Extreme DUI Penalties Enhanced

In 2007, Arizona’s State Legislature passed two extreme DUI bills which conflicted with one another. One bill prohibited judges from reducing the extreme DUI minimum 30 day jail sentence, while the other bill permitted judges to reduce the sentence.

To resolve this conflict, the State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1004, which takes away a judge’s discretion to suspend any portion of a jail term for a person convicted of extreme DUI.

The Arizona Republic has reported:

Lawmakers moved swiftly Thursday to make more penalties for extreme drunken driving mandatory, a change designed to bring two conflicting provisions of the law into agreement.

Judges no longer would have discretion to waive a portion of the 30-day sentence required for first-time extreme-DUI offenders as well as a portion of the 120-day sentence mandated for second offenders. Judges now can waive 10 days of the first-time sentence and 60 days of the second-time sentence if the offender has completed a court-ordered education, treatment or substance-abuse-screening program.

…The bill passed the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee on a unanimous vote.

As stated in the example above, a first time extreme DUI conviction in Arizona previously required a minimum 30 day jail sentence, of which 20 days could be suspended, provided the defendant successfully completed an alcohol or drug screening (and any recommended treatment.)  So persons convicted of extreme DUI actually only had to serve 10 days. The sentencing language usually read Defendant is sentenced to 30 days of jail and 20 of those days will be suspended upon successful completion of a drug and alcohol screening. Under the new bill, persons must serve the full 30 days.

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