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Arizona’s Extreme DUI Laws

Arizona is known for having some of the most extreme and severe DUI penalties in the country. In 2007, Arizona introduced new laws to distinguish DUIs into separate degrees of severity based on blood or breath alcohol concentration. So, now if you’re stopped in Arizona and found to have over a .15 blood alcohol concentration, you’ll be charged with an Extreme DUI, and face a minimum of 30 days in jail, rather than the typical 24 hours for less severe infractions.

What are the Penalties for a First Time Extreme DUI?

  • Minimum 30 days in jail; maximum of 6 months in jail
  • 90-day license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device on all of your vehicles for 12–18 months
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Possible vehicle impound
  • At least $2,500 in fees and fines

Penalties for a Second Extreme DUI

  • Minimum of 120 – 180 days in jail
  • 1 year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device on all of your vehicles for 12–18 months after license suspension
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Possible vehicle impound
  • At least $3,000 in fees and fines
  • 30 hours of community service 

The above list of penalties doesn’t even include the costs associated with your car insurance after a DUI. Typically, if you’re convicted of an extreme DUI in Arizona, you can expect to pay around $3,000 more per year in insurance premiums for the next three years. That means you’ll be paying for your DUI long after the offense. 

What is a Super Extreme DUI?

When Arizona introduced the extreme DUI laws nearly a decade ago, they also distinguished a higher set of penalties for those with a .20 or higher BAC. DUI charges that fall into this threshold are typically referred to as a “super extreme DUI”. For a first offense super extreme DUI the minimum jail sentence jumps to 45 days. You’ll also pay a minimum of around $3,000 in fines, have your car impounded for 30 days and be required to have an ignition interlock device on your car for 18 months. If you’ve had a prior conviction or DUI, these penalties only increase. 

The Effects of an Extreme DUI on Your Career

As you can tell, the penalties and expenses are high if convicted of an extreme DUI in Arizona. But nothing compares to the consequences a DUI can have on your future, or career. If you’re job is dependent on a professional license, an extreme DUI conviction has the potential to completely ruin your career. For instance, if you have a commercial drivers license, you will lose it. This even applies to professionals who aren’t required to drive for their job. Teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers, and fire fighters all face major repercussions if convicted. An Arizona DUI conviction is a major threat to anyone who requires a professional license to perform his or her daily job.

Michael Harwin has been practicing law for over 20 years, and has helped defend numerous professionals from DUI charges. If you or a family member has been convicted of a DUI, you can reach Michael at (520) 624-3500 for an initial consultation. You can see a summary of our results here.