A Mohave County Sheriff’s Officer recently pulled over a man found speeding on County Route 1. When the Sheriff’s deputies approached the car, they smelled alcohol on the driver.
The deputies arrested the driver and took him to the Mohave County Substation where his blood was tested. What the test revealed was shocking-a blood alcohol level of .328 percent-over 4 times the legal limit. Because his blood alcohol level was so high, he was charged with super extreme DUI.
Arizona is one of the minority of states that have created enhanced penalties for motorists convicted of “super extreme DUI.” Super extreme DUI penalties apply to anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .20 percent and above. Although the offense is still a misdemeanor, the penalties are as or more severe than some felonies.
For instance, offenders charged with super extreme DUI will most likely face enhanced jail time-even for first-time offenders. Under Arizona law, those convicted must serve no fewer than 45 consecutive days in jail, compared with 10 as little as 1 day in jail for those with a blood alcohol level of .08. The offender’s license is also automatically suspended for 90 days.
Fines are also higher for super extreme DUI offenders. Those convicted must pay a fine of not less than $1500 plus additional assessments that can be many thousands of dollars. In addition, the driver may be required to perform community service or restitution.
In addition, offenders must equip and maintain in their vehicles-at their own expense- ignition interlock devices for 18 months after their licenses have been reinstated. These devices prevent the driver from operating the vehicle if it detects a certain low level of alcohol in the driver’s breath.
In Arizona, the penalties increase even more for super extreme DUI offenders if the driver has a previous conviction for super extreme DUI or an ordinary DUI, in Arizona or another state, within the prior seven years.
As the penalties for driving under the influence involve heavy fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges, tens of hours of alcohol classes it is important to consult with experienced legal representation throughout the process. Your DUI lawyer will understand the laws and procedures and help mitigate both short and long term consequences you may face.