Is Extreme Or Super Extreme DUI A Felony In Arizona?
A common question we get in DUI cases is whether or not an extreme DUI or a super extreme DUI automatically make your DUI a felony, so DUIs in Arizona are misdemeanors, but some people have concerns, they say, if my DUI was an extreme, if it says extreme on my ticket or super extreme, doesn’t that mean that now I’m being charged with a felony?
Well, the answer is no.
By itself, that alone does not make your DUI a felony DUI.
A super extreme DUI, an extreme DUI, are still misdemeanor DUIs unless they’re aggravated by something else that would aggravate them from a regular DUI into a felony DUI, it’s called aggravated DUI, and so we’ll recap quickly how DUIs work in Arizona.
You can be charged with DUI for driving impaired to the slightest degree, that’s probably the first that’s on your ticket. You can be charged with the legal limit DUI, which is the .08, the extreme DUI level is anything that’s .15 or above and then the super extreme level is a .20. So these are all misdemeanor DUIs.
Even if your blood alcohol is a .3, a .4, anything even higher than that, it’s all still a misdemeanor. This is the highest level that we have. Anything above that is still going to be considered as super extreme DUI. So some people will say, even though I have these, I’m still charged with a misdemeanor?
Yes. All of these are misdemeanor DUIs.
The way that you get an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI, and Ryan talks about a lot of these in his video, is if you’ve had a third DUI, third or more, those are all going to be aggravated. If you had a DUI on a suspended license, if you had a DUI when you should have had an intoxilyzer device in your car, if you have a DUI when you’ve got kids in the car, or if you have a DUI going the wrong way. Any of these are called aggravating factors, third DUIs, suspended license DUIs, intoxilyzer, kids or driving the wrong way, that will take it out of the misdemeanor category and make it an aggravated DUI.
So, just the blood alcohol content alone does not make it a felony, so if you’re calling, if you’re worried about the fact that you have an extreme DUI, or you don’t really remember what happened and you think your blood alcohol content’s going to be extremely high, unless you have one of these aggravating factors, it’s not going to be a felony, it’s going to be a misdemeanor.
So if you have questions about that, about DUI in general or you’d like to know more about our office and what we can do to help, give us a call, we offer free case evaluations and we’re happy to sit down with you and put together a plan.
Thanks for watching.
There is a common misconception that when someone is charged with an Extreme or Super Extreme DUI, they are being charged with a felony.
In the state of Arizona, DUI’s are misdemeanor offenses. However, when people look at their DUI citation and see the words “Extreme” or “Super Extreme,” they are led to believe that they are being charged with a felony offense. While Extreme and Super Extreme DUI’s are more serious charges than a basic DUI, they are still misdemeanor charges, not felonies.
As a brief overview, there are a few different ways that one can be charged with a DUI in Arizona.
Impaired to the Slightest Degree: This is a charge that is largely contingent on a police officer’s discretion. This charge has less to do with how much alcohol or substance may be in your system, but how it is affecting you at the time. Generally, if someone is operating a vehicle and they show signs of being impaired in any way (for example: swerving, slurred speech, etc.), they can be charged with a DUI for being impaired to the slightest degree, regardless of their blood alcohol content (BAC).
Legal Limit DUI: This charge is a little more straightforward, as it can be backed up by more patent evidence. If someone drives with a BAC above 0.08%, they can be charged with a DUI for driving with a BAC above the legal limit.
Extreme DUI: This is a charge used when someone is driving with a BAC above 0.15%.
Super Extreme DUI: This is a charge used when someone is driving with a BAC above 0.20%. This is the highest-level DUI charge in Arizona. Driving with a BAC of 0.30% or 0.40% would still be considered a “super extreme DUI,” and are still misdemeanor charges.
Notice that the difference between a regular DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI is nothing more than BAC levels. The level of a person’s alleged blood results does not change the DUI from a misdemeanor into a felony. In other words, you can be charged with a super extreme DUI, be 5 times over the legal limit, and still only be charged with a misdemeanor.
What does change the DUI from a misdemeanor into a felony is whether or not the DUI is considered to be an “aggravated” DUI. Arizona law outlines the factors that would determine whether or not a DUI would be considered an “aggravated” DUI:
- If you’ve had 3 or more prior DUI’s
- If the DUI is charged on a suspended license
- If you are required to have a breathalyzer in your car, but you are driving without one
- If there are kids in the car
- If you are driving in the wrong direction
If any of these factors apply, then you can be charged with an “aggravated DUI,” which is a felony charge.
It is important to bear in mind that, while Extreme and Super Extreme DUI’s are not felonies, the penalties for those charges still increase significantly in terms of fines, jail time, and other penalties.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a Scottsdale DUI attorney immediately. We offer free case evaluations and will be able to put a plan together that will best suit your case.