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Underage Drunk Driving in Arizona

Arizona enacted a “no tolerance” policy of alcohol use for underage drivers in the state.  That means that a person under the age of 21 who is in physical control of a vehicle need not have to have a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 to be considered in violation of driving under the influence.  An under-aged person need only have any amount of liquor in their body to be in violation of the law.  For purposes of the law, any BAC level of .02 or above would qualify as violating the law and warranting an arrest for a person under the age of 21.  No other field sobriety tests, observational evidence that the person was impaired, or the like are needed.  Just the fact that the person is under age and found with alcohol in their system is enough to be in violation of a DUI.

As both driving under age and driving under the influence are both serious offenses, the state of Arizona enacts punishments to deter youth from committing the crimes and risking harm to themselves and others.  A conviction for underage DUI results in suspension of a driver’s license for a period of two years.  A court may decide to grant some exception to allow the youth the privileges to drive between school, home, and work during specified periods of time.  If the court allows the youth the privilege to do this, an ignition interlock device will be installed on their motor vehicle and the youth must comply with all regulations and rules that come with an ignition interlock device.


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