In the state of Arizona, there are three different crimes that you can be charged with for driving under the influence: DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI.
The charge depends on the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that is taken “within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle” according to Arizona Revised Statute 28-1382 A. Penalties for each charge are different, depending on the degree of the charges.
Extreme DUI Penalties
To be charged with an Extreme DUI, the BAC that is taken by police officers must be in the range of .15 to .20.
You can be charged at the time that you are found in control of the vehicle or within two hours of having been in control of a vehicle.
This means that if you are questioned by police for whatever reason while you are at an Extreme DUI Blood Alcohol Content and you admit to having driven within two hours prior to that, you can be charged.
The BAC has to have been from consuming alcohol while or before you were driving. You cannot be charged if the BAC results from consuming alcohol after driving.
First Time Offense Penalties
A common misconception is that an Extreme DUI is a felony offense. It is actually a Class One Misdemeanor—a degree lower than a felony. Even if an Extreme DUI is a first time offense for you, the charge still has very strict penalties.
If convicted, the minimum time spent in jail will be 30 days but can be longer if the judge decides that it is fit to extend the sentence based on the circumstances of the charge. Until the 30 or more days are served, the driver cannot request to be put on probation or to suspend the sentence.
The minimum court ordered fine will be $250, but like the jail sentence, can increase at the judge’s discretion. In addition to the fine, there is addition assessment that is also $250 as mandated by ARS 28-1304.
This assessment is actually a payment to a state fund that in turn uses the money as a grant program to help prevent driving and boating under the influence by educating the public.
There are another two assessments that the driver will be responsible for, each costing $1,000 for a total of $2,000.
One part of this assessment is used by the state to equip police officers with their necessary materials for duty. The other part of the assessment is spent on prison construction and operation funds in order to offset prison crowding.
In addition to these fines, the driver’s license will be suspended until an interlock device is installed in all of the cars that the driver uses.
An interlock device is a breath analyzer that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system. In order to start the vehicle, the driver’s BAC must be at an acceptable level, explained in ARS 13-01 Article 4.
The driver will take on the financial responsibility that is required to have the interlock devices installed and removed.
This device has to be used for a minimum time of a year to fulfil the sentence.
Community service may also be ordered by the court.
Super Extreme DUI Penalties
Super Extreme DUI is the most serious charge for driving under the influence. People charged with a Super Extreme DUI are drivers with a BAC of .20 or higher. Due to the nature of the offense, the penalties are increased from Extreme DUI:
- Jail sentences for this offense is increased to 45 days in jail consecutively—15 days higher from the 30 days in jail for Extreme DUI.
- Fine minimums are also increased from $250 to $500
The assessments remain at $1,000 for this offense as well as the interlock device penalties.
Repeat Offense Penalties
Arizona has a zero tolerance policy for repeat offenders; Drivers that are convicted for a second time with a DUI within 84 months—or 7 years—are subject to even harsher penalties:
- The jail time required to serve is bumped up to 120 days, or 4 months, and 60 days of which must be served consecutively.
- Super Extreme DUI drivers must serve a minimum of 180 days, or six months, and have to serve at least 90 of those days consecutively.
- Combined fines and assessments are increased. A $250 fee will be imposed and the two separate $1,000 assessments are increased to $1,250 each.
- Two more fees are added, each costing a minimum of $250.
- Interlock devices are reinstalled into the vehicles that the drivers use for a minimum of 12 months where the driver is again responsible for the cost of installation and removal.
- A minimum of 30 hours of community restitution will be ordered by the court.
How JacksonWhite Can Help
The state of Arizona has some of the most severe DUI laws in the United States. People that are found guilty of driving under the influence can face financial hardship and a criminal record that follows them for the rest of their lives.
The attorneys at JacksonWhite, led by attorney Jeremy Geigle, have experience as prosecutors for Arizona as well as Criminal Defense. Have an attorney guiding you through the process that understands both sides of the courtroom. Their invaluable knowledge can help ease the stress of a trial and can reduce charges for better results. To learn more about how we help DUI clients in Mesa, visit our DUI site at MesaDUIAttorneys.com.