Alcohol effects vary from person to person, but not from state to state. If you blow an .08 while visiting Arizona, you’re just as drunk as you would have been back home. And you’ll be in just as much trouble.
Out of state DUI offenders must face the same penalties: fines and, in the case of aggravated DUI, prison. If the charge is not serious, you might be able to have an attorney represent you so you won’t have to come back to Arizona for the hearing. If the case does go to trial, you will have to return to Arizona for the court date.
If jail is part of the penalty, you might have to arrange to do your jail term in your own state, provided that is allowed. Otherwise you’ll have to return to Arizona to serve your sentence.
Arizona DUI: Can’t I Just Blow it Off?
There’s always the temptation to skip out on the whole thing. What can they do if you’re not in Arizona, after all?
The answer is, plenty. If you don’t show up for court, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. They won’t send officers after you, but
- If you show return to Arizona and have dealings with law enforcement (traffic ticket or traffic stop, etc.) you will be arrested.
- If you have dealings with police in your own state, they can arrest you and notify Arizona to come and get you. Extradition is very common.
Arizona is a member of the Driver License Compact, under which states agree to help each other enforce their driving laws. The Compact was formed specifically to prevent people from escaping the consequences of traffic offenses by hopping state lines. 45 states belong to the compact, and even the one that do not are often helpful in bringing offenders in.
If you blow off your Arizona DUI you will probably be unable to renew your license in your home state. In short, it’s not worth it.
Arizona has a strict set of drunk driving laws, and the state is serious about keeping its roads safe. It’s very welcoming to tourists and visitors, so by all means drop by – but if you’re driving, keep that alcohol level to zero. If you don’t, the consequences will follow you wherever you end up.