Arizona’s Underage DUI Laws

Most drivers are aware that the blood-alcohol limit in Arizona is .08 for adults. Indeed, the .08 limit has been the federal standard for intoxication since 1996, when Congress mandated all states decrease their limits to .08 or risk a loss of federal highway funding. Since then, states have maintained the .08 limit. However, just last month neighboring Utah was the first state to implement a lower limit of just .05. It remains to be seen if other states will follow suit or if Utah will remain an anomaly.

When it comes to underage motorists, many states, including Arizona, have implemented zero-tolerance or not-a-drop laws. Under Arizona DUI law, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle when there is “any spirituous liquor in the person’s body.” Thus, unlike an adult, a minor can be arrested and charged with an Arizona DUI if there is any amount of alcohol in their system, even if the minor is not intoxicated or under the influence of the substance. Of course, because no motorist is permitted to drive under the influence of illegal drugs, minors and adults alike can be found guilty of DUI if they have illegal drugs in their system.

19-Year-Old Arrested and Charged with DUI Offenses after Fatal Accident

Last week, a 19-year-old driver and his three passengers were involved in a serious accident with a semi-truck in Avondale. According to a local news report, the collision occurred when the minor allegedly rear-ended the semi-truck that was in the process of making a left turn. The minor’s car became wedged underneath the truck.

Evidently, none of the people in the minor’s car were wearing their seatbelts. One of the passengers died in the accident, and two others were seriously injured. The minor broke his leg. When police arrived on the scene, they noticed that there were multiple 12-packs of beer in the back seat. When they spoke to the minor, he indicated that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day, and that his passengers were smoking it as he was driving.

Police arrested the minor and conducted a blood-alcohol test, indicating that his blood-alcohol content was .051. It was also discovered that the minor’s license was suspended the month prior for another DUI offense. While the prosecuting authority had not issued formal charges at the time of the article’s publication, investigators recommended the minor be charged with reckless manslaughter, aggravated DUI, and aggravated assault.

Have You Been Arrested for an Arizona DUI?

If you or your child has recently been arrested for an Arizona underage DUI, contact the dedicated Arizona DUI defense attorney James E. Novak. Attorney Novak has over 17 years of personal experience handling DUI and criminal matters in Arizona, for both adults and minors. To learn more about how Attorney Novak can help you defend against the charges you or your child is facing, call 480-413-1499 to schedule a free consultation today.

Additional Resources:

Other Articles of Interest from The Law Office of James Novak’s Phoenix DUI Blog:

Court Discusses Spousal Privilege in Recent Arizona DUI Case, Phoenix DUI Law Blog, December 11, 2018

Court Allows Results of Defendant’s Blood Test to Show Her Knowledge of the Drugs That Were Found in Her Car, Phoenix DUI Law Blog, November 29, 2018

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