By May of 2007, every state, including Washington, D.C., made it an illegal offense to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. The offense is known as DUI “per say,” and it has nothing to do with how drunk a driver may or may not be. A person can be arrested for a DUI if they have a BAC below the legal limit, but demonstrates obvious signs of being drunk by failing field sobriety testing or committing a traffic violation.
The penalties for driving under the influence are quite serious, because each state considers it a criminal offense. However, while a normal DUI is severe on its own, being charged with an “aggravated DUI” is much worse. An aggravated DUI can be charged when an individual is caught committing another offense, in addition to driving while under the influence. The penalties for an aggravated DUI are tougher than what one would face with a misdemeanor DUI.
If you are pulled over by the police on suspicion of DUI, the officer will ask you for a copy of your driver’s license and insurance card. If your license is revoked or suspended, you could be charged with an aggravated DUI. If you were involved in an accident and someone was hurt or killed, or you ended up causing property damage, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI. The same can happen if your blood alcohol content was higher than the legal limit of 0.08%.
Additionally, if you transport a minor in your vehicle and are arrested for being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, you could be charged with an aggravated DUI. If you want to know your state’s specific statutes, you can find the information online.
An aggravated DUI is a felony. Being convicted of this charge can be far more serious than a regular drunk driving arrest.
In the event someone has been arrested and convicted of two or more prior DUIs within a certain period of time, it could result in an aggravated DUI charge. Even though someone may be faced with an aggravated DUI, there is a chance the charge could be reduced or dismissed. The key to working through these charges is to consult with an attorney.
Hiring an attorney is probably the best way you can avoiding the more serious penalties that may include probation, fines, court costs, driver’s license suspension, vehicle confiscation and possibly prison.