First-Time DUI If You Have Been Charged with a DUI Call Us

Most people are aware that if you are convicted of driving under the influence, you face serious consequences. A first-time DUI is generally a misdemeanor. But even if you have a clean driving record, and have never before been convicted of drunk or drugged driving, the consequences can be staggering. While those with a prior history of DUI may be treated even more harshly, that does not diminish the seriousness of the penalties.

San Diego DUI court

Penalties for First-Time DUI

When we speak of the penalties for a first-time DUI, or for any crime, for that matter, we are speaking generally. There are a multitude of factors that could affect the particular sentence in each case. We will discuss some of those factors below. But as a general rule, here is some of what you can expect if you are convicted of driving under the influence in Arizona, absent a prior DUI within the previous 84 months:

  • Fines, assessments and related costs. Fines, the cost of an alcohol screening program, DUI School, jail fees, court fees, etc. will reach between $2,000 and $3,000, perhaps more.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID). If you have been convicted of DUI and your conviction involves alcohol, you will be required to install an IID in your vehicle. Installation, monthly maintenance and removal could run between $1,000 and $2,000. In the case of DUI based solely on drug use, you may be able to avoid installation of an IID.
  • License suspension. You can expect your driver’s license to be suspended for at minimum 90 days. In some cases, the suspension can be longer.
  • Jail time. The statute calls for a minimum of 10 days in jail, but that can be reduced to one day upon completion of substance abuse evaluation. In instances of a higher BAC (extreme DUI, super extreme DUI) the mandatory minimum jail time goes up considerably.
  • Increased insurance premiums. Perhaps the largest portion of the costs you will incur consist of increased insurance premiums, over and above the state surcharge. It could cost you thousands of dollars a year for several years.

This is intended to give you an idea of some of the consequences if you are convicted of DUI with no priors. However, additional circumstances can cause the potential penalties to escalate.

Additional Penalties May be Applicable

Although you may be looking at your first DUI charge, the penalties could increase depending upon other facts in your case. Here are some of the issues that could, and likely will, increase the possible consequences:

  • High BAC. If your blood alcohol content is above 0.15 or 0.20, you can be charged with extreme DUI and super extreme DUI. Enhanced penalties apply.
  • Child Passenger. Driving under the influence with a child (14 years of age or younger) is a felony.
  • Breathalyzer / Blood Draw Refusal. This can extend the time of your license suspension.
  • Serious Injuries or Death. The potential penalties increase significantly.

These are just a sample of the situations in which a first-time DUI can carry enhanced penalties. An experienced DUI lawyer can explain whether and to what extent these penalties may apply in your case.

Misdemeanor DUI Defense Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ

If you were charge with DUI, you may think that all hope is lost, and that you might as well plead guilty and avoid the cost of retaining an attorney. What you probably don’t realize is that even in what appear to be the clearest cases, there is often room to raise a defense.

At Feldman & Royle, we understand that BAC readings are sometimes wrong, that some DUI’s are based on illegal stops, that field sobriety tests can yield erroneous results. We will take the evidence in your case, and develop all possible defenses on your behalf. The starting point is to pick up the phone and call us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.


Feldman Royle, Attorneys at Law
2828 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Bret Ryole is the nicest lawyer I've ever known. I was very nervous about my case and had called multiple attorneys for a consultation with no help received or guidance ...
Written by: S. Scott
5 / 5 stars