In Arizona, if an officer has probable cause to charge you with driving under the influence (DUI), you are under the “implied consent” law. This means that you are required to take a blood alcohol test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). The state of Arizona states the legal limit for operating a vehicle is .08% BAC, and anything over that is grounds for a DUI.
However, Arizona separates DUI charges by levels, so while everything about .08% can be charged as a DUI, if your BAC is over .15% you face even harsher penalties. A .15% DUI is referred to as “Extreme DUI,” ( anything about 20% is considered a super extreme DUI) and can lead to long lasting consequences. If you are charged with an extreme DUI, it is essential that you gain experienced legal representation to help strategize for the best possible outcome.
According to Arizona Statute § 28.1382, to prove you are guilty of extreme DUI, the officer must provide solid evidence your blood alcohol content was above .15%. Unlike lesser charges, a blood alcohol test is required to prove an individual is guilty of an extreme DUI. If your blood alcohol content tests above .15% within two hours of driving a vehicle, you will be charged with an extreme DUI, but if you test above .20% BAC, you can be issued a super extreme DUI, which has its own set of penalties. The penalties for an extreme DUI conviction can seem daunting, but Scott Stewart at the Stewart Law Group are here to help ensure you get the best outcome possible when facing an extreme DUI.
A first time offense for an extreme DUI with over .15% blood alcohol content is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of at least 30 days and maximum of six months, a minimum fine of $1500 plus surcharge, drug/alcohol screening, suspended license for 90 days and a maximum probation sentence of five years. In addition, if convicted, you will be required to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a year that requires you to pass a blood alcohol test before your engine will start.
As with any other charge, a second offense of extreme DUI faces increased penalties. While it is still classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, a second time extreme DUI has a minimum jail sentence of 120 days and a maximum of six months, a minimum $1750 fine plus surcharge, drug/alcohol screening, one year revocation of your license and a maximum probation sentence of five years. You will also be required to use an ignition interlock device in your vehicle with a second time offense of extreme DUI charge.
While .08% is the legal blood alcohol content limit for operating or being in control of a vehicle, the average BAC for DUIs issued in Arizona has averaged around .15% for the last six years. At the Stewart Law Group, we are experts in Arizona DUI law and will develop the strongest defense to protect you during the criminal trial and Arizona Motor Vehicle Division trial if you receive an extreme DUI charge. Contact our offices to learn more about your legal options and how our team can work to clear your name and regain your rights.