Extreme DUI in Arizona

Arizona law is tough enough for a “regular” DUI. But the state also has harsh penalties for those driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15, known as an Extreme DUI.

If you are facing DUI charges of any kind in Arizona, then it is essential to have an experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney to represent you. The stakes are even higher in an Extreme DUI case: you can lose your driving privileges, have to serve jail time, have to drive your car with an ignition interlock device installed, face severe penalties in terms of fines, court costs, and assessments, and have a DUI conviction on your public record.

The Rosenstein Law Group has achieved many client acquittals and dismissals in drunk driving cases, even in cases where a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was alleged. Call (480) 248-7666, day or night, for a free case evaluation of your extreme DUI charge.

How Arizona Law Defines “Under the Influence”

Generally, under Arizona DUI laws, to be considered under the influence of alcohol or drugs you must either be driving the vehicle or in actual physical control of the vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or more, which is the legal limit where (except for commercial drivers and underage drinkers) you are considered under the influence for a standard DUI.

Your BAC level is determined by one or more kinds of tests, the most common of which include breathalyzer tests, blood tests, and urine tests.

How Arizona DUI Laws Define Extreme DUI

Extreme DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor offense in Arizona. For a charge of extreme DUI to apply, your BAC level must be at least 0.15 within two hours from when you were last driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle.

What is “Super Extreme DUI?”

If your BAC level exceeds 0.20, this is known as a “Super Extreme DUI” in Arizona. The penalties involved with a super extreme DUI charge and a Super Extreme DUI conviction are the topic of a different page on our site.

Within the category of extreme DUI are three levels of severity. These levels depend on the number of times you have been convicted of extreme DUI.

First Offense Extreme DUI Penalties

The Arizona legislature assumes that drivers with enough alcohol in their system to warrant an extreme DUI charge are an immediate danger to the public. Under Arizona laws, the penalties for an extreme DUI conviction are enhanced accordingly:

  • A jail sentence of 30 to 180 days
  • Jail costs, fines, and fees of $2,500 or more
  • Probation up to five years
  • Vehicle impounded for 20 days or more
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days to one year (work permit allowed after 30 days or installation of a certified ignition interlock device for 90 days)
  • Installation of a certified ignition interlock device for 12 months after license reinstatement (installed at your cost)
  • Continuous alcohol monitoring and drug screening
  • Substance abuse or alcohol counseling
  • A community service requirement
  • A three-year requirement to carry SR-22 high-risk insurance at your expense
first offense: extreme dui penalties

Second Offense Extreme DUI Penalties

If you have two DUI convictions in Arizona, with the second extreme DUI offense being within 84 months of the prior DUI conviction, then the penalties for the subsequent Extreme DUI conviction increase dramatically.

In addition to the criminal penalties for a first offense of extreme DUI above, a second offense of extreme DUI carries more severe penalties of 120 to 180 days in jail (mandatory minimum of 24 days with 94 days of home detention or a Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Device), license revocation for one year (no work permit), combined minimum fine and court costs of more than $3,000, and possible vehicle forfeiture.

You can also be required to install an ignition interlock device for at least two years after reinstatement of your Arizona driver’s license.For more information about what is considered extreme DUI under Arizona law, speak with a knowledgeable Scottsdale DUI attorney for a free consultation.

second offense: extreme dui penalties

Third Offense Extreme DUI: Aggravated DUI Penalties

A third-time offense for an Arizona extreme DUI within 84 months, or any third DUI conviction in the same time frame, becomes a form of Aggravated DUI, which is a class 4 felony.

At this felony level, you could face some of the harshest penalties for DUI, including at least four months imprisonment in the Arizona Department of Corrections (as opposed to the County jail for misdemeanor DUI’s), plus required attendance in substance abuse classes and a two-year ignition interlock requirement and at least a one-year revocation of your driver’s license privileges.  On the financial side, penalties for aggravated DUI can be up to $250,000.

An additional consequence of a felony Aggravated DUI conviction is that it can have an impact on any professional licenses you have as well as on your voting rights and your right to possess a firearm.

third offense: aggravated dui penalties

Defenses to Extreme DUI in Arizona

Because a DUI case against you is a serious offense to be charged with, defending yourself against an Extreme DUI in Arizona is not something to entrust to any attorney, even a criminal defense lawyer who does not have the qualifications that an experienced DUI defense lawyer has.

DUI Defense Attorney Experience Matters to You

It takes specialized training and considerable negotiation and trial experience to prepare and conduct the most effective DUI defense. When you are faced with an extreme DUI charge, the stakes are even higher.

With this in mind, when defending an Extreme DUI case at the Rosenstein Law Group, our attorneys employ a full case strategy to attack the prosecution’s evidence.

For example, if your blood alcohol content was measured at 0.15 or higher—the extreme DUI threshold—then we specifically address that issue by challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer machine, the integrity of the lab’s testing procedures, the proper handling in the BAC sample chain of custody, how the blood or urine sample was taken, how much time lapsed, and the methodology used when that blood was tested.

Having a Comprehensive DUI Defense Strategy Matters to You

When defending DUI cases, our Scottsdale extreme DUI lawyers also look at the arrest, determining if police followed proper procedure and observed your rights. For example:

  • Were you in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time? This can depend on the answers to questions like where you were in the vehicle, whether the motor was running, or if the keys were in the ignition.
  • Did the police properly administer any field sobriety tests? Although you may think that field sobriety testing is a cut-and-dried procedure for an Arizona police officer, the police do not always follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test standards as closely as they should.
  • Were the BAC test devices in proper working order? Breathalyzers and other test equipment must be sensitive enough to detect trace elements of drugs and alcohol. This can also mean, however, that these devices must be carefully calibrated and maintained to ensure their results are accurate. If this maintenance and calibration is not performed, or if the procedures are not properly recorded, this can call the accuracy of the testing results into question.
  • Were you given proper access to legal counsel? The timing of when you are allowed to talk to a lawyer when you are accused of DUI can be important, especially if the police did not let you talk with an attorney when they should have. The right to legal counsel when charged with a crime is a fundamental constitutional right in Arizona and the United States generally. If the police do not honor this right, then the entire DUI case against you could be thrown out.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Scottsdale Extreme DUI Lawyer

Defending against a DUI charge of any kind, including an extreme DUI prosecution, involves considerable case preparation and a multi-layered defense. If we cannot get the charges against you dropped completely, then secondary defense strategies can include negotiating with the prosecution to reduce the severity of the charges.

For example, in some cases, it can be possible to negotiate an original charge of extreme DUI down to a lesser DUI charge.

Time is of the essence when you need to defend yourself in an Arizona court against a charge of extreme DUI. The sooner you contact us to arrange for a free initial consultation about your extreme DUI case, the better we can begin to marshal the evidence, witnesses, police reports and records, and other information we need toCall our law offices day or night, seven days a week at (480) 248-7666 for effective defense representation by an experienced DUI attorney, or contact the Rosenstein Law Group online. Your first consultation with us is free.


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