Driving under the influence (DUI), is a serious charge that can change your life. In most states, 0.08 is the blood alcohol content limit for drivers. Arizona law considers it an extreme DUI if your blood alcohol content is between 0.15 and 0.2 within two hours of driving. An extreme DUI charge can lead to more significant punishments than a regular DUI. Even if the situation seems hopeless, there are ways to recover from an extreme DUI conviction. If you have an extreme DUI charge in Arizona, it is important you know what you can do to get through the conviction and get your life back on track.
Possible Penalties Following Arrest for an Extreme DUI in Arizona
For extreme DUI convictions, the court can give you a range of penalties, the most severe of which include:
- 180 days in jail
- Five years’ probation
- One year with an interlock device
- Alcohol screening and classes
- Community service
Minimum penalties for an extreme DUI in Arizona include:
- Two days, up to 30 days in jail
- $5,500 in fines, fees, and jail-related costs
- Alcohol and drug screening and classes
- License suspension for 90 days
- One year with an ignition interlock device
- 8 MVD points and traffic survival school
- SR-22 insurance policy for up to three years
Will I Need a Lawyer?
Be Honest and Thorough
Extreme DUI convictions can be difficult to face. It is important to be completely honest with your attorney so he or she can plan an effective defense. Any detail could make a difference, so tell your attorney everything you can think of about your arrest. Important information could include the actions of the police officer who arrested you, your own actions, and even details such as your appearance.
Keep in Mind the Driving Ban and Suspension
You cannot drive for the first 30 days after your arrest. Use public transportation, get rides from friends and family, or walk. After the first 30 days, you can get a temporary license that gives you the right to drive to places such as work, school, or jail.
Attend the Pre-Trial Conferences
Before going to court, attorneys hold pre-trial conferences. If you do not go to court, they are meant to give you the opportunity to take a plea bargain. You will most likely only have to attend the final pre-trial conference, as your attorney will be handling negotiations.
Pay Your Fines on Time
It is vital you turn in all your payments on time, if you are paying over multiple months. Serious penalties can result from a missed payment. If it is possible with your current financial situation, it is a good idea to pay the fines all at once.
Attend Your Classes
No matter how the court penalizes you, you will need to attend classes. Alcohol/drug counseling class and traffic survival class are two mandatory courses.
Serve Your Jail Time
People with extreme DUI convictions are usually kept separate from the other incarcerated individuals. There is a commissary available where you can purchase various accessories. You will most likely spend most of the day working.
Complete Home Detention
After serving jail time, you may need to do some home detention time. You will get a device attached to your ankle, and officials will install a breathalyzer in your home that you will blow into at certain intervals throughout the day.
Get a New License and Interlock Device
Once you have finished your home detention, you can pay a fine to get a new license and install a device in your car that does not allow you to turn it on until you blow into a breathalyzer. The machine is sensitive, and can even pick up traces of alcohol if you drank heavily the previous night. Any penalties for traffic violations, including speeding tickets or other fines, are more severe now that you had an extreme DUI, so it is important to be especially careful.