It is a fact of life that people make mistakes. Anyone can misjudge how intoxicated they are and make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel after having one drink too many, even a law enforcement officer.
According to the Arizona Republic, an officer with Chandler Police Department resigned this past June after being arrested on drunk driving charges. 39-year old Garrett Dever was heading “east on Pecos when his vehicle went over the median barrier, striking a pole that fell onto the road.” At first he identified himself to responding officers as “Bruce.” He denied drinking anything but “an empty bottle of Jim Bean was found in the center console of his vehicle.” In addition, a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, also empty, was found in a nearby dirt lot. The Arizona Republic states that witnesses had directed police to the lot because they saw Dever leave something after the accident.
Dever's blood alcohol level was found to be 0.31, nearly four times the legal limit. He was charged with an extreme DUI as well as other counts.
Regular, Extreme, And Super Extreme DUI
In Arizona there are different levels of driving under the influence (DUI). A regular DUI offense occurs when an individual's blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08 but less than 0.15 percent. Under Arizona law, A.R.S. 28-1382, an Extreme DUI is:
It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state if the person has an alcohol concentration as follows within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle:
1. 0.15 or more but less than 0.20.
An extreme DUI is considered to be a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, the sentence imposed depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. There is a mandatory minimum jail term for this offense of 30 days behind bars. However, at the discretion of the judge, all but nine days of the minimum jail term can be suspended if a person equips an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle for at least twelve months. In addition, the driver's vehicle can be impounded for 30 days.
There is one additional level of DUI in Arizona, known as a Super Extreme DUI. This occurs when a driver has a BAC of 0.20 or greater. A Super Extreme DUI, though it sounds ominous, is still considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty for this offense includes a minimum of 45 days in jail. But, as with Extreme DUI, part of the sentence can be suspended if the driver has an ignition interlock device installed for a year in his or her vehicle. This offense can also result in the driver's vehicle being impounded for 30 days.
Regardless if it's regular, extreme, or super extreme DUI, the penalties can be serious, and they apply to anyone driving on Arizona's roads, including police officers whether on or off duty.