In May of 2007, every state, including the District of Columbia, made it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. This is known as DUI “per se” and it has nothing to do with how intoxicated a driver may or may not be. On the other hand, a person can be arrested for DUI if their BAC is below .08% but showed signs of intoxication by failing a field sobriety test or committing a traffic offense.
The penalties for a DUI are serious because every state considers this a serious criminal offense. An aggravated DUI is even worse. This is when a person is found to be committing another offense in addition to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. As you can probably imagine, the penalties for an aggravated DUI are more severe than they are for a misdemeanor DUI.
Examples of Aggravated DUI
During a traffic stop and DUI investigation, a police officer will request to see your driver’s license and insurance. If your license is revoked or suspended and/or you do not have proof of insurance, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI.
If you were involved in an accident and a person was injured, killed or you caused property damage, you could be charged with an aggravated DUI. The same is true if your BAC was found to be much higher than the legal limit (on average .15% or higher).
Also, transporting a minor under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will result in an aggravated DUI charge. Check with your state’s specific laws regarding the age of minors as they vary from state to state.
In the event that you have at least two prior DUI convictions within a certain number of years (typically three to 12), you may be facing an aggravated DUI charge.