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How Much Does an Extreme DUI Cost in Arizona?

Alcohol impaired driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. Known as DUI or DWI, it means someone is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level, or BAC, over the legal limit of .08 percent. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC fact sheet), more than a million people are arrested for DUI every year, and every 53 minutes, someone dies in car crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver.

Extreme DUI Penalties are Expensive! Speak to a Phoenix DUI Lawyer.
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Arizona DUI Charges

Arizona DUI laws are the toughest in the nation. The person arrested is charged with both DUI and DWI and may also be charged with Extreme or Super Extreme DUI as well, if their BAC is high enough.

  • DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A breathalyzer test is not necessary for this charge because it relates to suspicion of driving under the influence. Officers make these stops based on how a person is driving their vehicle. Once stopped, officers pay attention to mental and physical symptoms of impairment and any admissions the driver makes.
  • DWI – Driving While Intoxicated charges do include a breath or blood test, but the driver does not need a BAC of .08 while they are actually driving to be charged. The law applies to having a BAC of .08 percent within two hours of driving. That means a person with a BAC less than the legal limit can still be charged if authorities believe the driver’s BAC was at the .08 level within the previous two hours.
  • Extreme DUI – Driving with a BAC of .15 percent or higher within two hours of operating a vehicle.
  • Super Extreme DUI – Driving with a BAC of .20 percent or higher within two hours of operating a vehicle.

Penalties and Costs

Penalties and costs of an Extreme DUI and DWI are much harsher than a regular DUI. If convicted of these charges, the financial burden is thousands of dollars in jail costs, various fees, increase in auto insurance and other costs.

First offense charges for Extreme DUI include:

  • Minimum of 30 days in jail. Cost is approximately $2,500.
  • Approximately $2,800 in fines and surcharges.
  • $50 for substance abuse class screening.
  • Approximately $600 for substance abuse classes.
  • Driver’s license is suspended for at least three months.
  • Mandatory use of breathalyzer ignition interlock devices (IID) for at least one year. Attached to a vehicle, the driver must blow into it and register a BAC below the legal limit or the vehicle will not start. Cost is approximately $1,000 to $1,200.
  • May be required to get an SR-22 – high-risk insurance certificate – for three years. Cost is approximately $500 per year for a total of $1,500.
  • Increased insurance premiums for three years

Second offense charges for Extreme DUI include:

  • Minimum of 120 days in jail. Cost is approximately $10,000.
  • Approximately $3,700 in fines and surcharges.
  • $50 for substance abuse class screening.
  • Approximately $600 for substance abuse classes.
  • Driver’s license is suspended.
  • Mandatory use of IID for 18 months. Cost is approximately $1,500 to $1,800.
  • Must get an SR-22 high-risk insurance certificate for three years. Cost is approximately $500 per year for a total of $1,500.
  • Increased insurance premiums for three years
  • Thirty hours of community service.

Super Extreme DUI

First Offense

  • Minimum of 45 days in jail. Cost is approximately $4,000.
  • Approximately $3,500 in fines and surcharges.
  • $50 for substance abuse class screening.
  • Approximately $600 for substance abuse classes.
  • Driver’s license is suspended for three months.
  • Mandatory use of IID for 18 months. Cost is approximately $1,500 to $1,800.
  • Must get an SR-22 high-risk insurance certificate for three years. Cost is $500 per year for a total of $1,500.
  • Increased insurance premiums for three years

Second Offense

  • Minimum of 180 days in jail. Cost is approximately $14,500.
  • Approximately $5,000 in fines and surcharges.
  • $50 for substance abuse class screening.
  • Approximately $600 for substance abuse classes.
  • Driver’s license is suspended for one year.
  • Mandatory use of IID for two years. Cost is up to approximately $2,000 to $2,400.
  • Must get an SR-22 high-risk insurance certificate for three years. Cost is approximately $500 per year for a total of $1,500.
  • Increased insurance premiums for three years
  • Thirty hours of community service.

Legal Defense

DUI arrests have serious consequences, but there are many options to successfully defend against them.

  • No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop – Unless the driver is driving in a manner than indicates impairment or has committed a traffic violation, officers cannot stop them for suspicion of DUI.
  • Actual Physical Control – A driver cannot be charged with DUI or DWI if they are not in actual control of the vehicle. Using the car for shelter is not enough to make an arrest.
  • No Probable Cause for Arrest
  • Inaccurate Breath or Blood Testing Device
  • Denial of Right to Counsel – As soon as a driver requests a lawyer, officers must get them to a phone. If not, charges may be dismissed.

If arrested for DUI, getting the right DUI defense attorney quickly is the first and most important part of a great defense. Having an attorney with experience in Arizona Extreme DUI cases could be the difference between jail, huge financial costs and other life-altering consequences or having charges reduced or dismissed.

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