Aggravated DUI is an enhanced version of the basic DUI charge and thus also features elevated versions of the penalties. In the case of a basic DUI charge penalties can already be very significant, but in the case of an aggravated DUI, the punishments are much more severe.
There are several circumstances and situations that can result in an aggravated DUI charge. In a scenario where the blood-alcohol level of the driver is exceptionally high, and the driver still proceeds with driving a motor vehicle while in the intoxicated state, he is liable to be charged with an aggravated DUI. The normal blood alcohol limit set by nearly all states is .08% and when this is exceeded it is considered a crime to drive a motor vehicle in such a state but in the case of an aggravated DUI, the person surpasses this limit by bounds ranging from twice the legal limit or more. In such a case, the punishment is just as severe and results in much greater fines and a longer stretch of jail time.
If minors are found to be in the vicinity of the vehicle while the driver is in an intoxicated state, then this can result in a DUI charge being increased to an aggravated DUI. Depending on the state, a minor can be classed as anyone lower than 16 years old. Also if the driver was apprehended drunk driving near a location where children can be found, such as children’s parks, daycares, etc., then this can also lead to an aggravated DUI. If the driver already has multiple past DUI convictions and is still caught drunk driving, then the state will see this as an act of defiance, and the recurring crimes can lead to an aggravated DUI charge. In another instance, if the driver in question has already had his/her license suspended or revoked and ignores this to drive in an intoxicated state, then this act of ignoring the law can result in an aggravation of the DUI charge. Same is the case if the driver is caught driving at reckless speeds while intoxicated.
DUI charges already carry very significant and harsh punishments, aggravated DUI charges carry penalties that are far harsher. To best increase your chances of avoiding severe punishment, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced attorney near you to go over your case.