Our last posts in this series (post 1, post 2, post 3) detailed three of the five different first offense DUI statutes (or laws) that you can be charged with in Arizona. While those penalties can seem robust, the next two are by far the most severe.
‘Extreme DUI’ – Misdemeanor Charges
In Arizona, A.R.S. Section 28-1382 (A) – BAC greater than .15 or Extreme DUI – is simply a matter of numbers. If your BAC is above a .15 within two hours of driving, then you will be prosecuted for Extreme DUI under this law.
The Extreme DUI charge is considered a class 1 misdemeanor, and, if you are convicted of (or plead to) this charge, a judge in Arizona will have no choice but to sentence you to a minimum of 30 days in jail, fines of $1,000 to the general fund, fines of $1,000 to prison construction, and a $250 abatement fee.
But keep in mind, that isn’t all you will be faced with…
Is it True That You Pay for Jail Time in Arizona?
Yes, and by now you won’t be surprised by the imposition of significantly more fines. In Arizona, you pay for your own jail time. It can cost as much as $200 for the first day, and $100 for each subsequent day. Fines in excess of $7,000 to $9,000 are not unheard of for a conviction or plea to an Extreme DUI charge.
Additionally, a person who is guilty (by conviction or plea) of an Extreme DUI charge has to pay for and attend alcohol classes, as well have an ignition interlock device installed in a vehicle for no less than 12 months. If charged with an Extreme DUI, a defendant will ALSO be charged with A.R.S. Section 28-1381 (A) (1) – Impaired tothe slightest degree – AND Section 28-1381 (A)(2) – Blood Alcohol Content BAC .08 or above (which were covered in the first and second blog posts in this series).
Extreme vs. Aggravated
Many people mistake Section 28-1382 (A) – BAC greater than .15 or extreme DUI – for an aggravated DUI. However, this is an important distinction, as an aggravated DUI in Arizona has considerably harsher consequences because it is a felony DUI. We will cover Aggravated DUIs in an upcoming post since we are focusing onmisdemeanor charges in this series, so stay tuned.