Third DUI Offense in Seven Years: Arizona Aggravated DUI

third dui within seven years

Being charged with a third DUI offense in the state of Arizona within seven years can result in serious consequences, including a felony conviction for aggravated DUI.


With the potential for harsh penalties such as lengthy jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation, it is important to seek the guidance of a skilled DUI attorney.

This is where Kolsrud Law Offices comes in. Specializing in DUI defense cases, their team of experienced lawyers is equipped to handle the complexities of Arizona's legal system and work towards a favorable outcome for their clients. 

With a track record of success in handling prior DUI convictions and advocating for the best interests of their clients, Kolsrud Law Offices is a trusted resource for anyone facing an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona.

officer conducting a field sobriety test for an aggravated dui

When Can a DUI Offense Become an Aggravated DUI

In Arizona, driving under the influence (DUI) charges can escalate to an aggravated DUI under certain conditions outlined in the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.). These conditions significantly increase the severity of the offense, leading to harsher penalties. Here’s a detailed look at the circumstances that can elevate a DUI to an aggravated DUI under A.R.S. § 28-1383:


Committing a DUI with a Suspended, Revoked, or Canceled License

A DUI offense becomes aggravated if it is committed while the person's driver license or privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused, or if there is a restriction on the license due to previous DUI violations under sections 28-1381 or 28-1382, or under section 28-1385. 



Multiple DUI Offenses Within Eighty-Four Months

An individual commits an aggravated DUI if they commit a third or subsequent DUI offense within an eighty-four-month (seven-year) period. This lookback period applies regardless of the sequence in which the offenses were committed. The statute specifies that only distinct DUI offenses within this timeframe count towards this aggravation; multiple offenses arising from the same act do not qualify. Time spent incarcerated or absconding is excluded from this calculation period.



DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle

An aggravated DUI charge applies if the offense occurs while a person under fifteen years of age is in the vehicle. This condition reflects the heightened concern for the safety of minors, leading to more severe penalties for offenders driving under the influence with a child present.



Failure to Install an Ignition Interlock Device

If an individual is required by court order or the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to equip their vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device (IID) and commits a DUI without the IID, they will be charged with an aggravated DUI. Compliance with IID requirements is strictly enforced to prevent repeat offenses.



Driving the Wrong Way on a Highway

Driving the wrong way on a highway while under the influence also constitutes an aggravated DUI. This is due to the extreme danger posed to other motorists and the potential for severe accidents and injuries.

Understanding the Seven-Year Lookback Period

Arizona's DUI laws enforce an eighty-four-month (seven-year) lookback period under A.R.S. § 28-1383 to determine the severity of DUI charges.


This period starts from the date of the first offense and includes any subsequent offenses within this timeframe.


The sequence of offenses is irrelevant; the key factor is the dates of the offenses. Time spent in custody or as an absconder is excluded from this period, ensuring it accurately reflects community behavior.

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What are the Penalties for a Class 4 Felony

In Arizona, a third offense DUI within seven years is classified as a Class 4 felony, leading to severe penalties aimed at deterring repeat offenders.


  • Mandatory Prison Sentence

    • A Class 4 felony aggravated DUI results in a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Individuals convicted of this third DUI offense must serve at least four months in prison. This sentence is non-negotiable, and offenders are not eligible for probation, pardon, commutation, or suspension of sentence until they have served the minimum term.

  • Fines and Assessments

    • Convictions for a Class 4 felony DUI come with substantial fines. The court imposes a fine of not less than $750, along with additional assessments totaling $3,250. These include a $250 DUI abatement fee, a $1,500 prison construction fee, and a $1,500 public safety equipment fee. 

  • License Revocation

    • Under Arizona law, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will revoke the individual's driving privileges for at least one year upon conviction. 

  • Ignition Interlock Device

    • Following the revocation period, individuals must install a certified ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles. This device requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before the vehicle can start. The IID must be maintained for a period determined by the court.

  • Additional Penalties

    • Class 4 felony aggravated DUI convictions can also lead to mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs, community service, and other court-ordered penalties. These measures aim to rehabilitate offenders and prevent future DUI incidents. 

Additionally, having prior felony convictions can significantly increase the severity of these penalties. A previous felony DUI conviction can elevate the charge to a Class 3 felony with an extended prison sentence, heavier fines, and longer probation periods.

license revocation and reinstatement after an aggravated dui

What Happens to My License After a Third DUI Offense

Following a third DUI offense in Arizona, your driving privileges face significant repercussions. Under Arizona law, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will revoke your license for at least one year.


To reinstate your license after this period, you must complete mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs, provide proof of insurance (SR-22), and install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you operate.

What Defense Strategies Can Be Used Against an Aggravated DUI Charge

Facing an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona is daunting, but several defense strategies can be employed to challenge the accusations and potentially reduce the penalties. Here are some common defenses:


Challenging the Legality of the Traffic Stop

One of the primary defense strategies is to question the legality of the traffic stop that led to the DUI arrest. If the defense can prove that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to make the stop, any evidence obtained during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.


Questioning the Accuracy of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are often used as evidence in DUI cases, but they are not always accurate indicators of impairment. The defense can challenge the administration and interpretation of these tests, highlighting any procedural errors or factors that may have affected the results, such as medical conditions or environmental factors.


Contesting the Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results

Breathalyzer and blood test results are critical pieces of evidence in DUI cases. The defense can scrutinize the calibration and maintenance records of the breathalyzer device, as well as the handling and storage procedures of blood samples. Any irregularities can cast doubt on the reliability of the test results.



Demonstrating Procedural Violations

Law enforcement officers must adhere to strict procedures during DUI arrests. If the defense can demonstrate that the officer failed to follow proper protocol—such as not informing the defendant of their rights or not administering the tests correctly—this can be used to challenge the validity of the charges.


Arguing Necessity or Duress

In rare cases, a defense of necessity or duress might be applicable. This involves proving that the defendant was forced to drive under the influence due to an emergency situation or threat of harm. While difficult to prove, this defense can be effective in specific circumstances.



Presenting Alternative Explanations for Behavior

The defense can argue that the defendant's behavior was not due to intoxication but rather other factors such as fatigue, illness, or medication. Providing alternative explanations for the observed behavior can help to weaken the prosecution's case.

Contact an Arizona DUI Defense Attorney

If you've been charged with an aggravated DUI due to a third DUI offense within seven years, the consequences can be severe. Josh Kolsrud and his team of experienced defense attorneys at Kolsrud Law Offices are here to help. They will craft a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique situation.


He's taken on over 100 trials and handled more than 3,500 cases.


For more details on how Josh Kolsrud can assist with your case, or to schedule a free initial consultation, you can contact him directly at the Kolsrud Law Offices. He is available via phone at (602) 638-3790.

An award-winning criminal defense attorney Since 2006

Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

With over 100 trials to his name, and years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, Josh understands the law, the legal process, and your rights. Josh is also committed to representing every client with utmost integrity and dedication



Josh has prosecuted major crimes on the state and federal level, led a successful anti-human sex trafficking operation that saved lives, and argued before countless juries and justices for his clients



Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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