ARS 28 1382 (A)(1): What You Need to Know About Arizona’s Extreme DUI

by Aaron M. Black • May 19, 2022

Arizona No Tolerance Policy At WorkArizona has a no tolerance policy aimed to reduce the frequency of driving while impaired from alcoholic beverages or drugs, which includes prescription medications. The state has various levels of impairment including an extreme DUI under Arizona Revised Statute §28-1382 (A)(1).

While the baseline DUI is a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent, an extreme DUI is charged if the level of impairment is a minimum of 0.15 percent, which is almost twice as much as the minimum level, and a maximum BAC of 0.19 percent.

How much alcohol is too much?
How much alcohol leads to an Extreme DUI?According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to reach a 0.15 BAC level takes about eight drinks for a 180 pound person and seven drinks for a 160 pound person. One drink is about 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

The thing is that when you finish your alcoholic drink and think you still have your faculties, it takes a little time before the alcohol delivers its full affect.

Actual physical control
Actual Physical ControlA driver does not need to be driving to be arrested for extreme DUI. All that is necessary is for the impaired person to be in actual physical control of the vehicle, which takes many forms. For example if the driver parks in small parking lot then falls asleep behind the steering wheel and the vehicle’s key is in the ignition that is all that is necessary for an arrest.

To avoid an arrest all that is necessary is to place the ignition key on one of the tires so the means to start the vehicle is far away from the person’s position.

Extreme DUI Penalties
The charge of an extreme DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, the most serious of the misdemeanor range.

An extreme conviction is punished for a first-time conviction is a minimum of 30 straight days in county jail, which may be reduced, fines that can total $2,750, driver’s license suspension for at least 90 days, and an ignition interlock device on the vehicle for one year. Penalties may also include community service, alcohol and drug education class at the defendant’s expense, and up to five years of probation.

A second extreme DUI conviction remains a Class 1 misdemeanor but has harsher penalties. These include a one-year revocation of the driver’s license and 120 days in county jail. Fines and surcharges are increased to approximately $2700. A restricted license becomes available after 45 days if the defendant buys SR-22 insurance, completes an alcohol screening, and installs the ignition interlock.

SR-22 insurance
Drivers who are convicted of a second extreme DUI must have their auto insurance provider submit a SR-22 form with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and maintain the SR-22 certificate for three years.

SR-22 insurance is not an actual insurance policy. It is merely legal proof that an auto insurance policy is in force and is proof of your future financial responsibility.  SR stands for Safety Responsibility.

SR-22 insurance is more expensive than an insurance policy. SR-22 is a certification that the defendant’s auto insurance meets the minimum requirements under Arizona law.

Extreme DUI defenses in Arizona
Each case has its own set of facts that can help a defense but the first line of defense occurs at the traffic stop.
The officer will start asking leading questions, such as “How much have you had to drink tonight?” This is an invitation to convict yourself. We all have the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and to have a defense attorney present during the interrogation under the Sixth Amendment. You likely would have done poorly in trying to talk your way out of an arrest anyway.
The arresting officer must under law advise the driver of these Miranda rights at the moment of the arrest. So invoke these rights at the start of the traffic stop. Doing so will be a significate help in developing a viable defense. The prosecution must prove its case against beyond a reasonable doubt and the defense attorney works to establish that doubt.
These are the common extreme DUI defenses:
  • The arresting traffic officer did not have the necessary probable cause to pull you over, such as expired registration, a loud exhaust, or an illegal U-turn.
  • The officer did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion that you had committed, were committing, or were intending to commit a crime. That is based on the officer’s training and experience not just a hunch.
  • The field sobriety test including walking a straight line and other tests were not administered properly by the traffic officer.
  • The breathalyzer device to judge the amount of alcohol in your system produced an inaccurate   reading because the device was not calibrated correctly or the officer did not administer the tests properly. The driver may have failed one or more of the tests because of a physical ailment.
  • In some cases blood will be drawn to use as evidence of impairment but that requires a warrant to take blood issued by a judge and in some instances the warrant may not have been valid,. The blood sample was not properly stored or it was in some way contaminated.
  • The level of intoxication increased after you were stopped because of the body’s alcohol absorption rate and individual metabolism to process the alcohol.
Blood Alcohol ContentPeople absorb alcohol at different rates depending on body weight, body fat, metabolism, a tolerance to alcohol and if a person has eaten or not before drinking. These factors can impact DUI tests.

Note that if marijuana traces were found, even if you have a medical marijuana card, can result in a drug DUI arrest.

Use Aaron M. Black Law for your Phoenix DUI defense
If you or a loved one have been charged or are under investigation for an extreme DUI charge take action immediately to be represented by an experienced DUI defense attorney such as myself.

In my career as an aggressive defense attorney, I know that good people can find themselves in legal trouble and that is why I work hard to ensure they have the best defense possible. I will scrutinizing the state’s evidence and the personnel records of the investigators involved looking for inconsistencies and errors. I also will work to develop information and evidence that is favorable to you.

At Aaron M. Black law you will receive personalized legal services. You will always be talking directly to me, never an assistant, at every step of your case.

Begin your defense immediately by calling 480-729-1683, which is available 24/7, and I will respond promptly unless I am in court on at trial. Or use the online contact form on my website.

I defend extreme DUI charges throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, and Coconino County Superior, Municipal, Justice, and City Courts.


About the Author

Aaron Black Phoenix DUI LawyerAaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal defense matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime cases.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI Attorney and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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