Under Arizona law, people are guilty of impaired driving with criminal speed violations if they drive at an excessive speed while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Drivers in this scenario can get charged with DUI per ARS 28-1381A1 and also driving at an excessive speed per ARS 28-701.02 and/or extreme DUI per ARS 28-1382. Impaired driving while speeding is a misdemeanor offense (as opposed to a felony) punishable by a fine and jail time.
- speeding past a school zone and having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%.
- driving a motor vehicle 70 mph down a neighborhood street when drunk.
- going over the posted speed limit by 20 mph when under the influence of marijuana.
Criminal defense attorneys draw upon several legal strategies to help people challenge allegations under the above laws. A few common ones include a DUI lawyer showing that:
- the defendant was not guilty of criminal speeding,
- there was an emergency, and/or
- law enforcement stopped the accused without probable cause.
Drivers guilty of impaired driving and criminal speeding charges will have to face the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. A judge will likely also impose penalties for an excessive speeding violation. These can include:
- additional jail time,
- a fine of up to $500 plus 83% in surcharges, and/or
- one year of probation.
In this article, our Phoenix DUI defense attorneys will discuss what the law is under these statutes, defenses available if charged, the penalties for a conviction, and related crimes.
1. How does Arizona law define “impaired driving with criminal speed violations”?
The State of Arizona’s DUI laws say that a prosecutor has to prove the following elements to successfully convict a driver of impaired driving and criminal speeding:
- the defendant drove a motor vehicle while under the influence (of alcohol and/or drugs), or
- the defendant drove with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08%, and
- the accused drove at an excessive speed.
Criminal speeding, or driving at an excessive speed, means that a driver:
- exceeds 35 mph while approaching a school crossing, or
- exceeds the posted speed limit by more than 20 mph.1
In these types of DUI cases, a prosecutor will typically charge a person with both DUI (under ARS 28-1381) along with excessive or criminal speeding (under ARS 23-701.02).
Note that prosecutors can even charge a driver with extreme DUI. Under ARS 28-1382, drivers are guilty of extreme DUI if they drive with a BAC of 0.15% to 0.199%.2
2. Are defenses available?
Yes. Drivers in Arizona have the right to challenge DUI-related charges and/or a criminal speeding ticket with a legal defense. Three common defenses include an accused showing that:
- he/she was not speeding.
- there was an emergency.
- the police stopped the accused without probable cause.
2.1. Not speeding
People are only guilty of this criminal offense if they drive impaired and at an excessive speed. A defense, then, is for a defendant to show that he/she was not speeding. Note though that the accused would still have to address any charges of driving while impaired.
Defendants can always challenge the criminal speeding aspect of these cases by showing that there was an emergency that required them to drive at an excessive speed. Again, though, a defendant will still have to find an additional defense to contest any DUI charges.
2.3. No probable cause
This is a common defense raised in Arizona DUI and criminal speeding cases. It is unlawful for law enforcement to stop or arrest a person without probable cause that they committed some illegal act, be it something that is worthy of traffic tickets or criminal charges. This means it is always a defense for defendants to show that the police stopped them without probable cause.
3. What are the penalties for this DUI offense?
A person guilty of impaired driving with criminal speed violations will have to face the standard penalties for a DUI conviction. For a first offense of drunk driving, some of these penalties include:
- jail time,
- a driver’s license suspension or revocation,
- installation of an ignition interlock device (IID),
- completion of a defensive driving school course or a traffic survival school course, and
- increased insurance rates or insurance premiums.3
Note that a judge can also impose additional penalties for a defendant’s criminal speeding violation. A violation of ARS 28-701.02 is punishable by:
- up to one month in jail,
- a fine of up to $500, and/or
- one year of probation.
If a person is also guilty of extreme DUI, per ARS 28-1382, the party can also receive additional time in jail and face higher fines.
4. Are there related offenses?
There are three crimes related to impaired driving with criminal speed violations. These are:
- civil speeding – ARS 28-701,
- impaired and reckless driving, and
- underage DUI – ARS 4-244.
4.1. Civil speeding – ARS 28-701
Per ARS 28-701, a civil speeding violation occurs when a person drives a vehicle at an unreasonable speed under the circumstances.
As with a criminal speeding conviction, a driver convicted of civil speeding will receive a traffic violation ticket and face possible jail time.
4.2. Impaired and reckless driving
Under Arizona law, people are guilty of impaired and reckless driving if they drive recklessly or aggressively while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
As with impaired driving with criminal speed violations, violations of this law are misdemeanor offenses punishable by time in jail.
4.3. Underage DUI – ARS 4-244
Under ARS 4-244, underage DUI is the crime where people under 21 years of age drive a motor vehicle while there is any alcohol in their body.
Note that this is a type of zero tolerance law. People are guilty of the crime with an alcohol level of the slightest degree.
As with speeding while impaired, underage DUI can result in jail time and a significant fine.
For additional help…
For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer, we invite you to contact our law firm/law office at the Shouse Law Group. Our legal team provides both free consultations and legal advice you can trust.
Our DUI attorneys also represent clients throughout the State of Arizona, including those in Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tempe.
- Arizona Revised Statutes 28-701.02.
- A.R.S. 28-1382.
- Note that a first-time DUI or a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor DUI.