What Are the Differences Between the Arizona DUI Offenses?

In Arizona, DUI law can be quite complicated. One reason for this is that there are several different Arizona DUI laws on the books, and the differences between each of the offenses is not necessarily apparent. Starting with the least serious, the most common drunk driving crimes in Arizona are as follows:

Misdemeanor DUI: Most first and second DUI offenses are considered misdemeanors under Arizona law. Typically, a misdemeanor DUI requires the prosecution to prove that a motorist’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was at least 0.08%, or that they had a controlled substance in their system. However, DUI convictions can be sustained on evidence that a driver was “impaired to the slightest degree,” even without a blood or breath test. Even for a first-time DUI arrest, the consequences of a conviction can be severe, and typically include:

  • At least one day in jail;
  • Upwards of $1,750 in court fines;
  • A 90-day license suspension; and
  • A mandatory ignition interlock device upon restoration of a driver’s license.

Extreme DUI: When a driver’s BAC is more than 0.15%, they may be charged with an extreme DUI. An Arizona extreme DUI is punishable by the following:

  • A mandatory 90 days in jail;
  • Up to $2,500
  • A 90-day license suspension; and
  • A mandatory ignition interlock device upon restoration of a driver’s license.

Super Extreme DUI: While the name may sound a little ridiculous, the charge is anything but. Super extreme DUI refers to a DUI in which the driver’s BAC is over 0.20%. For a first-time super extreme DUI, the penalties include a 45-day jail sentence in addition to those mentioned above.

Aggravated DUI: Even more severe than a super extreme DUI, an aggravated DUI is when someone is arrested for a DUI, and one of the following factors is also present:

  • Their license is suspended or revoked;
  • They caused an accident that injured or killed another person;
  • They have two prior DUI conviction from the past seven years;
  • They were transporting a passenger under the age of 15 at the time of the offense; or
  • They were subject to the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

Arizona aggravated DUI offenses are extremely serious felony charges. If convicted, a motorist could be sentenced to up to four months in jail, fined $4,000, and lose their license for a year.

Regardless of the specific type of offense, there are many ways to fight an Arizona DUI charge. Anyone charged with a drunk driving case should consult with a dedicated Tempe criminal defense attorney to discuss their case.

Have You Been Arrested and Charged with an Arizona DUI?

All Arizona DUI offenses are serious, even for those with no previous criminal record. However, all hope is not lost merely because you have been arrested and charged with a DUI. Attorney Robert Novak is a dedicated Tempe criminal defense attorney with extensive experience assisting clients who are facing DUI cases. Attorney Novak is a skilled negotiator who routinely convinces prosecutors to reduce his client’s charges. However, as an experienced trial attorney, Attorney Novak is not afraid to take a case to trial if the prosecution is not willing to negotiate. To learn more, call 480-413-1499 to schedule a free consultation today.

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