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Legally Speaking: What is next for Steve Keim following DUI arrest?

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim watches practice from University of Phoenix Stadium seats during NFL training camp Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Steve Keim, general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor DUI on July 4. This event has led many to wonder what our laws are in Arizona for DUI and the price Keim might have to pay for his alleged bad judgment.

First, the consequences Keim faces are the same as anyone else in Arizona. His celebrity status and finances likely will not make a difference. This is because Arizona has minimum DUI punishments to maintain consistency and that work to prevent the prosecutor, the judge or any other player in the court system from showing favoritism.

Second, until the results of his BAC (blood alcohol content) are released, we will not know exactly what he is facing.

Keim told the officers he had a DUI back in 1996. Although this is a “prior” DUI, it is unlikely to affect his current situation since it was more than 20 years ago. Priors typically have to be within the past 84 months to increase punishments.

In Arizona, there are several ways to get a DUI and there are several types.

Here is a basic rundown of the different kinds of DUIs and the required jail times (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-1381 et seq).

The jail times listed below can be modified, although not lower than 24 hours, if you follow the terms of your probation:

• Slightest degree: You can be charged with a DUI if you are impaired to the “slightest degree” by alcohol or drugs, regardless of your BAC. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this you are looking at 10 days in jail.

• Legal limit: You can be charged with a DUI if your BAC is .08 or above. This is also a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this you are looking at 10 days in jail.

• Extreme: If your BAC is a .15 or above, then you can be charged with extreme DUI, which is also a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this you are looking at 30 days in jail.

• Super Extreme: If your BAC is a .20 or above, then you can be charged with a super extreme DUI, also a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this you are looking at 45 days in jail.

• Aggravated DUI: If you meet any of the above and have a child in the car with you, your license is suspended at the time, or you have had three DUIs in the past seven years you can be charged with aggravated DUI with a possible 4 months in prison.

Unfortunately for Keim, there is body cam footage of his stop and arrest. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth the whole kit and caboodle.

Fortunately for Keim, he acts exactly like you should when you are stopped and asked to get out of your vehicle. He refused the field sobriety tests, was calm, cooperative and did not make his situation worse — at least until he started answering questions at the station an hour or so later. Most defense attorneys recommend you do not answer any questions past your name and address.

Keim’s next court date is Aug. 8 and it is anticipated his blood results will be in. At that point he will have to decide whether to accept a plea agreement, most likely with one of the punishments above, or fight the charges. Considering the Cardinals will be in their pre-season, it is possible Keim will want this to quietly be taken care of.