit or you were under the influence of an intoxicated beverage or drug

Operating a Vehicle

Element one means that you were driving or operating a motor vehicle at the time of the traffic stop or an accident. Unfortunately, it can also refer to you just sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.

Motor Vehicle

The state uses the term “control of a motor vehicle” which makes it seem like you have to be driving a car to be charged with a college DUI. It doesn’t. It’s not limited to cars. You can be charged with a college DUI if you are driving or operating a boat, truck, motorcycle, SUV, bike or moped.

Legal Limit

Yes, there is a double standard when it comes to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The legal limit, for an adult over 21 years old, is 0.08 percent. It’s considered a college DUI when your BAC level is 0.01 percent or higher.

To understand more about a DUI charge and what you need to know, click here.

Possible Punishment

If you are found guilty, you face some serious consequences. Since you are considered an adult, but under the age of 21 years old, you’d be guilty of a Cass 1 misdemeanor. This college DUI conviction includes:

  • About six months in jail
  • Fines and other charges
  • Probation
  • Community service (court’s discretion)
  • Substance abuse counseling (court’s discretion)
  • License suspension for up to 24 months
  • Ignition interlock device for at least three years (if a restricted license is permitted)

If at any point in a college DUI arrest or trial, it is uncovered that you used a fake license to obtain or consume alcohol, there are additional penalties. For example, a judge may sentence you to mandatory substance or alcohol abuse treatment, pay additional fines and receive suspended license (for up to six months).

Talk with us about your college DUI case. We specialize in fighting college DUI cases in Arizona. Contact us of a free consultation. During the consultation, we will listen to the facts of your case. We will also explain all the legal options available to you to fight your college DUI charge. In some cases, we can get the charge reduced to a lesser one or dismissed altogether.