Understanding What an Aggravated DUI Is
In most states, a DUI is a misdemeanor offense, especially if It’s your first offense. However, there are ways for that DUI to become more serious, resulting in an aggravated DUI, which usually counts as a felony. Every state handles its drunk driving laws differently, but many of the rules surrounding DUIs are similar. If you face a charge for drinking and driving, you should know how serious your case is. Find out more with our guide to understanding what an aggravated DUI is and what it entails.
Factors Behind an Aggravated DUI
A DUI becomes aggravated when extra factors make the situation more dangerous or egregious. One of the most common aggravating factors is an extremely high blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Driving with a BAC of .08 or more is illegal in every state, but a BAC beyond .15 could mean a felony rather than a misdemeanor. The passengers in your vehicle can also affect the severity of your DUI. If you drink and drive with minors in the car, many states will charge you with an aggravated DUI. Similarly, drunk driving through a school zone can result in more serious consequences. Other aggravating factors can include:
- Drunk driving without a license
- Extensive property damage
- Multiple past DUIs, or
- The serious injury or death of drivers, passengers, or pedestrians
What Makes an Aggravated DUI Different?
Part of understanding what an aggravated DUI is means understanding how it differs from other DUI convictions. In most circumstances, an aggravated DUI brings harsher consequences. Many states charge aggravated DUIs as felonies rather than misdemeanors, which could mean steeper fines and longer license suspensions. An aggravated DUI is also more likely to result in consequences or requirements such as ignition interlock devices, alcohol education courses, or substance abuse programs. Additionally, jail time is more common after an aggravated DUI.
While the consequences of an aggravated DUI can be severe, they don’t have to be the end of the world. You can work through your requirements, reinstate your license, and return to normal life as a safer, more responsible driver. Serenity Group can help you along the way by finding the best policies for SR22 insurance in Washington or anywhere else you find yourself facing a DUI charge. Learn more by visiting our website and getting your SR22 insurance quote today.