Longtime readers of our DUI defense blog know that our state is known for tough drunk driving laws and harsh punishments. The Legal Reader is the latest publication to recognize Arizona’s unyielding approach, naming it the very worst of the “Worst States in Which to Get a DUI.”

The Reader shares advice that we are happy to agree with: if you’re arrested for drunk driving in Arizona, you should get “the best DUI defense attorney you can find.”

When you look at the punishments possible for a DUI conviction here, it isn’t hard to understand why we keep topping these “worst of” lists.

First offense

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) makes it very clear why even a first DUI conviction is painful, stating on its website that “You will be jailed for not less than 10 consecutive days and fined not less than $1,250.”

You’ll also be ordered by the court to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment, perform community service and install (at your expense) an ignition interlock device.

Second offense

ADOT says this about a second or subsequent offense: “You will be jailed for not less than 90 days and fined not less than $3,000.”

And there’s more: your driver’s license will be revoked for 12 months, and you’ll also be required to go through alcohol education, community service and have an ignition interlock installed.

It should be noted that in some DUI cases, drivers can receive probation or a suspended sentence. Depending on circumstances, in some other cases charges can be reduced or even dropped. All of these possibilities can be explored if you take the Legal Reader’s advice about legal representation.