While anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.08 may be arrested for DUI, certain conditions can elevate the criminal allegations you end up facing in court. If your BAC is high enough, you may be charged with extreme DUI rather than standard DUI, a designation that allows for significantly harsher penalties for even a first conviction.

Contesting these kinds of accusations effectively almost always requires help from a knowledgeable defense attorney who has successfully handled similar cases in the past. A conversation with one of our Chandler extreme DUI lawyers could help you understand how Arizona defines this offense and what your options for defending yourself might be.

What is the Difference Between Standard DUI and Extreme DUI?

Standard DUI and extreme DUI are distinct offenses defined by separate statutes under Arizona state law. According to Arizona Revised Statutes §28-1382, someone may be charged with extreme DUI if they are found in control of a vehicle with a BAC of 0.15 or more. In other words, about twice the BAC required for a standard DUI arrest, as per A.R.S. §28-1381.

There are additional forms of DUI codified under state law that can result in even more severe consequences upon conviction. A BAC of 0.20 or more may result in a charge of super extreme DUI, and anyone who drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child under the age of 15 is in the vehicle with them may be charged with aggravated DUI—a felony offense—under A.R.S. §28-1393. A seasoned defense attorney in Chandler could help someone accused of extreme DUI offenses understand their legal options and choose the right course of action to defend their best interests.

Penalties for Extreme Intoxicated Driving Convictions

Compared to a standard DUI, a conviction for a first offense of extreme DUI in Arizona results in significantly steeper sanctions. For instance, the absolute minimum jail sentence a convicted defendant could receive is 30 days with no parole or suspension.

In addition, they will have to pay at least $2,500 in fines, install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle for 12 months at their own expense, endure a license suspension of anywhere from 12 to 36 months, and provide of SR-22 insurance before they can regain driving privileges. At the discretion of the court, they may also be required to complete alcohol awareness training, driving school, an alcohol abuse program, and/or community service.

A second extreme DUI conviction within seven years is punishable by a minimum jail term of 120 days—at least half of which must be served consecutively—and minimum fines totaling $3,250. A minimum license suspension of 12 months will also be required, as well as at least 30 hours of community service.

Finally, third and subsequent extreme DUI convictions are considered to be felony aggravated DUI offenses, meaning that a convicted individual would have to spend six months in jail at minimum, pay up to $20,000 in fines, attend substance abuse classes, and keep an IID installed in their vehicle for two years after their driving privileges are restored. Depending on the circumstances and the opinion of the court, it may be possible for a local extreme DUI attorney to negotiate a misdemeanor classification for a third offense.

Work with a Chandler Extreme DUI Attorney

As the name suggests, law enforcement considers extreme DUI to be a more significant offense than standard DUI, and courts are often particularly harsh in these kinds of cases. Unless you retain skilled and dedicated legal counsel, you may have difficulty pursuing a positive resolution to your criminal charge.

A Chandler extreme DUI lawyer could work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure your rights are respected and your best interests are protected. To schedule a complimentary consultation to talk about your specific case, call today. We look forward to meeting with you.