Arizona State Senator Jim Waring proposed creating a new extreme-DUI classification for drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.20 percent or greater. The law would also require a driver found guilty of Extreme DUI (a 0.15 BAC) to serve a full 30 or 45 days in jail without possibility of a suspended sentence. Currently, in Arizona, a judge can suspend a driver’s sentence if he completes a drug or alcohol treatment, screening, or education program.
Statistics show that drivers with a BAC of 0.15 or more accounted for two-thirds of all alcohol-related vehicle deaths in Arizona in 2005.
Although news stories conflict, Waring’s bill apparently would not raise the BAC limit for Extreme DUI from 0.15 percent to a BAC of 0.20 percent, but rather, create a new DUI classification of driving with a BAC of 0.20. None of the stories indicate what penalties would attach to conviction for DUI with a 0.20 BAC.