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Extreme DUI & Super Extreme DUI

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Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI in Arizona

In Arizona, being charged with driving under the influence can potentially wreak havoc on your life. While the penalties for even a first offense DUI are harsh, the potential consequences of an extreme or super extreme DUI in Arizona are even more severe.

If your blood alcohol concentration tests at 0.15% or higher within two hours of driving, you can be charged with one of these more serious DUI offenses.

Because of the potential penalties that you could face, you should talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta as soon as possible for help with defending against your charges.

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Arizona Extreme DUI Laws, Penalties & Defenses

What is an Extreme DUI in Arizona?

Under ARS 28-1382(A)(1), you can be charged with an extreme DUI if you have a BAC of 0.15% to 0.199% within two hours of when you drove. The penalties for an extreme DUI are more severe than for a regular DUI.

A first or second offense extreme DUI is still a misdemeanor. You can be charged with this offense if you are driving or have actual physical control of a vehicle and have a qualifying BAC within two hours of driving.

If your BAC tests at 0.20% or higher, the police officer will instead charge you with a Super Extreme DUI.

Harsh Penalties for an Extreme DUI

If you are convicted of an extreme DUI, your penalties will depend on certain aspects, such as your previous record. The penalties for repeat DUIs are more severe than for a first offense DUI.

If you have one or more prior DUIs within the last seven years, your penalties will be more severe. If certain aggravators are present, you could be charged with an aggravated felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor offense.

Being convicted of an extreme DUI as a first offense, you will face the following penalties:

  • Minimum jail sentence of 30 days up to a maximum of 180 days
  • More than $2,500 in fines plus jail costs
  • Mandatory substance abuse screening plus any recommended classes
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device installation for 12 months at your own expense
  • Community service
  • Minimum suspension of your driving privileges for 90 days
  • 8 points on your Arizona MVD Driving Record

The court can suspend 21 days of your minimum mandatory jail sentence at its discretion if you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 12 months. However, a suspension will not be automatically granted.

Even if you do receive a suspension, you may still have to serve time in jail for at least 9 consecutive days. In some cases, you may be eligible to serve up to 7 out of the 9 remaining days on home detention.

For a second extreme DUI conviction within seven years, you will face the following penalties:

  • Jail for a minimum of 120 days up to 180 days with no suspension
  • Fines of more than $3,600 plus jail costs
  • Mandatory substance abuse screening and alcohol classes
  • Minimum 12-month ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • At least 30 community service hours
  • Traffic Survival School
  • 12-month revocation of your driver’s license
  • 8 points on your Arizona MVD Driving Record
  • Up to 5 years of probation

It’s important to note that your prior conviction does not have to be for another extreme DUI in Arizona. You can be charged and convicted of a second offense if you have any prior type of DUI conviction within the past seven years, even an out-of-state prior DUI conviction.

If you are convicted of a third extreme DUI offense within seven years, the prosecutor can charge you with an aggravated DUI under ARS 28-1383. This is a felony and carries very severe penalties, including a mandatory minimum of 4 months of prison time.

Anyone facing an aggravated DUI charge should promptly schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta.

What is a Super Extreme DUI in Arizona?

Under ARS 28-1382(A)(2), you can be charged with a super extreme DUI if your blood alcohol concentration tests at 0.20% or higher within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of your vehicle.

While a super extreme DUI is still a misdemeanor, it is the most serious misdemeanor DUI offense with which you can be charged in Arizona.

Super extreme DUI charges can come with very harsh penalties and expensive fines. For this reason, it is crucial that you give us a call.

Penalties for a Super Extreme DUI

For the first conviction of a super-extreme DUI, you will face the following penalties:

  • Minimum of 45 days in jail up to 180 days in jail
  • Fines of more than $3,100 plus jail costs
  • Mandatory community service
  • Substance abuse screening and alcohol classes
  • Ignition interlock device installation for 18 months
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • 8 points on your driving record
  • Traffic Survival School
  • Minimum 90-day suspension of your license

For a second conviction within seven years, the minimum jail will increase to 180 days, the ignition interlock device will increase to 2 years, and the driver’s license suspension will increase to one year.

