DUI is an acronym that means “driving under the influence.” It can also be called DWI (driving while intoxicated). Many car crashes and accidents are caused by DUI. Furthermore, driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences. Especially aggravated DUI charges can have penalties and risks with a much higher negative impact on the driver.
What Is Aggravated DUI?
DUI charges can be categorized into several alternatives such as misdemeanor, a felony, etc. And then, there is the case of an aggravated DUI. In some cases, there are aggravating factors that lead to an increased DUI conviction.
However, it is true that DUI penalties and charges can vary from a state to another, depending on the local laws that apply in different cases. In many states, DUI is considered a criminal offense. Therefore, an aggravated DUI becomes even worse in the eyes of the authorities. In these cases, the convicted person cannot negotiate and cannot be absolved from their penalty.
Below, you can find a list of aggravated DUI examples. These harsh penalties appear in cases such as:
- An over the top blood alcohol level. All states have imposed a legal limit when it comes to blood alcohol concentration. This limit is usually around 0.08 percent. Furthermore, any driver who will be found driving his/her vehicle and will be caught having a higher BAC than the legal limit will be charged with DUI. The driver will then be tested to check his real blood alcohol level, and in the case in which that turns out to be very high, the charges can become aggravated DUI. This means that the driver could face a longer prison time and much higher fines.
- The presence of underaged children in the vehicle. This case can create extreme penalties for the driver, especially if he/she was also caught with a blood alcohol concentration way over the legal limit. Some law aspects may vary from a state to another. For example, there are some states in which the age limit of the children must be less than 16 while in other states the maximum age of the children is 12. Another case in which the driver can be charged with an extreme DUI is when the accident happens in a school area.
- More than one DUI conviction. A driver can receive an increased sentence if he/she has multiple DUI convictions. All the DUI sentences will accumulate whether the charges were given in the same state or several different states. The fact that repeated offenses receive higher punishments is due to the intention of discouraging other people from driving while intoxicated. In any case, if you find yourself in a situation like this, the best thing to do is to check your state’s laws and to consult a good attorney.
- Excessive speed. When you are under the influence of alcohol, and you are also driving too fast, you can face increased charges. This depends on both the laws of your state and on the police officer’s judgment. The point is, you will face serious consequences when driving fast while intoxicated.
- Drunk driving without a valid license. When you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol and your license was revoked or suspended, you face an aggravated DUI charge. This is because the driver has shown both irresponsibility and disrespect for the law.
- Terrible accidents. When a driver is involved in an accident in which people died or were seriously injured, and he/she has a BAC over the legal limit, the charges will be severe, and the penalties will significantly be higher than a normal DUI case.
Aggravated DUI Illinois
In Illinois, as well as in many other states, an aggravated DUI is considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor. In this particular state, a third charge of driving under the influence becomes an extreme DUI, and the driver can receive from three to seven years in prison.
Another case of extreme DUI is when the driver handles a school bus with under aged children. This felony can receive a penalty of one to three years in prison. As I previously mentioned for the general cases, also in this state, driving under the influence and committing a deadly accident is charged with an aggravated DUI and it can get you up to 12 years in prison.
When the drunk driver has an expired, suspended or revoked the license it is considered a felony and he/she can be convicted with prison time, from one to three years behind bars. The interesting rule that applies in Illinois’ cases of DUI is that the defendant will be sent to a minimum of ten days in prison even though a judge did not sentence him/her to jail time.
Aggravated DUI Arizona
An extreme DUI in Arizona happens in several cases such as:
- The felony of drunk driving while your license was revoked or suspended.
- Multiple DUI offenses and arrests. In this case, all the charges must have been received during the last seven years.
- Having children under the age of 15 in the drunk driver’s car. This age limit can vary depending on the state in which you commit the offense.
An aggravated DUI in Arizona can receive different penalties like:
- Jail time from only four months up to 2.5 years.
- A three years’ revocation or suspension of your driver’s license.
- The defendant can be obliged to pay big fines (there can even be 150,000 dollars fines).
- Get proper treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, and paying all the costs involved in this treatment.
Aggravated DUI Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, an extreme DUI case can receive the following penalties:
- A minimum of 28-day time spent in an alcohol treatment institution.
- Blood tests regularly made to check the blood alcohol concentration of the defendant.
- A probation period during which the defendant will be periodically checked by a probation officer.
- Jail time and significantly high fines.
All in all, an aggravated DUI has more severe punishments and penalties compared to a normal DUI charge. The wisest thing to do when you find yourself facing drunk driving charges is to hire a good and experienced DUI attorney. He/she knows best the right things to do to decrease the potential risks that you are facing.