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Guest Article by: Attorney David Michael Cantor with The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor.

It is a known fact that since the 1970s, states have been increasingly serious about cracking down on drunk drivers. Before this time, it was more common for Arizonians to get behind the wheel after drinking or even having an open can of beer in hand while driving on the road. Now add to this scenario the higher speeds allowed on highways and there are much higher chances for disaster. Enter various special interest groups, some founded by mothers who had lost children in drunk driving-related accidents, and things changed.

Now, those who take to the roads while intoxicated face serious criminal penalties, even if they do not cause an accident. In Arizona, the penalties are so tough that most arrested drivers call a Tempe DUI lawyer right away.

So, just how tough are the states on drunk drivers? And, which states are the toughest? asked these questions in a recent public study. The website used National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics to arrive at the conclusion that drunk driving incidents have waned since 1980. In 2012, 31 percent of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol. That number, while significant, is a radical improvement from the 1970s. It seems drivers are taking seriously the laws that seek to punish them for being on the road while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The Research Design

Wallet Hub used a point system to rank the states according to their DUI law stringency. This point system, after tabulation, provided the rankings of which states were toughest on drunk drivers. These statistics point to the fact that it is always best to consult with a Tempe DUI attorney when arrested in the area.

Ten points went to a state if their laws provided for ten or more days incarcerated on a first DUI offense. Eight points went to a state if their laws allowed between eight and nine days in jail for a first-time arrest, six points for six to seven days in jail, four points for four to five days in jail, two points for two to three days in jail and no points for zero to one day in jail.

The Results

According to the point system, Arizona is the toughest state on those busted for a DUI infraction, which is why a DUI lawyer Tempe should handle the case. In fact, the possible punishments for an arrest or conviction prove daunting, necessitating the professional consultation of a knowledgeable lawyer.

A first offense in Tempe does not save one from doing jail time. Instead, there is a 10-day minimum jail sentence for an initial conviction. Those who fail to do the wise thing, such as seek the legal advice of a DUI lawyer Tempe, might not learn from this experience and can expect a three-month incarceration the second time caught by the police. Things get progressively worse because the third arrest results in felony charges, which mandates a sentence of prison time.

Arizona drivers have their licenses suspended for three months after a conviction. Referred to as an administrative suspension, this measure often leaves those on drunk driving charges with no easy means of getting to work. Our Tempe DUI lawyer can speak on your behalf to the authorities about this issue.

Tempe DUI convicts must also use an ignition interlock device for 12 months. These gadgets attach to the car, preventing ignition until the driver provides a breath sample to ascertain blood alcohol content. Those samples above the legal limit result in a lock on the ignition, preventing the car from starting.

Another western state, neighboring California, came in the middle of the pack of the research report, at thirty-one on the list. The Golden State places convicted DUI drivers in jail for a minimum of two days for first time offense. The next conviction, the stakes rise with ten days incarceration. Jail is an uncomfortable experience for anyone, but these penalties do pale in comparison to the more rigid laws of Arizona, as any Lawyer knows.

California DUI drivers do receive a four-month administrative license suspension, which as in Arizona, makes it hard for them to get around town. Also, on the fourth conviction, things get very serious, with the prosecution pressing felony charges, carrying a year in a county prison.

The state allows counties to use some degree of latitude in punishing DUI offenders. For example, Los Angeles County is one that requires an ignition interlock device, after a conviction, similar to those that a Tempe DUI attorney says, some Arizona residents must use.

Get Help from an Experienced Tempe DUI Lawyer if Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated

Our highly trained DUI lawyer in Tempe, AZ will begin working immediately to ensure that an arrested client receives fair treatment from the courts. As the Wallet Hub research here demonstrates, the penalties for a conviction in Arizona are quite harsh, necessitating a skilled Tempe DUI attorney to look at the case.

If you have been pulled over for a DUI in Tempe, there are some Do’s and Don’t you should follow.


  • Do Ask to speak with a Tempe DUI Lawyer immediately
  • Do show the officer your drivers’ license, registration and proof of insurance.
  • Do ask the officer to be released to obtain an independent blood test from a hospital.
  • Do behave courteously.


  • Don’t agree to take a Breath, Blood or Urine test until calling and talking with a lawyer!
  • Don’t answer questions or agree to be videotaped.
  • Don’t take the eye test.
  • Don’t admit anything or take coordination tests.
  • Don’t try to “talk” your way out or be rude.

*These do’s and don’ts apply to most, but not all situations.

A driver who decides to go it alone, and ignore the expert advice of an attorney, such as one at the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, may suffer the consequence of their choice to do so.