A third super extreme DUI offense within seven years would likely be charged as a felony.

Defending Charges for Extreme DUI or Super Extreme DUI in Arizona

While you might think it is impossible to defend against extreme or super-extreme DUI charges, that is not true. Your defense attorney will carefully review the facts of your case and implement the best possible defense strategy for you under the circumstances.

Some of the potential defenses that might be available include the following:

  • No reasonable suspicion for your stop
  • No probable cause for your arrest
  • Improperly administered field sobriety tests
  • Inaccurate breath or blood tests
  • Violation of your right to counsel
  • Violation of your right to an independent blood test
  • Chain of custody problems

Unless you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the police officer must have had reasonable suspicion to stop your car. An officer might have reasonable suspicion to support your stop if you committed a traffic violation or if the officer suspected you of committing another crime.

However, an officer may not stop someone based on an inarticulable hunch. For example, if you did not commit any traffic violations and were simply pulled over by the officer because of the time of night or your proximity to a bar district, that is not enough for reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle.

Our attorneys review dash camera footage, body camera footage, and police patrol car GPS data to challenge the legitimacy of a stop. If you were pulled over without reasonable suspicion, your attorney can file a motion to challenge your stop and potentially win a dismissal of the charges against you.

Police officers also must have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime before they can arrest you. During a DUI stop, the officer will observe you and will likely ask you to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests(SFSTs). The officer’s observations and the SFSTs are meant to help the officer develop probable cause.

If you refused to perform the SFSTs, and the officer otherwise appears to have lacked probable cause, your attorney can challenge your arrest, and any evidence gathered afterward, including your breath or blood test results. If the breath or blood test results are thrown out, the prosecutor might offer a plea to a lesser charge or dismiss the case against you.

You are not required to agree to perform the SFSTs. However, if you did perform them, the officer should have administered the tests in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If the officer deviated from the protocols, your attorney could challenge the SFSTs. Your performance on the SFSTs may be used against you at trial. If they are thrown out by the court, it can weaken the prosecutor’s case against you.

Breath tests are administered using specialized machines. In Arizona, police officers commonly use the Intoxilyzer 8000 and Intoxilyzer 9000 machines for breath alcohol tests. These machines must be certified, regularly maintained, and calibrated correctly. Your attorney might ask for the records of the machine to check whether it was functioning properly. He or she might also ask for the administrator’s certification to make sure that it was current when your test was administered. If the machine was not properly calibrated or the certification was expired, the results may be suppressed because of their potential unreliability.

Blood tests must also be performed correctly. For example, if the phlebotomist who drew your blood cleaned the site with an alcohol wipe, it could skew your results higher. The blood sample must also be stored and transported properly, and the analysis must be conducted correctly. If any issues occurred during one of these steps, your attorney might challenge your blood results.

Additionally, you have the right to an Independent Blood Test, and you can request that you be taken to the hospital or that other arrangements be made to have one performed. If the officer refuses, that can be enough grounds to have your DUI case dismissed.

To admit evidence of your blood test results, the prosecutor will first have to establish the chain of custody for your blood sample. Each time your blood sample is transferred to a new custodian, documentation must be completed. If any of this documentation is missing, the blood test results will not be admissible.

Get Help from the Elite Extreme DUI Attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta

Facing a charge of an extreme or super extreme DUI in Arizona can be scary. You might be concerned about what might happen to you and how your life might be affected if you lose your license and have to spend time in jail.

When you are facing a DUI charge in Arizona, you should get legal help from an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Because of the severe consequences of a conviction, you should never attempt to represent yourself.

Contact Colburn Hintze Maletta today at (602) 825-2500.

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