In the state of Arizona, there are a few factors that can turn a misdemeanor DUI into a much more severe felony charge. A DUI can jump to an aggravated DUI if certain conditions are present when a driver is pulled over. This is different from an extreme DUI charge. Both are more severe than a regular DUI, yet they are extremely different from one another.
An aggravated DUI is essentially a DUI with certain “aggravating factors” present at the time of the arrest. These aggravating factors are deemed so significant that they turn an otherwise misdemeanor offense into a felony.
Such “aggravating” factors include:
Depending on the situation, drivers who face aggravated DUI charges are up against felony charges. Prison time, steep fines, mandatory ignition interlock device requirements, license revocation and decade long probationary periods are also possible.
An extreme DUI is different from an aggravated DUI because it refers not to factors present at the time of the arrest, but merely to the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, level.
In the state of Arizona, a driver with a .08 BAC or higher is driving over the legal limit. However, any driver found with a BAC of .15 or above will be charged with extreme DUI. Drivers operating a vehicle with a .20 BAC will be charged with super extreme DUI.
Unlike an aggravated DUI, an extreme DUI is still a misdemeanor, but the penalties for extreme and super extreme DUI in Arizona are much more severe than for a standard DUI.
Whether a driver is facing a standard DUI, aggravated DUI or extreme DUI, immediately consulting with a DUI attorney soon after a drunk driving arrest is vital. There is too much at stake, both short term and long term. A DUI can affect a driver’s life years after the conviction.