Arizona breaks down DUIs into three categories: DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI. The charge depends on the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that is taken “within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle” according to Arizona Revised Statute 28-1382 A. Penalties for each charge are different, depending on the degree of the charges.
Arizona drivers caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher can be arrested and charged with DUI. However, drivers who are charged with a DUI can be subjected to more severe consequences if the charge is upgraded to an aggravated DUI. DUIs are elevated to aggravated DUIs for the following reasons:
- The driver caused an accident resulting in extensive property damage, serious bodily injury, or death
- A minor under the age of 15 was in the vehicle at the time of the driver’s arrest
- The driver was operating the vehicle on a suspended or revoked license
- The driver has been charged with more than three DUIs within the past seven years
- The driver has a prior criminal record
A DUI is categorized as a class one misdemeanor in Arizona. An aggravated DUI is considered a felony offense. As a felony, penalties for aggravated DUI include:
- Time in state prison
- Large fines, probation, community service
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes
To be charged with an Extreme DUI, the BAC that is taken by police officers must be in the range of .15 to .20.
Police officers can charge you with an Extreme DUI within two hours of being questioned. This means that if you were questioned by police while your BAC was within the .15 to .20 range and you admit to operating a vehicle within two hours prior, you can be charged with an Extreme DUI even if you are not behind the wheel at that moment.
The BAC has to have been from consuming alcohol while or before you were driving. You cannot be charged if the BAC results from consuming alcohol after driving.
Super Extreme DUIs
The most serious offense when driving under the influence is the Super Extreme DUI. People charged with a Super Extreme DUI are drivers with a BAC of .20 or higher. Due to the nature of the offense, the penalties are increased from Extreme DUI:
- Jail sentences for this offense are increased to 45 days in jail consecutively—15 days higher from the 30 days in jail for Extreme DUI.
- Fine minimums are also increased from $250 to $500