How Arizona classifies DUI arrests

The blood alcohol level of a driver at the time of a DUI arrest can directly affect the charges and consequences that may ensue.

Despite the many stereotypes that abound, such an arrest can happen to anyone. Many highly responsible and respected people in the community can find themselves accused of drunk driving. An arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol can leave drivers in Arizona facing serious consequences.

Understanding what types of factors can impact these potential consequences is important for anyone who drives in Arizona. The amount of alcohol in a driver's bloodstream at the time of an arrest is one of these primary factors. The Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety has identified three distinct DUI charges that are based directly upon the BAC levels of drivers.

Driving while under the influence or DUI charges

The legal limit of alcohol in the blood above which a driver is considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent. Drivers arrested with BAC levels over 0.08 percent but below 0.15 percent will be charged with a DUI. A driver operating a commercial vehicle when arrested will be subject to a lower threshold of 0.04 percent.

Extreme DUI charges

The BAC levels between which a driver will be charged with an extreme DUI are 0.15 percent on the low end and 0.19 percent on the high end.

Super extreme DUI charges

Any driver found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.20 percent or greater will be arrested and charged with a super extreme DUI.

Penalties may increase in severity depending upon the type of charge. For example, a DUI arrest can lead to 10 or more days in jail while an extreme DUI arrest can lead to 30 or more days in jail. Other charges such as vehicular manslaughter or reckless driving can also be faced by defendants.

It is also important to note that BAC levels can be determined, provided that it has been at least two hours past the time the driver was operating a vehicle. A driver can be subject to felony charges for a DUI arrest if that same driver has been arrested and convicted on at least two other impaired driving offenses in the prior 84 months.

Options for drivers arrested on DUI charges

Anyone who has been arrested for drunk driving knows the challenges associated with these situations. Seeking a legal consultation promptly is one of the best things a person can do at these times. Penalties can have a lifelong impact on drivers and a good defense is important.

Keywords: drunk driving, arrest, penalties