You have probably heard of “simple” DUI or DWI charges, but aggravated DUI/DWIs are less common and much more serious.
These charges, if they result in convictions, can lead to significant problems in your life and future, including employment, housing, government benefits and other serious consequences.
What is an aggravated DUI/DWI?
Aggravated DUI/DWIs can happen in multiple ways, such as:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.16% or higher, or
- Causing physical harm to another while driving under the influence (even if your blood alcohol concentration level is lower than 0.16%)
- Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration or a breathalyzer test when asked by law enforcement
Aggravated charges of this nature carry mandatory penalties, as opposed to basic DUI/DWI charges. If convicted of a first-time aggravated offense, you must serve at least 48 hours of jail time and pay court fines and fees. In addition, you will be on probation for one year, you will have to attend driving school and undergo a test.
What happens if I refuse to take the test?
If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically lose your driver’s license and have to go through a procedure to reinstate it, which could take a long time. This process includes a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles and is a separate, additional step from the court process.
If convicted of a second offense, you must serve no less than 48 to 96 hours of jail time, plus an additional 96 hours. The fees and fines you must pay if convicted of this charge increase anywhere from $500 to $1000.
Probation will also be longer for a second offense, and you may have to wear an ignition interlock device if you can get your driver’s license back.
Third offenses are taken extremely seriously by the court. You will have to serve at least 90 days in jail, and your fine will increase from $750 to $1000.
Other consequences of aggravated DUI/DWIs
In addition to the above, if you are charged and convicted of an aggravated DUI or DWI, you will be responsible for all costs associated with the installation of the ignition interlock device, all monthly monitoring fees and if the device breaks, you will be responsible for the cost of its replacement.
In addition, you will most likely lose your driver’s license for some time or in some cases, permanently. You will have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, which can seriously impact your career, housing, prevent you from receiving government benefits and get in the way of your employment.
Aggravated DUI/DWIs are severe offenses, and while they are not as common as basic DUI/DWIs, they happen and happen often. The consequences of these crimes are serious. You must think twice before getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or are in any way impaired.