The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

What are Extreme and Super Extreme DUIs?

A Kingman man is facing an extreme DUI charge after his truck hit a gas meter, two fences and two parked cars before slamming into a home, The Associated Press reports.

Though the "extreme" category name sounds hyperbolic and almost comical, the penalties for an extreme or super extreme DUI are anything but amusing -- as busted judges and cops could tell you.

But what exactly are extreme DUIs and super extreme DUIs?

Arizona's Tiered DUI Levels

In May 2007, former Governor Janet Napolitano signed tiered-DUI legislation into law. That law created three DUI categories: DUI, extreme DUI, and super extreme DUI.

As a result of the legislation, Arizona is home to some of the toughest DUI laws in the entire country.

The different DUI categories hinge on the level of the drunk driver's BAC. A "regular" DUI requires a BAC of .08 to .1499. Anything above that pushes the driver into the extreme DUI and super extreme DUI range.

Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI

Under Arizona's DUI law, any person driving with a BAC of .150 to .199 percent can be charged with an "extreme DUI." The penalties include a minimum of 30 days in jail, a $250 fine, a $250 DUI assessment, a $1,000 assessment to the state prison fund, and a $1,000 assessment to the state public safety fund.

By contrast, a person driving with a BAC of .20 percent or greater may be charged with "super extreme DUI." A super extreme DUI conviction is punishable by a minimum sentence of 45 days in jail, $2,750 in fines, a minimum 90-day license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock system for at least a year.

Considering the much lesser penalties of a "normal" DUI charge -- up to $1,800 in fines and a minimum of 10 days of jail time that can be largely waived through participation in a substance abuse program -- the extreme DUI categories certainly live up to their names.

If you're facing an extreme DUI situation (literally or figuratively), you may want to consult an experienced DUI attorney to explore your legal options.

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