Once you get charged with drunk driving, you may assume that it doesn’t make a difference how far past the legal limit your blood alcohol content (BAC) lies. However, in Arizona, there is a statue devoted to extreme and super extreme DUI. You will get charged with super extreme DUI if your blood alcohol content is 0.20% or higher. A conviction for this offense is likely to bring you severe and life-changing consequences. If you are facing super extreme DUI charges, consider contacting Phoenix Criminal Attorney. Our team of competent attorneys serves clients arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, and aims to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Overview of Super Extreme DUI
The state of Arizona does not treat drunk drivers lightly. This super extreme DUI category was created as a result of the significant growing problem of drunk driving offenses in Arizona. Statistics show that most deadly accidents resulting from DUI are caused by drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.15% and above. This kind of intoxication is too high and makes it difficult for a driver to carefully operate the motor vehicle due to impairment of vision, hearing, and muscle coordination.
The traffic police will stop you with a slight suspicion of drunk driving. You will also be flagged down for traffic infractions such as overspeeding and weaving. The officer will observe you for any signs of alcohol intake, and use them as a basis for further investigation. The investigation will include getting out of your car and performing field sobriety tests. Sometimes even when you pass the field sobriety tests, the traffic officer may still arrest you. This is because they have other reasons for stopping you, such as swaying from one lane to another, watery eyes and alcohol odor. You will also be asked to take a Breathalyzer test to check your alcohol content.
Once you get arrested, you will be asked to give a blood sample for a BAC test. The results of this test will be used as evidence against you in the DUI case. If your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08%, you will get charged with driving under the influence of drugs. However, if your BAC is 0.20 %, you will face charges for super extreme DUI. Although the super extreme DUI law does not appear in the law books, it is used to charge drivers who operate a motor vehicle with extremely high blood alcohol content.
What Happens if I Get Arrested for Supreme Extreme DUI?
Like other DUI cases, if you get arrested for super extreme DUI, the outcome of your case will depend on the following factors:
- The Circumstances surrounding your arrest - This will include the state you were in during the arrest in terms of impairment.
- The level of your Blood Alcohol Content - Individuals with higher BAC will get harsher penalties compared to their counterparts with a lower BAC.
- The strength of your defense - If you are facing super extreme DUI charges, it is wise to seek legal representation from a competent DUI defense attorney.
- Your DUI criminal history - Individuals who have been charged with DUI before will face a harsher penalty compared to first-time offenders.
To get convicted for violation of A.R.S 28-1382(A), which is super extreme DUI, the prosecutor must prove without reasonable doubt that:
- You were in actual control of the vehicle and were driving within the state of Arizona,
- Within two (2) hours of driving, your blood alcohol content was more significant than 0.20%, and
- Your high blood alcohol content was a result of alcohol consumption and not any other factor.
What are the Penalties for Super Extreme DUI?
If you get arrested with a blood alcohol content of 0.20% or higher, you will get charged with super extreme DUI. Individuals convicted for this category of DUI offense receive harsh penalties and longer jail time compared to standard and extreme DUI offenders. However, the consequences of super extreme DUI will vary depending on the criminal record of each defendant. These penalties will include:
Penalties for a First Super Extreme DUI in Arizona
Even for first time offenders, individuals who drive with a BAC higher or equal to 0.20% will face:
- Forty-five (45) consecutive days spent in jail. Upon completion of three (3) days, you will be eligible for home detention. This is an alternative to imprisonment in your home. Arizona launched the home detention; as a result, increasing DUI cases. It entails electronic monitoring, and you are required to pay for it,
- Jail costs and a fee of up to three thousand, seven hundred and fifty ($3,750), which includes home, detention, and monitoring fees,
- Fines and expenses not exceeding three thousand, two hundred and forty-four ($3,244) dollars for super extreme DUI,
- Mandatory alcohol abuse classes. You will be required to attend thirty-six (36) classes which will cost you five hundred and eighty-five ($585) dollars,
- Substance abuse screening which will cost you fifty ($50) dollars,
- Suspension of your driver’s license suspension for three (3) months. The first thirty (30) days are for no driving while you can seek a restricted driver’s license for the rest of the remaining time,
- SR22 insurance coverage for three (3) years. This type of insurance costs five hundred ($500) dollars per year. Therefore, you will spend one thousand five hundred ($1,500) for three (3) years,
- Increased insurance rates up to nine thousand ($9,000) dollars for three (3) years, and
- Probation not exceeding five (5) years and possible impounding of your vehicle.
