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Arizona ranks at the top for strictest DUI penalties in the nation

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Posted at 9:53 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 17:05:46-04

Have a bad habit of boozing and cruising?  In Arizona, it's going to cost you if you get caught.   

According to a recent WalletHub study, Arizona ranks as the strictest state in the nation for penalties against drunk drivers.  

First time offenders with a blood alcohol level .08 or above receive 10 days in jail and a minimum $750 fine.  Second time offenders are hit with 90 days behind bars and a $1,750 fine .  And even after you pay up and serve your time, a person convicted of a first offense DUI is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle they drive for a full year.  One full year of blowing into little machine to prove you haven't been drinking.  Kind of puts a damper on a date, right?

The WalletHub study ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 15 key metrics including fines, minimum jail sentences and ignition interlock device requirements.

DUI also becomes an automatic felony offense in Arizona after the the third time.  According to the latest statistics from the AZ Governor's Office of Highway Safety, police arrested more than 23,000 people statewide for DUI in 2014. A significant amount of arrests, however the number was down from the previous three years when arrests were around 32,000 each year.  The average BAC in 2014 was 0.152 -- nearly twice the legal limit to drive.

Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Alaska round out the top five states for strictest DUI laws.