Approximately 30% of fatal accidents in Arizona involve alcohol, and state authorities are serious about strong punitive consequences. Penalties vary for each category, as the Arizona statutes give the court great latitude on properly adjudicating an impaired driving offense. There are effectively two types of misdemeanor DUI charges in Arizona.
A standard charge for driving under the influence of alcohol occurs when the operator tests positive for a blood alcohol content of .08 or above but is below the .15 level. The next type of alcohol DUI is an Extreme DUI. This occurs when the blood alcohol content is above .15 but below .20. The last and most serious type of alcohol DUI is “Super Extreme” and this occurs when the blood alcohol content in above .20.
Alcohol is not the only substance that can generate an impaired driving charge. The second type of misdemeanor DUI is when the operator test positive for a drug defined in ARS13-3401 or its metabolite. These drugs include but are not limited to marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and/or Heroin. It is important to understand that prescribed medications can also provide a basis for a DUI conviction if it is determined that this medication has impaired the operator ability to drive safely.
This being the case a DUI charge can be more complicated than a mere BAC level reading. In addition to the types of DUI all states now use a graduating offense system for prosecuting intoxicated driving cases, and 2nd or 3rd offenses carry much stiffer fines and court-ordered costs. All of these cases are serious legal matters and the defendant needs professional representation.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES?
The types of penalties available vary on the circumstances of the offense. A misdemeanor DUI conviction can mean a revocation of your driver’s license for one year or more; a maximum of 5 years of probation; confinement of at least 1 day with a maximum 180 days. You can also face stiff monetary penalties that add up to approximately $5,000.00. These include fines, costs, jail fees, a $1500 prison fund assessment and $1500 in Department of Public Safety (DPS) fees.
Regardless of the circumstances of your felony DUI, it is not unusual for the Court to order counseling and community service. You may be mandated to attend Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or a similar group program. You may also be subjected to mandatory screening and be the recipient of an interlock ignition, a device that is installed into your vehicle and requires you to breathe alcohol-free breath into it before it will allow your car to start.
As you can see, a felony DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your life. Carlos Brown Law is there to help you get through this difficult challenge. We will perform a detailed investigation into your case, and we will use our knowledge, experience, and skill to fight for your freedom. Although our offices are in Tempe, our services are wide-reaching and include Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Maricopa County, Pinal County and the entire Phoenix Metro area.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, contact Carlos Brown Law today for a free consultation.