Penalties for a first super extreme DUI offense can be modified and enhanced depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, having a minor present in your car during the arrest as well as driving without a valid license can get your charges enhanced. The consequences of a super extreme DUI can be life-changing. It is essential to seek legal representation if you find yourself facing these charges.
Penalties for a Second Super Extreme DUI Charge with a BAC of 0.20% or More
Arizona DUI laws do not tolerate repeat offenders. A repeat offense of super extreme DUI within seven (7) years of any DWI charge will attract the following penalties:
- Compulsory one hundred and eighty (180) days in jail. Upon completion of thirty-six (36)days in prison, you are eligible to get home detention.
- Jail costs amounting to four thousand, six hundred and fifty ($4,650) dollars in fines and fees. This is approximate of detention costs and monitoring fees.
- Costs for substance abuse screening amounting to fifty ($50) dollars
- After conviction, you are expected to attend thirty-six (36) hours in a DUI school. This will cost five hundred and eighty-five ($585).
- Excluding the jail costs, you will pay fines that total up to two thousand, five hundred ($2,500) dollars.
- For a second DUI offense, your license will get suspended for one (1) year. During the period of suspension, the Department of Motor Vehicle will not issue you with a restricted license.
- SR22 insurance for three (3) years, which will cost you a total of one thousand five hundred ($1,500) dollars. Drivers are required to have insurance coverage in Arizona. This insurance should be from a company that is authorized by the state. If you get convicted for a DUI offense, your license will get suspended. Once the suspension is over, you will be expected to show your proof of responsibility by obtaining SR22 insurance.
- You may be asked to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers impact panel which costs one hundred ($100) dollars.
- A conviction for a second super extreme DUI will increase your motor vehicle insurance rates by three thousand ($3,000) dollars for three (3) years.
- Possible vehicle impoundment.
- Penalties for a Third or fourth Super Extreme DUI Offense
Your future could be at stake if you get charged with super extreme DUI. Third and fourth-time offenders will face not less than four (4) months in jail without possible home detention. Your driver’s license will get revoked, and you will not get a restricted license until the revocation period ends. To get the license reinstated, you will have to get an SR22 to prove insurance responsibility.
Also, you will be put on probation and have to report to the probation officer frequently. In addition, you will attend medical treatment and alcohol counseling and a minimum of thirty (30) hours doing community service.
Ignition Interlock Device Installation for Super Extreme DUI
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small breathalyzer machine that is installed on the vehicle dashboard. If your license is suspended for super extreme DUI, you must breathe into the device before starting your car. If the breathalyzer detects the presence of alcohol in your breath, your vehicle will not start. However, if you are already driving and the device detects the alcohol, the car will not stop, but the results will be sent to the Department of Motor vehicle. Individuals found guilty of super extreme DUI are required to install the Ignition interlock device in their cars.
If you are mandated by the Arizona DUI law to install the device after the license suspension, the installation must be done by an MVD authorized company. You will also be required to provide proof of installation. Different forms are used by the MVD to monitor a driver who is required to have the IID. If this is not your first DUI offense, you will get a license that is marked Ignition Interlock. This will inform law enforcers of your situation if you are stopped in traffic. If you get convicted for super extreme DUI, you will be expected to retain the ignition device for eighteen (18) months.
Getting Your Name in The DUI Offenders List After a Super Extreme DUI Conviction
If you get arrested for DUI, you will get a mug shot before booking. The booking photos of most Individuals who get convicted for DUI are published on the county website for everyone to see. This increases the chances of your name getting out into the open. Although the sensitive details of your case will not be indicated on the pictures, your photo will appear on the website alongside your alcohol content results.
