Super Extreme DUI in Arizona is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20% or higher A first-time Super Extreme DUI conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor carrying 45 days of jail time, a 90-day license suspension, about $2,750 in fines, an ignition interlock device (IID) for one year, traffic school, and alcohol screening, education, and/or treatment.
In this article, our Arizona criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is “Super Extreme DUI” in Arizona?
- 2. What is the penalty under ARS 28-1382(A)(1)?
- 3. How long will I lose my license?
- 4. What are the best defenses?
- 5. Can Super Extreme DUI convictions be set aside?
1. What is “Super Extreme DUI” in Arizona?
Super Extreme DUI is driving with a BAC of 0.20% or higher.1 This is a dangerously high BAC level that makes it difficult to walk, let alone operate a motor vehicle.
Super Extreme DUI is the most serious of all the misdemeanor DUI charges with the harshest penalties. The next most serious is Extreme DUI, which is driving with a BAC of 0.15% to 0.199%.2 And a regular DUI is driving with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.149%.3
2. What is the penalty under ARS 28-1382(A)(2)?
The sentence for violating Arizona’s Supreme Extreme DUI laws gets harsher with each successive DUI in a seven-year period.
Super Extreme DUI offense
Penalties in Arizona
|First offense in 7 years||Class 1 misdemeanor: |
|Second offense in 7 years||Class 1 misdemeanor: |
|Third offense in 7 years||Class 4 felony: |
Defendants are also responsible for their bail and jail costs in addition to their DUI penalties. Depending on the case, defendants may be eligible for work-release or to serve some mandatory minimum jail time in home detention instead.
3. How long will I lose my license?
A first-time Super Extreme DUI case triggers a 90-day license suspension in Arizona. A second case triggers a one-year revocation. And a third case triggers a three-year revocation.5
The only way Super Extreme DUI defendants can avoid a license suspension is by winning both the criminal case and the Arizona Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) administrative case. Winning just one of these cases will still result in a license revocation.
The MVD hearing resembles a criminal trial: Both sides can introduce evidence and call witnesses to give testimony. However, the MVD needs very little evidence to determine whether alleged DUI offenders were drunk driving and should be stripped of their driving privileges. In contrast, criminal courts require a much higher bar to convict – proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
4. What are the best defenses?
It may be possible to get a Super Extreme DUI charge reduced by advancing any of the following arguments:
- The defendant was never in actual physical control of the vehicle, and someone else was driving.
- The field sobriety tests were not administered correctly.
- The police officer did not have probable cause to arrest the defendant.
- The breathalyzer was not administered correctly.
- The breathalyzer was not calibrated correctly.
- The breathalyzer technicians did not have current certification.
- The lab techs contaminated the blood tests.
- The defendant had a digestive condition that caused the failing breath test result.
- The defendant was exhausted or sick, and the police mistook that for intoxication.
5. Can Super Extreme DUI convictions be set aside?
Yes. Once the criminal case has been closed, the defendant can ask the judge to “set aside” the case. This is a judicial acknowledgement that the defendant completed all the sentencing terms, and the case is in “the past”.6
A “set aside” is not a seal or expungement, which Arizona law does not permit. But “set asides” appear on background checks, and employers are less likely to disqualify job applicants if their convictions get set aside.
Contact our DUI defense attorneys if you’re facing DUI / DWI charges. Our DUI lawyers serve clients throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Maricopa County, and more.
- ARS 28-1382(A)(2); see also State v. Monfeli, (Ariz. Ct. App. 2014) 235 Ariz. 186, 330 P.3d 376, 689 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 8.
- ARS 28-1382(A)(1).
- ARS 28-1391. (People who drive under the legal limit of 0.08% can still face DUI charges for being impaired by alcohol or drugs.)
- ARS 28-1382; Bourne v. McClennen, (Ariz. Ct. App. 2014) 235 Ariz. 423, 333 P.3d 750, 692 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 52.
- ARS 28-1382, et seq.
- ARS 13-905, et seq.