In the span of about a month, two prominent Arizona athletes were arrested on DUI charges. While both were drunk driving charges, one of the athletes was charged with “super extreme DUI.” At first glance, this term may remind you of a movie where a fraternity was put on “double secret probation.” But in Arizona, “super extreme DUI” is no laughing matter.
What is the definition of “super extreme DUI”?
Arizona has three levels of DUI violations:
- DUI – .08 blood alcohol content or BAC level;
- Extreme DUI – at least 0.15 percent but less than .20 percent BAC level; and
- Super extreme DUI – at least .20 percent BAC level.
What are the differences among the three levels?
As with different degrees of most crimes, differences include the amount of the fine assessed and the amount of time of the minimum jail sentence to be served. In Arizona, for the two extreme offenses, those are:
- Extreme DUI – at least $250 and at least 30 consecutive days in jail; and
- Super extreme DUI – at least $500 and at least 45 consecutive days in jail. AZ ST 28-1382
How can these offenses be defended?
Any DUI charge will employ some of the same techniques for acquittal or reduction of the charge such as:
- Failure of the equipment used to measure the BAC level;
- Failure of the person who administered the test to use it properly; and
- Failure to maintain the proper chain of custody of any evidence obtained subsequent to the stop.
Because of the difference between the three types of DUI, it is important to question each step of the arrest from the stopping of the vehicle to the arrest and processing at the jail. A small variation in the BAC reading can make a big difference in the severity of the punishment and long-term consequences associated with each level of DUI charges.
It is important to have the advice of an attorney who understands the difference in the criteria and the consequences of the different levels of DUI charges. To minimize the impact of a super extreme DUI charge to the extent possible, make sure to seek the advice of a DUI defense attorney.