Getting your name on the DUI offender’s list in Arizona will deter your chances of getting and retaining employment. This is because most employers will do background checks on potential employers before hiring. If you are facing super extreme DUI charges, you need to seek help from a competent criminal defense attorney. Their expertise will increase the chances of your charges getting reduced and keep your name away from the DUI offender’s list.
Out of State Super Extreme DUI Offenders
If you are visiting the state of Arizona from another state, and you end up committing a super extreme DUI offense, you will go to trial in Arizona. However, you will have a difficult time to prove your case or get a plea. Most prosecuting officers offer long jail periods for out of state super extreme DUI offenders. You may get the same sentence even when you go to trial and lose the DUI case.
Offenders from Arizona will most likely retain their employment during the time they spend in jail. Some may be granted leave from work or home detention during this period. For the out of state offenders, the only option they have is going to trial. Losing the lawsuit will mean spending time in jail without an opportunity for home detention.
Legal Defense Against Super Extreme DUI in Arizona
One of the common mistakes people make is assuming that the evidence a prosecutor presents in your DUI case is undefeatable. Regardless of nature or circumstances surrounding your super extreme DUI charges, there is a possibility of winning your case. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can preset the following defenses in your case;
Challenging the results of the chemical tests
The chemical tests that you undergo before and after getting arrested for DUI are breathe and blood tests. Although Breathalyzer tests are the most common method used to detect the alcohol content of drivers in Arizona, mistakes can happen. The machines can be faulty, and testing errors can occur, making the results unreliable. Factors such as environmental conditions and your physiological factors may also affect the results detected by this device. If you can effectively show that an error occurred when taking the breath test, this piece of evidence can be rendered inadmissible.
The blood test is often considered the most reliable means of DUI testing. However, it may also be prone to error, and you can challenge these results in court. There are ways in which the blood could be tampered with, such as contamination or mixing of the samples. Your attorney can gather evidence to help you challenge the blood test results. Arizona law requires blood tests to be handled with strict regulations.
The sample should be drawn by a qualified technician and should be stored appropriately. If any of the regulations were compromised when handling your blood tests, the results could be considered inaccurate. This will reduce evidence against your super extreme DUI charges and give you a fighting chance in the case.
For both the blood and the breath tests, you can give alternative explanations for the amount of alcohol found in your sample. Sometimes these devices detect all alcohol in your body regardless of the source. You can claim that your alcohol content levels were elevated by other factors like a medical condition or some food you had consumed. You can also argue that at the time you were driving, your alcohol content was not as high as that which was detected when you got to the station. If you can successfully explain an alternative reason for your BAC being 0.20% or more, you can fight your super extreme DUI charges.
Constitutional and Procedural Violations
During the whole incident of your stopping and arrest for super extreme DUI offense, the traffic officers should follow the law. Even before stopping you, the traffic officers should have a probable cause to do so. Your rights as an individual should not be overlooked, and you also have a right to refuse the tests you are asked to take. If any of your rights were violated during the arrest or taking of the samples, you could use this to discredit the prosecutor’s report.
A Disconnect between your BAC Results and your Behavior
To get convicted for super extreme DUI, you must have been driving while severely intoxicated and with a BAC of 0.20% or more. If the results of your BAC do not align with the behavior the arresting officer claims to have observed, you can deny the claim of intoxication. If you can argue your case persuasively, the prosecutor could reduce your charges to a standard DUI, thus decreasing penalties.
Fight Super Extreme DUI Charges With The Help of a Phoenix Criminal Attorney Near Me
Having an extreme DUI case hanging over your head is emotionally and financially draining. If you are convicted for super extreme DUI in Arizona, it is difficult to get a second chance for your freedom. There are numerous factors that affect the outcome of your case, thus creating fear and uncertainty for you. Fortunately for you, Phoenix Criminal Attorney is ready to help you. Our attorneys are experienced in DUI law and will spot any weakness in the prosecutor’s testimony and develop a sound defense for your case. If you are facing extreme DUI charges anywhere in Phoenix, AZ, you will need us in your corner. Call our Phoenix criminal lawyer today at 602-551-8092 and let us help you.