Drunk driving is a serious offense. Those who have been convicted can face jail time and have to pay steep fines, and many lose their licenses even without a conviction. When it comes to an aggravated DUI the consequences can be much more severe. Worry over the future and these potential consequences are often further compounded by confusion about the nature of one’s charges.
When is a DUI considered aggravated?
The legal limit for driving a motor vehicle in Virginia is .08% blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Anyone who is driving with a .08% of higher BAC may be arrested on drunk driving charges. However, if a driver’s BAC was especially high — around double the legal limit — he or she can be charged with an aggravated DUI. Other reasons for an aggravated DUI include:
- Children in the vehicle
- Excessive speed
- Driving on a suspended license
It is also possible to be charged with an aggravated DUI in the absence of an extremely high BAC or other compounding factors. This usually happens when a driver has multiple prior DUI convictions. Repeat offenders can face unique hurdles when it comes to preserving their driving privileges, too.
Since Virginia state law treats DUI offenses with such severity, defendants need to be as prepared as possible. Many people are caught off guard by how quickly these cases tend to proceed, too. Anyone who has been accused of committing an aggravated DUI would be well advised to take an early and proactive approach to their defense planning, which often includes reaching out to a knowledgeable attorney for guidance.