Top Factors that Influence DUI Punishment
Impaired driving is a menace that every state strives to keep as low as possible. If you are arrested and charged, DUI attracts severe consequences. You could be fined, jailed, put on probation, and required to complete community work. Your driving privileges could also be suspended or provoked. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you should let the case run its course if you are charged. You might have only taken one drink that doesn’t impair your driving. Due to certain digestive disorders, or a prescription, the breathalyzer could return a test that led to the charge. That’s just among the scenarios that could see you facing DUI charges, emphasizing the need to take the right measures. Among the most practical measures that can help you navigate the process and protect your right is hiring an experienced DC DUI lawyer.
The DUI lawyer will evaluate your case and offer guidance, including the best defense strategy. The best part is that most services offer free, no-obligation consultation; you have no reason to seek professional guidance as you face the scary charges. While facing a DUI charge, among the top factors that influence how punitive the consequences are includes;
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
DUI adults’ BAC threshold is 0.08%; generally, the higher the BAC, the graver the consequences. Anything beyond 0.15% merits a criminal charge. It is worth noting that there are equivalent measures if other controlled substances are in play. If you are under the influence of other drugs, they’ll also be considered while determining the punishment.
Age and previous infractions play a significant role while facing a DUI charge. For instance, for minors or individuals below 21 years, a BAC of as low as 0.02% is sufficient for a DUI conviction. Your driving record shows how safe a driver you are, influencing the consequences. For instance, if it is the first DUI charge and your driving record isn’t tainted, you won’t incur severe punishment. You could even have the charges dismissed. With a DC DUI lawyer, you can follow strategies such as a guilty plea and take a court-ordered driver improvement course. This can lower the DUI to OWI, attracting less punitive consequences, or get the case dismissed.
Commercial vehicles attract more punitive consequences. Commercial vehicles are those that carry business goods or paying passengers. If you were driving a commercial car, a 0.04% BAC could see your commercial driver’s license suspended or lost. Anything beyond 0.08% affects more than the commercial license. Your personal driver’s license could also be revoked or suspended.
Did you have a minor passenger, and were they restrained or not? If you are driving under the influence with a child, you’ll incur an additional fine. Moreover, if you were in an accident, the injuries or fatalities count. Fatalities and severe injuries automatically lead to a serious offense.
DUI should be avoided at all costs. Nonetheless, at times, you might be caught off guard. For instance, prescription medication could impair you, leading to erratic driving. Regardless of the situation, enlisting a DC DUI lawyer shouldn’t take the backseat, giving you a fighting chance to avoid the severe consequences that could haunt you for years.