Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can result in life-changing consequences for a motorist and anyone they encounter on the road. According to the Rosenstein Law Group, the penalties for a DUI in Arizona can include anything from time in jail to the revocation of the offender’s license. The severity of the charges against an impaired driver depends on several factors, including the motorist’s level of intoxication and whether they endangered others. In this article, we discuss some of the most common types of DUI charges in the state of Arizona.
A standard DUI charge may be the lowest-level category of impaired driving, but a conviction can still lead to the loss of a motorist’s license and over $1,000 in penalties. A person may be arrested under the suspicion of impaired driving if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 or there is evidence of impairment.
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-1381 states in part that “it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle… while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances.” A conviction of DUI under this law is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona.
#2: Extreme DUI
A motorist may be charged with extreme DUI if they have a BAC between 0.15 and 0.19. Despite the increased severity of this charge, an extreme DUI is still categorized as a class 1 misdemeanor. However, conviction of an extreme DUI in Arizona carries far harsher penalties than those of a standard DUI. Some of the possible consequences include:
- A mandatory jail sentence
- Thousands of dollars in penalties and fines
- Required attendance and completion of a traffic school course
- A driver’s license suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you own
As mentioned above, if you are convicted of an extreme DUI you will be required to serve a jail sentence. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to serve most of your sentence on home detention.
#3: Super Extreme DUI
If a person tests for a BAC of 0.20 or higher, they will be charged with a super extreme DUI. Similarly to an extreme DUI, this category of charge is still considered a class 1 misdemeanor. A driver convicted of a super extreme DUI in Arizona will face the penalties associated with an extreme DUI, along with additional fines and a potentially longer jail sentence. It can be incredibly challenging to contest this level of charge in court, as the prosecutor will likely bring in additional evidence beyond the defendant’s BAC results.
#4: Aggravated DUI
Unlike the other levels of impaired driving charges, conviction of an aggravated DUI is either a class 4 or class 6 felony offense. Felonies are divided into 6 categories in Arizona, with 6 being the least severe charge and 1 being the most serious. A driver may be charged with a class 6 felony if they are driving under the influence with a child under the age of fifteen in their vehicle. To be charged with a class 4 felony, a driver must commit one or more of the following:
- Drive impaired on a revoked, suspended, or canceled license
- Be arrested for DUI while required to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle
- Have three or more DUI charges of any category within an 84-month period
- Be arrested for DUI while driving the incorrect way on a freeway
The penalties for a felony are much more severe than those for a misdemeanor. Offenders may face significant fines, the loss of their license, a prison sentence, and probation.
What to Do If You’re Facing DUI Charges
A DUI arrest can change the trajectory of your life. If you find yourself facing charges for driving impaired in Arizona, it’s important to secure the services of an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. They may be able to prove that the charges in your case are incorrect or have your sentence reduced. You should be sure to use the services of a local law firm that is familiar with Arizona’s DUI laws and regulations.