The Arizona legislature passed some dramatic changes to Arizona DUI statutes. Let’s review some of the changes to the Extreme DUI (0.15% or Higher) statute that haven’t gone into effect yet, but when they do, will dramatically change DUI prosecutions. I’ll discuss the offense of Extreme DUI (0.20% or Higher) in a separate article. Jail The first question that comes to the minds of almost everyone charged with Extreme DUI is: Am I going to jail and, if so, for how long? If you are convicted of Extreme DUI (0.15% BAC or higher), Arizona law requires you to be sentenced to 30 consecutive days in jail. The law does say “consecutive” so if you served 29 days pre-sentence, bonded out or got released, and then you get convicted, you must got serve all 30 days consecutively. You cannot apply credit for the days you already served (unless they add up to 30 or more consecutive days). But the Arizona legislature recently passed some amendments to the Extreme DUI statute. And there’s a big one in there when it comes to the mandatory jail sentence for an Extreme DUI (0.15% or more). Yes, if convicted of the offense, the defendant is still required to be sentenced to 30 consecutive days in jail. But here’s the change: “the judge may suspend all but nine days of the sentence” (emphasis added) if the person equips any vehicle they operate with an ignition interlock device for 12 months. So here’s how it works. If a person is convicted of the new Extreme DUI (0.15% or Higher) law in Arizona, that person will be sentenced to at least 30 days in jail, but that person may get 21 of those days suspended if the person equips their vehicle with an ignition interlock device. The good news is, then, that you wouldn’t have to serve 30 full days in jail, as the current law requires. You may only serve 9 days total. But you must comply with the ignition interlock device order, or else you’re back in the slammer for at least 21 days.
Drivers License Suspension
The other main question that comes to mind is: Will my drivers license be suspended? If you’re convicted of Extreme DUI (0.15% or Higher), then yes it will be suspended. But the new law affects the length of suspension in a significant way.
It used to be that your license would be suspended for a full 12 months upon conviction. However, the new law only requires you to serve 45 days of that 12 month suspension before you are eligible for a “special ignition interlock restricted driver license” that could get you back driving in as little as 45 days, or 320 days sooner than under the previous law.
Again, you must comply with all iginition interlock device orders and requirements, or else it’s back to jail and back to having a suspended drivers license. Those are the main changes, for now.
There are more, but jail time and license suspensions are the most dramatic changes to the Arizona Extreme DUI law. If you need further information, or have been charged with a DUI, call Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation.