Indiana law enforcement remains dedicated to ensuring people do not get behind the wheel drunk, and if they do drive drunk, they receive punishment. In 2013 alone, 6,983 arrests took place in the state for DUI.
A DUI conviction is bad enough on its own. The driver may have to contend with a suspended license, a hefty fine or even prison time. However, the exact punishment will depend on the exact crime charged. An aggravated DUI will carry harsher sentences than a standard DUI, and it is important for people to understand the difference.
The primary difference
DUI charges involve a person operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent. An aggravated DUI typically involves the same BAC, but there is another factor involved. For example, if a police officer pulls you over and the officer discovers you drove with a suspended license, then you may encounter aggravated DUI charges.
There are a number of other circumstances that can lead to aggravated charges. Some of these instances include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol when there is a minor in the vehicle
- Driving with a BAC higher than 0.15 percent
- Getting involved in a car accident that results in significant property damage, injury or death
- Possessing two prior DUI convictions already
- Driving 30 mph over the speed limit
- Driving while intoxicated within a school zone
- Driving a school bus while drunk
A first DUI will most likely result in a misdemeanor charge. This ultimately depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident. However, an aggravated DUI, even if it is a first offense, will always be a felony.
Regardless of whether a person faces DUI or aggravated DUI charges, it is important for that individual to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. A conviction of either crime can result in extreme punishments, and it is best to avoid either one at all costs.