DUI Incarceration Costs

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Arizona comes with a criminal conviction on your record, Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) punishments such as a driver's license suspension, points on your license, ignition interlock devise requirements, fines and fees, as well as mandated alcohol screening and classes. A DUI conviction also may result in a sentence to serve a period of time in the county jail.

In Arizona, if you are arrested for DUI or another DUI-related offense it is important that you should consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

While most Arizona residents are aware that persons convicted of a DUI charge in the state will typically serve some time in the county jail or the "tent city" complex utilized by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, most people are unaware that the person also has to pay for his or her jail time. As provided for in the Arizona Revised Statutes, "the court shall order a person who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense and who is sentenced to a term of incarceration to reimburse the political subdivision that is responsible for the costs of the person's incarceration for the incarceration costs."

State law also specifies that "the court may determine the amount of incarceration costs to be paid based on the following factors:

  • "The per diem per person cost of incarceration incurred by the political subdivision that incarcerates the person.
  • "The person's ability to pay part or all of the incarceration costs."

In Arizona, you are required to pay for your own jail time as if you were staying in a hotel. Unlike a hotel, the county jail does not have any amenities. In Maricopa County, the "housing per diem rate is a rate established by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that is charged for incarcerating and maintaining a billable inmate in a county jail housing unit beginning the calendar day immediately following the calendar day on which the individual was booked into the county jail. The final day of incarceration shall not be included in the housing per diem rate invoice. The per diem rate includes health care services, where applicable, provided to a billable inmate, including services provided in a county jail or by any other health care provider."

The average cost for serving time in the county jail can vary but is approximately $200 for the first night of incarceration and then approximately $90 for each additional night of incarceration. Thus, with a long sentence to a county jail facility, a person could end up paying thousands of dollars in jail housing costs in addition to all of the other fines and fees that come along with a DUI conviction in Arizona.

It is important that your DUI legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.