West Virginia's laws against drunk driving are tough, and the penalties for those convicted of DUI are even tougher. Even under the most favorable circumstances, defendants face the possibility of fines, jail time, license suspension and other penalties.
That being said, there are times when drivers are sentenced even more harshly due to details of their alleged offense known as "aggravating factors." Today, we'll discuss what aggravated DUI is what it may mean for convicted offenders.
Aggravating factors are those that make your alleged drunk-driving offense even more egregious in the eyes of the law. A good example is high blood-alcohol concentration. In West Virginia, the threshold of high BAC is a reading at or above 0.15 percent, which is nearly twice the legal limit. A driver convicted with high BAC may be required to install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle, even if it was his first DUI offense.
Various states have different guidelines about what constitutes an aggravating factor, but there are several common ones in addition to high BAC.
Aggravating factors used by a number of states include:
- Alleged DUI with minors in the vehicle
- Alleged DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Alleged DUI while driving at excessive speeds
- Multiple prior convictions for DUI
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Individuals charged with DUI involving any of these other factors could face harsher sentences if convicted than they otherwise would. For this and other reasons, it is important to bring your case to an experienced criminal defense attorney.