In Arizona, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) carries penalties ranging from fines to mandatory jail time.
Like most states, Arizona categorizes levels of DUI.
- Standard DUI is a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is 0.08 or higher, although commercial drivers receive DUI charges with a BAC over 0.04.
- Extreme DUI is a BAC of 0.15 or higher.
- Super Extreme DUI is a BAC of 0.20 or higher.
- Aggravated DUI charges result when you commit DUI with a passenger under the age of 15, or for third offenses.
Although states vary in how they classify the levels of DUI and in punishments levied for conviction, 0.08 is the legal limit in all 50 states plus D.C.
Extreme DUI Penalties, First Offense
A charge of Extreme DUI requires a BAC test within two hours of operating a vehicle, with a reading of 0.15 or higher.
As per statute, the minimum sentence is 30 days, with no eligibility for parole or suspension.
Fines for conviction add up quickly. The initial fine is $250, with an extra $250 paid to the DUI abatement fund. Add $1,000 more for the “prison construction and operations fund,” and an additional $1,000 to the public safety fund, for a minimum total of $2,500. Fines may be higher depending on circumstances, such as whether you caused bodily injury or property damage, or had a minor passenger in the vehicle.
Financial consequences do not end with fines. The state requires installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at your expense, for 12 months upon reinstatement of driving privileges (average cost is approximately $1,500).
In addition, drivers convicted of Extreme DUI must carry SR-22 insurance upon resuming driving privileges. Time limits vary, but the average is 18 months at a cost of $150 per month.
Conviction also carries license revocation for a period lasting between 12 months and 36 months. Reinstatement requires additional fees, passing the Arizona driver’s license test, and submission of court documents and proof of SR-22 insurance.
Finally, depending on individual circumstances, the courts impose a variety of additional penalties. These include alcohol awareness classes, community service, driving survival courses, and a personal alcohol-monitoring device if abstention from alcohol is one of the court’s orders.
Extreme DUI Penalties, Second Offense
A second Extreme DUI conviction within 84 months (seven years) receives a minimum sentence of 120 days in jail, with 60 days served consecutively. Additionally, minimum fines total $3,250, but may be higher depending on circumstances.
Conviction also requires license revocation of at least 12 months, with IID installation upon reinstatement of driving privileges. In addition, you must perform at least 30 hours of community service.
All other penalties assigned to a first offense conviction apply.
Extreme DUI Penalties, Third Offense
Technically, a third Extreme DUI conviction within 84 months of the first conviction qualifies as Aggravated DUI, and is charged and fined as such.
Aggravated DUI is a felony, not a misdemeanor. The minimum sentence is six months in prison, although the city in which you were charged may keep you within its misdemeanor system in the event there is an issue of proof with one of your previous DUI convictions. In this case, time served occurs in jail, not prison, and may allow for a work release of 12 hours per day, five days per week.
In addition to all other penalties for a first conviction, a conviction of Aggravated DUI includes mandatory substance abuse classes and two years of an installed IID upon reinstatement of driving privileges.
Fines alone on a third offense may reach $20,000. In addition, a felony conviction brings a variety of personal and professional repercussions. For example, healthcare providers, real estate agents, and legal professionals may lose their jobs and ability to practice within the state of Arizona.
The Bottom Line
With mandatory jail time and fines, the penalties for Extreme DUI are severe. An attorney with experience fighting DUI charges in Arizona may be able to reduce fines and other sentencing repercussions. In addition, we can help prove lack of proof in earlier convictions.
If you face Extreme DUI charges, contact Edwards & Petersen today. We believe all clients are innocent until proven guilty, and will fight to protect your rights.